The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Column: The official student guide to buses

Passengers ride the bus around the UNC campus on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023.

So, you’re a new student and you don’t have — or don’t want —  a car, but you need to get places. Luckily for you, the Triangle has a robust bus network. Here's what you need to know to get around.

First: the basics. All GoTriangle buses are fare-free through June 2024, and the blue Chapel Hill Transit buses are fare-free permanently. All you need to do is wait at the stop and hop on. Once on the bus, pull the yellow cord on the wall as you approach your stop, and the driver will let you off. 


Chapel Hill buses are ADA-compliant and have ramps for wheelchairs and other mobility devices, although some community members have had issues related to the accessibility of Chapel Hill Transit. 

Drivers will assist if needed and the seats at the front of the buses are reserved priority seating for those with accessibility needs. In addition, Chapel Hill Transit runs a paratransit service called EZ Rider for those unable to use the fixed route buses. Those eligible for EZ Rider service can reserve door-to-door accessible transit anywhere in Chapel Hill, Carrboro or within three-quarters of a mile of a fixed Chapel Hill Transit route. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis and you can find the application here


This guide gives you an overview of the routes you’ll probably need or want to take and their timings, but you can use Google Maps to route your trip. Other apps like Chapel Hill Transit and MoveIt will also let you track your bus and give updates on any service changes. 

Chapel Hill Transit

Chapel Hill Transit runs 31 routes across Chapel Hill and Carrboro but you’ll likely only need these six as a student: U, RU, NU, NS, J, D

The U/Campus Shuttle: This route runs every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. On weekends, it runs every 25 minutes from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Key locations on the route are Franklin Street, the Student Union and South Campus. 

This is your best option for getting to Franklin Street, as well as to and from North Campus for classes. 

The RU/Reverse Campus Shuttle: This route runs every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays only. Key locations on the route are South Campus, the FedEx Global Education Center and directly in front of the Old Well. 

This route is very similar to the U, with notable differences of stopping by the class buildings along West Cameron Avenue and not stopping on Franklin Street or by the Student Union. 

The NU: This route runs from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on weekdays, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends. The timing is inconsistent on weekdays due to pandemic service cuts so check to see when the next bus is scheduled. The route does a loop around South Campus and the UNC Hospital before running up North Campus to the RR Lot. Unless you have a car parked in the RR lot you likely won’t need to take it. 

The NS: This route runs every 8 minutes 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and every 80 minutes, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., on weekends.

The route goes south down Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and stops on the west edge of campus and by the Craige Parking Deck before continuing to Southern Village Park and Ride. 

This bus is best used for getting from Franklin to South Campus in a pinch or when trying to go up MLK Jr. Boulevard.  

The J: This route runs every 15 minutes from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and every 80 minutes from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. Key locations on the route are West Franklin Street, downtown Carrboro and the west edge of campus. 

This bus is best for getting from campus to Carrboro, or to businesses down West Franklin Street such as Al’s Burger Shack or Rumors Boutique. 

The D: This route runs every 20 minutes from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and every hour from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. The route will take you from UNC Hospitals to Old Durham Road, stopping by campus on South Columbia Street. It's most useful for getting from campus to shopping centers like Eastgate Crossing, as well as the Chapel Hill Library and hidden gems like Caffe Driade. 


To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

This transit agency runs the intercity bus routes across the Triangle (Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh) metro area. 

400/405: This route has two buses that run it, which link between Chapel Hill and Durham. The only difference between them is the 405 stops in Carrboro and only runs during “peak hours” on the weekdays — while the 400 runs all week and only stops in Chapel Hill. Take the 400/405 from Carolina Coffee Shop if you want to go to downtown Durham (this is a good idea, it's got a lot to offer.) 

The route ends at Durham's transit center where you can catch a GoDurham Bus (also free) across the city or grab a hotdog from HawkDogs, a stand next to the transit center. You can also take it to shopping centers such as Eastgate Crossing. 

CRX:  Take this route from South Road in front of the Student Stores to get to Raleigh. It runs from UNC’s campus to the GoRaleigh Transit Center where you can catch a ride across the city or to our little bro N.C. State. 

800/805: This route will take you to the regional transit center. It stops on campus at South Road in front of the Student Recreation Center. From there you can take other GoTriangle buses to Raleigh-Durham International Airport, N.C. State and Cary. You can also take the 800/805 directly to the Streets at Southpoint, a popular local mall. 

Other buses 

Late Night (The P2P): The P2P, or as some call it the “party to party” bus, is the University-run late-night bus. It runs from every 20 minutes 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. seven days a week. The route goes around campus stopping at nearly all dorms, Granville Towers and Franklin Street. Expect loud music and drunk students on weekends (sometimes weekdays too).

Robertson Express: This free shuttle runs every 30 minutes from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on weekdays and hourly from noon to 9:30 p.m. on weekends. It runs between Morehead Planetarium and Duke (puke).


@dthopinion |