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As December draws to a close, we’ve got our eyes on a number of opportunities the New Year might bring. In 2022, Charlotte City Council adopted the Strategic Mobility Plan and passed the Unified Development Ordinance. Mecklenburg County commissioners approved record funding for greenways, parks, and nature preserves. And the county created the framework for an Environmental Justice Action Plan. Those are just a few major wins in 2022, and we’re well positioned to continue the important work of building a better community for all in 2023. 

We also have a list of five things we would like to see happen to improve public transit in the coming year that was published in The Charlotte Observer this week. You can read the article here.
(📷: City of Charlotte)

Excellent rail and bus service is an essential tool for providing access to jobs, educational opportunities, the grocery store, and medical appointments for all. Our region’s rapid population growth demands more efficient, affordable, and climate-friendly transportation choices to ensure a healthy environment, high quality of life, and robust economy. 

From happy, safe bus drivers to frequent and reliable service, we’re hopeful that Charlotte Area Transit System will rise to the challenges of today to create a better way forward in the new year and beyond.

For a sustainable future,


Shannon Binns
Founder + Executive Director

Top stories

An update on our end-of-year fundraising campaign

Big news: Your donation will have DOUBLE the impact this month! We have a generous donor who will match the next $10,000 we receive in donations through the end of the year. The impact of your gift will be maximized by giving now; for every $1 you give, we get $2.

If you become a Sustaining Member or make a one-time donation of $120 before Jan. 1, you’ll ALSO be entered into our raffle for a Specialized Sirrus 1.0 Hybrid ($650 value) from BikeSource Charlotte or a 10-class pass to Khali Yoga Center.

Can we count on your support to help us reach our goal of $20,000 by the end of the year?

Yes, I'll donate or become a member today!

📱We tested Charlotte's new TravelSafely app

Did you know about the new TravelSafely app the city of Charlotte is testing in South End? It uses data from app users to alert drivers about upcoming intersections and pedestrians or cyclists in the area. Our director of engagement and impact, Meg Fencil, took a walk with Spectrum News to test the app.

Our take: Pedestrians and cyclists are at a heightened risk of serious injury or death from cars. We need safer streets for *all* residents and visitors — and streets that are welcoming to those who do not or cannot commute by car. This app is a helpful tool, but it's not a substitute for driving safely.

Read (or watch) the story here.

Report: CATS bus drivers reject proposal

As you read earlier, we've got big hopes for CATS. Our community needs it to be successful. WBTV reported this week that bus drivers could go on strike after voting against a proposed new contract. This is an ongoing issue between RATP Dev, the company that contracts with the city to hire and manage bus drivers, RATP Dev, and the operators themselves.

According to WBTV, the most recent contract failed over concerns about attendance policies. The station reports that drivers may soon vote on whether to strike. 

As we said, it's vital that our transit system is reliable. And for that to happen, it's essential that bus operators are safe and fairly compensated. We hope a fair agreement is reached soon.

Read the story here.

(📷: Lauren Sawyers/Sustain Charlotte)

We wrapped up Impact 704 Academy for the year

We held the third and final Impact 704 Academy session of 2022 on Thursday at Camp North End. The topic of the night was sustainable land use. We heard from the city about the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan and from the county about parks, greenways, and nature preserves.

This entire series was 100% free thanks to support from our friends at Southminster.

Watch video and read a recap here.

We're asking NC to invest in better transportation options

Earlier this month, we joined eight local organizations in signing a letter organized by the Southern Environmental Law Center urging North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and state Department of Transportation leadership to prioritize transportation investments that reduce single-occupancy driving rather than building and expanding highways.

Read the letter here.

Partner news

(📷: Pasta & Provisions/Facebook)

💡 Renewing partner spotlight: Pasta & Provisions 💡

We are so grateful to Pasta & Provisions for renewing their annual partnership in our corporate partner network as a Silver Partner! Pasta & Provisions has been making an impact on the Charlotte dining scene since 1992 and has three locations in the Queen City. Check them out at!

Businesses that join our partner network are committing to support our efforts toward a healthy, equitable, and vibrant Charlotte for generations to come. 

To learn more about how your company can become a partner visit

Events + opportunities

(📷: Charlotte Area Transit System/Twitter)

Here are a few things on on our radar

  • You can ride free on a special CATS bus that's decked out in festive holiday art now through Jan. 7. If you see the bus, pictured above, hop on! The so-called holiday bus is being placed on routes across the network.
  • Weigh in on North Carolina's Carbon Plan. The state needs to develop a plan by the end of the year aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. CleanAIRE NC compiled the info you need to know and is calling on the state to make sure the plan is equitable and in the interest of residents. Learn more and sign the petition here.
  • Input on Black bike ridership is being sought by Equitable Cities. The survey takes about 20 minutes and participants are eligible for gift cards. Learn more here.

Thanks for reading!

As a nonprofit, community support is essential for us to keep doing what we do — including providing free newsletters like this. If you find value in this newsletter, please consider supporting Sustain Charlotte so we can continue advocating for a better future and working with residents, neighborhood organizations, government agencies, nonprofits, and businesses to solve the most critical challenges to Charlotte's long-term social, economic, and environmental health.
Thank you to our partners!

We genuinely appreciate all of our partners. Their generous year-round support allows us to work towards our mission.



BirdBoingo Graphics - Ekologicall - Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont 
HDR - Integra Architecture - Lime - Little -  Moore & Van Allen
NC Sustainable Energy Association  -  QTS GroupRenu Energy Solutions
Self-Help Credit UnionStantec - Stewart - The Mill Coworking 

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