GoTriangle, the public regional transit provider, is updating its short-range transit plans and is looking for input from Chapel Hill/Carrboro residents and everyone in the service area (Hillsborough, Durham, Cary, Raleigh, and points in between). Read below for more and learn additional details and provide feedback on the GoForward webpage. The deadline for feedback is this Sunday, November 12.

According to GoTriangle, the goal of the Short-Range Transit Plan is to adapt to changes in travel behaviors since the pandemic started, and to make the bus easier to use. It is also a roadmap for implementing some of the funding in the Durham County and Orange County transit plans (Chapel Hill Transit and Orange County transit use the bulk of the funding in the Orange County Transit Plan).

GoTriangle reports that there has been a decline in ridership on the bus routes that only run during the weekday morning and afternoon rush hours, while bus routes that run throughout the day have been performing better. Unlike the rush-hour trips, which typically just serve commuters, the all-day routes serve travel needs such as going to school, doctor’s visits, shopping, and jobs that don’t fit the normal 9-5 workday. These all-day trips make up about 79 percent of total bus ridership.

There are some important changes that impact routes serving Carrboro/Chapel Hill and Orange County. Some of the key proposals include:

  • Additional service, every 15 minutes, on Route 400 (connecting Carrboro/Chapel Hill and Durham) during much of the day, with 30-minute service later on weekday evenings (until 9 pm) and on Sunday until 7 pm. Some stops in Durham would be removed to maintain service every 15 minutes.
  • Route 800 currently connects UNC and the medical center to the Regional Transit Center in Durham along I-40, with a stop at Southpoint Mall. (At the Regional Transit Center, you can catch buses to RDU Airport, Raleigh, and Durham.) The proposed change would take Route 800 off I-40; instead, it would use NC 54, and stop in the Research Triangle Park all day. (This would make trips to catch a flight at RDU from Chapel Hill take longer.)
  • Route 805 would become an all-day route and connect UNC and Southpoint with stop at Woodcroft, Jordan High School, and Hope Valley Commons,
  • Route CRX would have some significant changes. Today it starts in downtown Chapel Hill, going up MLK Jr. Blvd to the Eubanks Road Park and Ride, and then jumps onto I-40 with stops at NC State and downtown Raleigh. Under the proposed changes, it would start in downtown Chapel Hill and travel along NC 54/Raleigh Road to a new park and ride near I-40 before continuing on to Raleigh. It would no longer start at Eubanks Road, and so existing riders along MLK Jr. Blvd. would need to take a separate connecting bus.

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Geoff Green, AICP lives in Chapel Hill. In his day job he's a practicing urban planner; in his spare time he rides his electric bike around town and advocates for improved facilities so that everyone can...