Student Guide to Chapel Hill Transit
By Tamara Royster, Summer 2022 Marketing Intern
You may have noticed the Chapel Hill Transit buses around town. I know there are some students who don’t know anything about riding and might be intimidated to ask. As a seasoned patron of Chapel Hill Transit, I thought it would be a good idea to share my knowledge with all of you as well as some tricks!
Chapel Hill Transit buses are free to ride! You just hop on and that’s it! Masks are required but there are usually free ones available at the front and back entrances. The yellow cord next to the windows can be pulled to signal the driver that you want to get off at the next stop. If you don’t hear a voice that says “stop requested” after pulling the yellow cord, you might need to go up to the driver to let them know. I always like to say “thank you” to the drivers when I get off of a bus. Driving a huge bus full of people safely and for long periods of time can be difficult, so I always like to let them know they’re appreciated.
The U + You!
One of the most popular bus routes is the U. It goes in a circle and has stops at South Campus, the Student Union, Carolina Coffee Shop, and the Morehead Planetarium! The popularity of the U route does lead to it being full at peak times. There may be times when the bus reaches full capacity, and you cannot get a seat unless you show up to the bus stop early. Make sure you leave plenty of time for traveling to class in case the bus is full.
RU A Pro?
Another popular route is the RU. It basically goes the opposite of the U route although there are some differences. The RU does not have any stops on Franklin Street, instead it has stops on East Cameron Avenue. The RU can also get pretty busy at peak times, so make sure you have plenty of time to get to class before riding. The RU runs Monday-Friday so I would recommend taking the U route on weekends.
NU Places to Go!
The NU goes off campus and one of its major destinations is the RR lot. Many students park at this lot and take the NU to get to campus. There are also stops at some off-campus apartments along Hillsborough Street. The NU is a quicker way to get to the Public Safety bus stop from the Student Union than the U. The U stops in front of Hinton James and the Dean Dome before going to Public Safety, while the NU heads straight to the UNC Hospitals after leaving the Union. I also use it to get to Fetzer Gym, Student Stores, or Lenoir from Public Safety.
Tips & Tricks
The U and RU can get full quickly, but there are other buses that some students may not know. One of my favorite tricks is to take the FCX from Public Safety to Fetzer Gym. It’s a quick way for me to get to the Union in a pinch!
Bus schedules change for big events such football and basketball games, and other events around Chapel Hill. Make sure to plan ahead if there is anything important going on around town. The buses can also get caught in traffic too so watch out if you need to get somewhere around 9am or 5pm on weekdays.
As of this writing, real time bus tracking is not available. You can download pdf’s of every bus route at the Town of Chapel Hill website. There are also printed versions of every route in the Student Union next to the Information Desk and on the Chapel Hill Transit Buses as well.
Those are the bus routes that most students use, but there are so many more that take you all over Chapel Hill and Carrboro. You can also ride the green GoTriangle buses, which take you to Durham, Cary, and Raleigh. GoTriangle buses are fare free until June 2023. I highly encourage you to explore these options for yourselves!