Transportation in Charlotte
Charlotte has experienced major transportation advancements in the last ten years. Charlotteans now have many transportation resources to utilize, such as the Charlotte Area Transit bus system, the Lynx, and the downtown trolley. Whether you have moved to Charlotte after a divorce, or simply need to come to town for a few hours to attend a court hearing, this article will cover all of your transportation needs.
Travel By Flight
If you have chosen to settle in Charlotte after a divorce, you may find that Charlotte Douglas Airport is a great resource for your travel needs. This airport is a large, international airport with hundreds of flights that come and go every day; in fact, it is the sixth busiest airport in the world. You may use the airport for frequent business travel, or only on occasion for vacation – either way you will enjoy the convenience of direct flights to approximately 150 locations.
Even if you are only flying to Charlotte to attend court, or to exercise visitation of your children, you will be glad to learn about some of the conveniences the airport has to offer.
The airport is located near the I-485 beltline, as well as I-85, which makes your trip to and from the airport very easy. It’s location in the western part of Charlotte allows easy access to other areas of Charlotte, as well as Belmont, Gastonia, Pineville, and Lake Wylie to name a few.
Charlotte Douglas Airport supports flights from many carriers and their regional partners; here are a few of such airlines:
There are five main terminals at Charlotte Douglas Airport, each providing plenty of restaurants, shops, and newsstands. There are plenty of parking options; long-term parking costs $5 per day and daily parking costs $7 per day. The airport even offers a curbside valet service for those in a hurry or who simply would rather not deal with the hassle of parking. There are also several options for those just planning to pick up or drop off an individual. There is a “Kiss and Fly” lot open during periods of peak traffic, an airport overlook lot, and two cell phone providing you with easy drop off and pickup access.
Transportation from the airport is easy. Taxi dispatchers are located outside each terminal and hotel shuttles are available if you are staying in one of many area hotels. Rental car kiosks are located near baggage claim and provide rentals from the following companies: Advantage, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty. Additionally, the Charlotte Douglas website provides an extensive list of transportation resources that provide private cars and limos, and the website gives information about using the Charlotte Area Transit bus.
Make sure you figure out your airport transportation in advance. While taxis are plentiful, you will need to make sure your hotel offers a shuttle if you chose that route, or you might need to check the bus schedules to ensure busses are running when you need them.
Travel By Train
For those who have children, the train can truly be an excellent travel resource. If your children are living in another part of the state, for instance in Raleigh or Greensboro, you can hop on the train and make it to a soccer game or piano recital with ease. Rather than spending hours driving to your destination, you can actually get work done en route to the recital.
Travel by train is becoming more appealing to commuters. Whether you travel for business, are simply traveling to exercise visitation rights, or want to take your kids on a fun adventure to another city, the train can be a great way to travel.
Charlotte’s Amtrak station is located on Tryon Street, between uptown Charlotte and the popular “NoDa” district. While you won’t be able to walk to uptown Charlotte from the train station, Hertz and Enterprise offer rental cars at this station and you can arrange for a taxi to transport you wherever you need to go in the city.
Amtrak Trains have varying amenities; some have sleeping quarters, wireless Internet, and separate dining cars. While it is less practical to take the train when traveling a long distance, it is an easy way to commute to Charlotte from Raleigh, Greensboro, or other North Carolina cities. For example, a round trip ticket from Raleigh to Charlotte costs roughly $50, and is about a three-hour ride each way. Rather than spend that money on gas and spend that time driving, you could spend that money on train fare and spend that three hours working, reading, surfing the internet, or even just relaxing.
Travel By Bus
Greyhound (intercity bus carrier)
Charlotte Area Transit System (city-wide bus)
Gold Rush (downtown circulator)
If you are traveling to Charlotte from another city, or even out of state, traveling by Greyhound bus may be a viable option for you. The bus tends to be less expensive than air travel, although it takes longer and you will stop at various bus stations on your route. The Greyhound website (listed above) can provide information about bus station locations, prices, and how long you can expect your commute to take. The Greyhound station in Charlotte is located uptown, on the corner of Graham Street and Trade Street.
The Greyhound station is only about a mile-long walk to the Mecklenburg County Court House, so this could be a convenient way travel if you only plan on being in town to appear in court for divorce related proceedings.
The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) operates more than forty bus routes throughout Mecklenburg County and transports more than eighteen million passengers per year. The busses run from 5:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. and each ride costs between $1.75 and $2.40.
The Gold Rush is a free trolley-style bus that provides transportation around uptown Charlotte. The trolley’s travel up and down Tryon Street and west along Trade Street, making stops at marked bus stops every eight to fifteen minutes. The Gold Rush also connects center-city Charlotte to the LYNX blue line.
Travel by Light Rail
One mode of transportation unique to Charlotte is this LYNX, Charlotte’s first light rail service. The tracks are about 10 miles long and operate from I-485 at South Boulevard to Uptown Charlotte. There are fifteen stations and seven park-and-ride lots, making the LYNX a very attractive way to commute into the city – congestion free. The service is available every 10 minutes during the weekday rush hour commute, every 15 minutes in non-peak hours, and every 20 minutes on the weekends.
The LYNX, which costs only $2 per ride, has certainly become a popular way to travel into center-city Charlotte. Many Charlotteans are now choosing to live in neighborhoods like South End, because of the proximity to the LYNX Blue Line so they can utilize the light rail to commute into the city.
If you are using the LYNX as your transportation to the courthouse, you will find it couldn’t be easier. The LYNX station on 3rd Street is only .2 miles away from the courthouse –roughly a 4-minute walk.
Charlotte is a major metropolis that has many rental car locations for major companies, such as Hertz, Enterprise, Thrifty and Budget among others. They are located all over the city so your best bet is to visit the company of your choice and view a list of locations and plan accordingly.
Taxis and Car Services
Despite being the largest city in North Carolina, you can’t step outside and hail a cab on the street like you can in New York and Chicago. There are several taxi companies that service the Charlotte area, you just need to call and arrange your taxi in advance. Yellow Cab and Crown Cab are the two most popular cab companies.
If you are looking for a private car, Executive Car Service is a great option. They have been serving Charlotte for 25 years and can transport you anywhere in Charlotte in a sedan, van or limousine. The owners and drivers are all local, will know their way around, and can offer tips or suggestions on what to do, where to eat, and other local attractions.
Useful phone numbers:
Yellow Cab: (704) 444 – 4444
Crown Cab: (704) 334 – 6666
Executive Car Service: (704) 525 – 2191
Purchasing a Car
If you have recently relocated to Charlotte you may find yourself in need of purchasing a car. Whether you are looking for that post-divorce shiny new luxury car, or something more practical that accommodates car seats, Charlotte has plenty of resources for purchasing cars. Independence Boulevard (Highway 74) is lined with dealerships, everything from Lexus and BMW to Honda, Toyota, and Chevrolet can be found on this road.
If you are looking for a used car, CarMax on Independence Boulevard might be a great place to look as they offer a huge inventory. Also, many people find that buying a used car from Craigslist can be very convenient and hassle-free. Whatever your vehicle needs may be you can find it in the Charlotte area.
Special Tips for Those Traveling to Attend Court
There are many reasons you might find yourself needing to travel to appear in the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. Perhaps your divorce proceedings are being held in here, or maybe you are appearing as a witness in someone else’s divorce proceedings. You could simply be attending the hearing to provide emotional support for a friend or loved one. Whatever the reason, we want you to know that it is easy to arrange this type of travel.
First, should you need to stay overnight, there are several hotels that are located within walking distance to the courthouse:
Hilton Charlotte City Center (.6 miles/12 minute walk)
Aloft Charlotte Uptown (.6 miles/14 minute walk)
Omni Charlotte (.7 miles/ 14 minute walk)
If you need to get to the airport from your downtown hotel, ask the front desk if they provide an airport shuttle. If not, you might consider taking the CATS “Sprinter” bus from center city; it only costs $2 and is roughly a 30 minute ride to the airport.
The Greyhound bus station is within distance to each of these hotels as well as the courthouse. The Amtrak station is nearby as well; it just requires a short cab ride to center city hotels and the courthouse.