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At Sustain Charlotte, we’re entering the new year with lots of energy and resolve to continue the important work of building a better future for our community. We’re committed to advocating for local solutions that reduce our impact on the climate, advance racial equity, and support residents’ health and wellness — and we’re eager to educate and engage all members of the community to help do the same. 

Achieving our vision for a healthy, equitable, and vibrant community means striving for a sense of place that benefits everyone.
(📷 Dashiell Coleman/Sustain Charlotte)

We’ve identified some particular areas of focus in 2023. They include investment in an expanded greenway network, long-term funding for transportation needs and solutions, dependable public transit, pedestrian-friendly infrastructure and equitable community involvement. Read more about why we remain committed to working tirelessly toward achieving these goals.
We are grateful for your engagement and support in Sustain Charlotte’s work and look forward to continuing to partner with you throughout 2023.

Happy New Year,


Shannon Binns
Founder + Executive Director

Top stories

(📷 Charlotte Area Transit System)

CATS needs an overhaul, consultant finds

It's no secret that Charlotte Area Transit System has had its fair share of trouble over the last year — most notably the recent departure of its CEO, John Lewis, and staffing challenges that resulted in a reduction in the frequency of service. Now a report produced by a consultant hired by the city of Charlotte says that CATS needs an organizational overhaul. The consultant concluded that CATS' governance structure, which includes two boards that oversee different parts of the agency, is confusing.

The report recommends several changes, including higher pay and better hours for workers.

We applaud the city for sharing this third-party assessment of CATS and requesting recommendations for improving this important agency. We are hopeful that the recommendations will be implemented swiftly and we will advocate for this so that CATS will be able to provide consistently fast, frequent, and reliable service to riders.

You can read more here from the Charlotte Ledger.

The current Charlotte Transportation Center is seen uptown. (📷 Dashiell Coleman/Sustain Charlotte)

More transit news

This week brought updates from Charlotte City Council's transportation committee about two major local transit projects.

The committee unanimously voted to support building a new central bus station underground in uptown. It would replace the current Charlotte Transportation Center, which serves as something of a hub for CATS buses bringing riders into and out of the center city. The committee rejected recommendations to instead either create a new, open air facility (like the one that exists now) or a two-level, terrace-style facility. A mixed-use building will be on top of the station, and plans call for an electric bus fleet to reduce emissions. Read more here from WFAE.

Our take: Charlotte's central bus station needs to be built and operated in a way that provides all riders with a safe, dignified, and efficient experience as they wait for their ride and transfer between services.

The committee also moved to support a plan to bring the LYNX Silver Line around — not through — the heart of uptown. The Silver Line is a planned light rail line that would cross Mecklenburg County from east to west, potentially extending into Union and Gaston counties, and include a stop near Charlotte Douglas International Airport. We've long supported the line going into uptown and we think the No. 1 factor in planning this vital transit project should be ridership. Last year, CATS projected that more riders would take the Silver Line if it shared tracks with the existing Blue Line or Gold Line. Now the agency says taking the line slightly north of uptown would provide slightly more riders. Read more here from WFAE.

Our take: We are surprised that this option now has a higher ridership projection than it did last year. We, like many others, would like to know what changed in the projection model.

Both plans still need approval from the Metropolitan Transit Commission.

A note of thanks

This week, Wells Fargo announced that Sustain Charlotte is the recipient of a $50,000 grant! We are humbled by and grateful for the award, which will help us continue pushing for important sustainability changes at the local level. You can watch Wells' announcement video here, which features an interview with us and some scenes from Biketoberfest.

Partner news

💡 Partner spotlight: Stantec 💡

We are thrilled to announce that Stantec has renewed their annual partnership in our corporate partner network as a Bronze Partner! We are so grateful to have them in our network. Stantec helps create, sustain, and revitalize communities. They've had a Charlotte office since 1989, offering project management, water resources planning and design, urban design, surveying, civil engineering, landscape architecture, storm water management, traffic engineering, and city planning solutions. Learn more 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

(📷: City of Charlotte)

Mark your calendars for a celebration of MLK

Be sure to check out the Atrium Health Charlotte-Mecklenburg Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday Celebration. The city and county governments are teaming up to celebrate the late civil rights leader's life and legacy with several events that are open to the public.

  • Friday, Jan. 14, all day: Watch several high school basketball games at the MLK P.E.A.C.E. Basketball Showcase.
  • Sunday, Jan. 15, from 2:30-3 p.m.: Watch the holiday march toward Marshall Park in uptown.
  • Sunday, Jan. 15, at 3 p.m.: Watch a memorial service at the Martin Luther King Jr. statue in Marshall Park.
  • Monday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m.: Watch the official celebration on WBTV.
Learn more about the events here.

What we're reading

Transit propensity and community needs: Providing insight to create equitable transit systems (Mass Transit)

How Denver used e-bike vouchers to get thousands out of their cars (The Washington Post)

The cities keeping their car-free spaces (Bloomberg CityLab)

Four ways automotive regulators could help save pedestrian lives (Streetsblog USA)
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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