The two large LYNX parking decks in UCity have seen a substantial increase in daily use since light-rail service began last March, the Charlotte Area Transit System reports.
The 800-space JW Clay Station deck’s busiest day so far, Oct. 3, recorded 873 cars.
The 1,500-space University City Boulevard station deck served 600 cars on its busiest day, July 9.
CATS says that the parking-lot use has doubled since it first began keeping records in April.
The decks are intended to serve as park-and-ride lots for commuters and Charlotte visitors wishing to ride the LYNX and to avoid high parking fees in uptown Charlotte.
The decks were designed with future growth in mind, with planners anticipating that the University City Blvd deck would draw many users because of its location just south of the I-85-University City Boulevard interchange.
While other parking facilities and decks along the 19-mile LYNX line are free, University City parking decks offer free parking only to people who have purchased all-day, weekly or monthly LYNX passes. All other parking-deck customers, including LYNX riders with one-way and round-trip tickets, must pay $10 to park.
CATS chose to charge at the two University City stations because of concern that UNC Charlotte students seeking to avoid campus parking fees would fill up the decks if parking was free, then ride the LYNX to campus.
The campus has no free parking. Student parking permits cost $290 per semester or $464 for two semesters.
Visitors and students without parking permits must park in the five campus decks. Rates run from $5 for the first hour to $15 for the day.
On the other hand, students can ride the LYNX for free with their CATS all-transit passes, which are paid for by student fees.