Reciprocal Ridership with Charlottesville Area Transit

Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT)

University of Virginia students, faculty and staff can ride the Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) for free with a valid U.Va ID. This program, funded by the University of Virginia, makes it easier for the U.Va community to get around Charlottesville and reduce traffic and pollution by not using their own vehicles.


New CAT Fare Box System - Swipe UVA ID to Ride Free

Effective January 1, 2016 CAT Fare Box

Beginning on January 1, 2016 all UVa riders will need to scan the bar code on their valid UVa ID to ride CAT fare free.

When boarding a CAT bus, scan your UVa ID badge through the farebox. To scan, simply hold the ID badge three to four inches below the barcode with the barcode facing up. Once accepted, you will hear a confirmation tone.
The farebox is able to read 1-D barcodes. You can find your barcode on the rear of your ID badge.
ID Bar Codes

Find the CAT Route for You

Route Key Destinations
Free Trolley Central Grounds The Corner Downtown Jefferson Park Avenue
Route 4 UVa Hospital Fry's Spring Downtown Willoughby Square
Route 5 Barracks Rd Shopping Ctr Shops at Stonefield Fashion Square Mall Walmart
Route 6 UVA Hospital Willoughby Square Downtown  
Route 7 Downtown UVA Hospital Barracks Rd Shopping Ctr Fashion Square Mall
Route 9 UVA Hospital Greenbrier Drive Fashion Square Mall  
CAT Bus Image
  • Find a Designated Bus Stop
    • Official stops are marked with a CAT bus stop sign, a unique five digit number, and supplemental routing information. To find a bus stop near you, check out CAT’s route maps. Bus stops are represented by dots and icons. Please keep in mind that drivers are only allowed to pick up and drop off at an official CAT bus stop. 
  • Arrive Early
    • There’s nothing worse than missing a bus by 30 seconds. When walking to a bus stop, give yourself a few extra minutes. A bus will only pick up passengers who are actively waiting at a bus stop.
  • Have your ID Ready
    • While waiting at your stop, take a moment to prepare your ID.  The rear barcode must be visible for the farebox to scan.  Having your fare ready will help expedite the boarding process and ensure the route stays on time.
  • Board the Bus
    •  When the bus arrives at your stop, give exiting passengers a chance to get off. Once clear, all boarding passengers should enter through the front door. When boarding, scan your ID through the farebox.  To scan, simply hold the ID badge three to four inches below the barcode reader.  Once accepted you will hear a confirmation tone.
  • Pick a Seat
    • Once your ID has been scanned, please take a moment to find the nearest seat. If all seats are full, passengers are encouraged to move towards the back of the bus. Doing so will keep the entrance doors clear and allow additional passengers to board. If the bus fills during the trip, please give your seat to the elderly and persons with disabilities.
  • Request a Stop
    • As the bus nears your stop, let the driver know you want off by pulling one of the bell cords located above each window. When requesting a stop, please pull the cord early enough to allow for a smooth stop. Failure to do so may result in the bus skipping your stop and serving the next stop.
  • Exit the Bus
    • When possible, passengers should exit the bus through the rear doors. If you must cross the street, please wait for the bus to depart and then cross behind. Unlike school buses, transit buses do not have the authority to stop traffic. Passengers should be mindful of their surroundings before crossing.


Download CAT’s free mobile app on Google Play or iTunes.  The app provides real-time arrival information and important service notifications.

Not quite sure which CAT route is practical? Let Google Transit do the work for you! By entering your starting and ending addresses, Google will automatically create an itinerary for you, complete with walking directions to and from the bus stops as well as where to connect to other CAT buses. Best yet, you can plan trips, days or months in advance by setting a specific date and time.

It's that simple! This convenient option allows you to ride any CAT route free of charge. Need a U.Va ID? Visit the University ID Office.

CAT Mobile App Image