Does this bus go to Durham?

Chapel Hill residents may soon have the opportunity to hop on one of the town’s fare-free buses and take a trip to Durham as the result of a proposal to revise several routes along U.S. 15-501.

The route modifications will allow Chapel Hillians to transfer to a Durham Area Transit Authority bus and tool on into Durham and Duke Hospitals for further adventures. The transfer point has not been set yet, but the choice is between Patterson Place and New Hope Commons.

The Chapel Hill Transit bus drivers surely would prefer to stop at Patterson Place. It has a spacious parking area that was designed to accommodate park-and-ride functions as well as a transit stop. Trying to get into New Hope Commons is daunting at best – long waits at stop lights, wacky traffic patterns and a lot of vehicles to contend with – there’s a reason they call it “No Hope Commons.” I can’t imagine having to drive that route over and over each day. Ought to be a medal or combat pay for those drivers.

The plan is for Chapel Hill Transit to realign its CL, D and Saturday DM routes. The CL route would only serve areas west of U.S. 15-501 and would extend the route through Pinegate Apartments and to the edge of Eastowne. The D Route would extend to New Hope Commons or Patterson Place and would only serve areas east of U.S. 15-501. The Saturday DM Route would also extend to New Hope Commons.

Of course, folks will have to pay to ride the DATA buses, so take some coin with you if you’re heading to Durham. DATA fares run from 25 cents for students to $1 for adults. Some youths and senior citizens can ride for free.

A public meeting is scheduled for March 24 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Chapel Hill Bible Church. That would be the time for Chapel Hill residents to voice their views. Recommendations and approval of the recommendations will be made by June 30. The service changes would take place in mid-August. If you feel like driving to Durham, there’s a public meeting March 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Durham Station, 515 W. Pettigrew St.

–Don Evans

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1 Comment

  1. Bill

     /  March 17, 2010

    What an excellent idea! Now we can take a free bus to do all of our shopping in Durham!