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After complaints of constant delays, Chapel Hill's HS Route has been updated


DTH File. As AT&T dismantles its 3G service network, bus service predictions provided by Transloc and Nextbus will be affected.

In response to recent public complaints, Chapel Hill Transit's HS Route has gone through major adjustments in order to better provide timely and efficient bus service throughout Chapel Hill.

On Sept. 30, Chapel Hill Transit implemented a new HS bus route in the Chapel Hill area that eliminates the route down main campus, specifically near the Student Union, and instead follows a route that contains less traffic. 

Jason Evans, a marketing recruiter working with Chapel Hill Transit, said the new route “eliminates its turn on to Hillsborough Road and keep going down MLK, which is only a block or two away from the Student Union."

The change itself was in response to public complaints about delays and inefficiencies from frequent riders of the HS route. 

“They were always late," said Kate Chou, a UNC student and HS rider. "They were always an hour late. I sent an email to the town, and it was not just me. A lot of residents in this area complained about that.”

Evans said Chapel Hill Transit realized the route was getting delayed often — so much so that it would miss an entire interval.

“We try to time these routes," he said. "Unfortunately, we were not able to anticipate in foot and vehicle traffic.” 

Evans said the Town looked for the route's largest delay and where they could alleviate it. By going around main campus instead of through it, the town hoped the new route would cut down travel time.

This change seems to have solved the issue, Chou said, and buses now arrive much closer to their scheduled times. 

The new route allows for more time between intervals, which allows operators to take breaks, Evans said. This change is not without its own problems, though. 

“The problem that people will probably experience in the next two weeks is NextBus," Evans said. "NextBus, the locator for the bus service, has to update their service to the new route." 

Chapel Hill Transit does not have control of NextBus because it is a vendor service, Evans said.

Overall, the new HS Route has solved the delays and inconsistencies in its schedule and has seemingly mended its bad reputation. 

“We really tackled this issue because it's our daily mission to improve our service. The moment we realized the HS didn't live up to our standards is the minute we changed it,” said Nick Pittman, transit planning manager for Chapel Hill Transit. 

Evans said the change furthers the mission of Chapel Hill Transit.

“At the end of the day, that's always our goal: to provide reliable and safe transportation,” he said.

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