Lack of funds may suspend uptown's Gold Rush bus service

Lack of funds may suspend uptown's Gold Rush bus service

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by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 25 at 6:41 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte’s uptown Gold Rush bus service could be suspended July 1 due to a lack of funding.

Federal grant money which helps pay for it is expiring in June.

“There are inadequate resources,” said Charlotte Center City Partners President and CEO Michael Smith.

Part of that involves dwindling corporate donations.

"We'd have to double the amount of money to close the gap,” Smith said.

As a result Charlotte Center City Partners and city transit officials are recommending the Tryon Street service, also known as the Gold Rush Orange Line, be suspended.

"It's another level of service and it's the unfortunate thing about this recommendation,” said Smith.

The hope is it's not permanent.

A consultant is looking into how the bus service can be improved, but it's nothing that can be acted on now.

One possibility is ending the free ride and charging customers.

But, that could impact ridership, plus a fare typically only covers 20 to 25-percent of the cost.

The Gold Rush Red Line, which goes up and down Trade Street, would remain. It has more than 20 more riders per hour.

The Charlotte Area Transit System is hosting a public meeting about the Gold Rush service on Wednesday, May 8.

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