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May 25, 2010

CATS CEO: Carolyn Flowers, CEO of Charlotte Area Transit, discussed her impressions after five months in Charlotte, and fielded questions. She said she had never seen a road like East Independence Boulevard before arriving in Charlotte, and predicted that North Carolina would never again try to place a highway next to commercial  businesses without giving those businesses better access to the highway. She said she chose to raise fares in order to keep service levels because many cities nationwide are eroding their public support by cutting service even as fares increase. Flowers was hired from the Los Angeles transit system, which she said had lost $200 million of its $900 million budget when the State of California cut its support of urban mass transit.


In her own words

Click on the links below for short audio files of excerpts from Flowers' comments:


Advertising: Allowing it on CATS trains and buses

Advertising: An anecdote from Los Angeles

Fare increase: Flowers' goal during tough budget period

Schoolchildren: Why CATS doesn't help move more CMS students to school

Streetcar: A discussion of how streetcar would, under current N.C. law, leave CATS even more strapped for funds







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