Free CATS buses now operating for Ramsey Creek Beach

- Mecklenburg County’s only public beach has drawn hundreds of swimmers since opening memorial day weekend but also lots of traffic.  A new park and ride service began today intended to ease those traffic concerns around Ramsey Creek Beach in Cornelius.

“As we see the beach has become very, very popular”

The beach has become so popular that cars would be waiting in line on main roads and beach-goers would look to neighborhoods for spare parking.

“With our capacity here at the park, we had to find alternative ways so that customers do not park in private lots and walk down the road.

That’s where a new shuttle system comes into play.  Cornelius Park and Recreation launched a service where folks can park for free at the North Cross Park-and-Ride lot and then hop on a bus to the beach.

 “It cut down walk-ins to almost no walk-ins," said Clemmer.  "I’m not saying we don’t have any, but it greatly reduced the number of walk-ins.”

At this time, the bus rides are free and plan to operate on weekends and holidays every 15 minutes from 9am to 8pm.

“It’s very convenient and it’s very nice.  They ought to keep it up," said Madgalene White.

But not everyone was as thrilled.

“It’s about four miles from the actual beach so it takes a while to get from point A to point B so it’s not the best, not what we expected," said Megan Lundin.

Still, park and rec officials say their doing their best and additional changes may come.  On Tuesday, the County Board of Commissioners will vote on whether or not to charge per person for walk-ins, something many neighbors in the area have pushed for.

“We’re moving towards trying to solve this problem.  So just give us a chance, let us work towards – little baby steps and hopefully eventually we’ll get everything working smooth.”

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