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The Daily Tar Heel

Chapel Hill, University serves community with free transit

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

Chapel Hill Transit is a free service provided throughout the Town of Chapel Hill, operating 21 bus lines on weekdays and 9 on weekends.

Though most lines run through downtown Chapel Hill and the UNC Campus, there are many routes and services that reach as far west as Carrboro and as far north as I-40. 

There are several apps that can be used to track Chapel Hill Transit buses, including the Transit app, Google and Apple Maps and individual route-specific live maps accessible through the Chapel Hill Transit Website. 

Chapel Hill Transit vehicles are handicap-accessible, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Many buses have extendable ramps available and provide priority seating to those who need it.

U, RU and NU Routes

The U bus, which runs from 6:45 a.m. to 7:56 p.m. on weekdays and 10:20 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. on weekends, is one of the main bus routes taken by students to get around campus. There are stops along Franklin Street, Columbia Street, Manning Drive, Stadium Drive and Raleigh Street, creating a perimeter around the outer edges of the UNC Campus.

The U bus is often used to travel to class or Franklin Street from South Campus. Some take it to get their groceries at Target or to dine off-campus at restaurants like Spicy 9, Raising Canes or Sup Dogs. 

The RU, which runs from 7 a.m. to 8:20 p.m. on weekdays only, is another popular bus route for students. The RU has stops along Cameron Avenue — which bisects McCorkle Place and the Quad, also known as Polk Place — as well as Ridge Road, all the way down to Skipper Bowles Drive and back up Manning Drive. 

The RU can be helpful in reaching classes in the FedEx Global Education Center, which is located apart from other common instructional buildings.

The NU bus runs from Estes Drive down Hillsborough Street — which turns into Raleigh Street — across South Road and forms a circle around South Campus with a lower boundary near the UNC Medical Center.

Late night services

The P2P Express and Baity Hill Shuttle are fare-free shuttles provided by UNC and can be tracked through the TransLoc app. The P2P follows a similar route to the U bus, but travels along Franklin Street and reaches Granville Towers. It runs every day from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., every 20 minutes.

The Baity Hill Shuttle does not stop by Granville Towers. Instead of circling around the South Campus residence halls, it runs down Mason Farm Road to the Baity Hill Graduate and Family Housing residential community. 

The Baity Hill Shuttle runs Monday through Saturday from 7 p.m. through 3 a.m., every 30 minutes, and runs on-demand every Sunday through the TransLoc app.

Off-campus routes

Routes that extend north of the UNC campus include the HS, NS and T. Routes that reach Carrboro include the CW, CM, J, F and JFX. Routes that reach Chatham County include the CCX. Eastern-reaching routes include the G, CL, D, F, A, N, S and FCX routes. 

Other bus systems 

The GoTriangle system serves the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill-Cary area, as well as parts of Wake Forest, Zebulon and Holly Springs. The GoTriangle bus can be a great way to visit friends in other cities, but will begin requiring fares starting July 1, 2024.


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