Opinion

Silver lining to bad times

Silver linings in these days of a falling economy and rising energy prices are hard to find. But in a small way, the decision by the Charlotte Area Transit System to add another morning run on its commuter service between Rock Hill and Charlotte is just such a glittery lining.

The new morning run on the 82X commuter bus service debuted Oct. 6. It will be the fourth morning trip the CATS system makes daily between the cities.

As an express bus service, the 82X route makes fewer stops than a fixed route service to reduce travel time. This new trip will depart downtown Rock Hill at 7:15 a.m., with stops at Manchester Village, Baxter Village and Carowinds.

Another run means that more people are willing to take the bus instead of driving up Interstate 77 to Charlotte. That results in fewer cars on the road, fewer gallons of gas consumed and fewer greenhouse gases released.

It also means more revenues for CATS, which eventually could result in expanded services -- which would result in fewer cars on the road, etc.

In part, this pattern is the result of economics. More people are riding the commuter bus because it's cheaper than driving.

When those people conclude that it also may be easier and less stressful than fighting morning traffic, commuting by bus could become a habit.

And the world would be a better place. Not a bad silver lining.

IN SUMMARY

Increase in demand for commuter shuttle service to Charlotte is a good thing.

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