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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- CATS Sprinter buses will now start picking up travelers and airport employees at certain park and ride lots in Charlotte as yet another option to get people to and from the bustling airport.

Getting into Charlotte Douglas Airport the past few months has been challenging with construction, a decrease in the number of parking spots due to construction, lane closures and an increase in travelers who start and end their trips from the Queen City.

There's always a need, said commuter Lawanda Fewell.

This service will allow travelers to be dropped off at a designated park and ride lot and take and express bus right to the terminal. It doesn't get much more convenient than that, said CATS CEO Carolyn Flowers.

The airport connector will give our customers and employees who work at the airport a new choice in how they arrive, said Haley Gentry with Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.

Starting June 15, there will be two new airport connector routes.

One is from the Northlake Mall Park and Ride lot. The other will pick up riders along the LYNX Blue Line at the Archdale, Tyvola and Woodlawn transit stations. They will run every half hour.

That's where Fewell could get a ride for $2.75 now one way and $3 one way once a fair increase goes into effect in July. That amount is less than it costs to park for hours at the airport.

Fewell calls that a good idea.

Especially for people who don't have a car, or it makes it difficult for them to get around, so I think it's needed.

Part of the decision to bring Sprinter trucks to the airport from park and rides is also fueled by what CATS is seeing in uptown, which includes a nearly 40 percent increase in ridership there to the airport.
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