Chapel Hill Transit Update: Orange County stay at home order, Easter weekend service changes & stop closure
Chapel Hill Transit continues to run Saturday routes and schedules during the Orange County stay at home order. EZ-Rider will offer premium service on Easter Sunday and construction activities will close the bus stop at N. Columbia Street at Rosemary Street.
Chapel Hill Transit maintains modified Routes and Schedules (similar to routes and schedules normally operated on Saturdays) during Orange County’s and the Town of Chapel Hill’s Stay at Home Declaration
The towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro joined Orange County in a Stay at Home Declaration beginning Friday at 6 p.m. in an effort to significantly reduce the spread of the coronavirus. During this declaration, Chapel Hill Transit will maintain modified routes and schedules routes and schedules (similar to normal Saturday operations) including Saturday routes CM, CW, D, FG, JN, T and V.
“Our team members are still hard at work during this pandemic,” said Brian Litchfield, transit director. “We are maintaining this service for customers that must travel to work or for essential needs such as food and supplies. We encourage all other community members to stay home & safe.”
The Stay at Home Declaration beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, March 27 will extend through 5 p.m. Thursday, April 30.
“This order is an unprecedented but necessary step for our community as we all work together to stop the further spread of this dangerous virus,” said Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger. “Our residents always rise to the occasion during challenging times, and we are confident they will again as we face this global health crisis.”
Under the Town’s order, all residents of the Town of Chapel Hill are to remain at home unless you are:
- Going to the doctor or vet (call first to see if you need to be seen or it can wait)
- Grocery shopping for yourself or others (limit to one trip per week or less if possible)
- Going to the pharmacy
- Exercising outdoors (like walking, running, or bicycling, or using greenways and trails; stay at least 6 feet away from the next person)
- Picking up takeout food or using the drive-thru (you can also order delivery)
- Caring for a friend or family member
- Obtaining necessary supplies or services
- Performing permitted business functions
While the stay at home order is in place:
- DO NOT go to work unless you are providing essential services
- Essential services are outlined in Section E Subsection 2 of the order
- DO NOT visit friends and family unless it is urgent
- DO NOT gather in groups in public places
- DO NOT visit people in the hospital, nursing home, or other care facilities
- DO NOT travel, unless essential
The complete text of the County’s Order and the Town’s Order adopting it are available at townofchapelhill.org/coronavirus
Chapel Hill Transit service changes on Good Friday and Easter Sunday
Chapel Hill Transit, will continue running Saturday routes and schedules, except for the weekend NU and U routes, on Good Friday, April 10. EZ Rider’s current service will not change on Good Friday.
On Easter Sunday, April 12, Chapel Hill Transit will not run any routes. EZ Rider will provide premium service, by reservation only.
- Columbia Street and Rosemary Street bus stop closed for construction activities, beginning Tuesday, March 31
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC-DOT) plans to repair the curb and pothole at the northbound bus stop on S. Columbia Street between Rosemary and Franklin streets. The stop will be closed during construction planned to begin, Tuesday, March 31 through Friday, April 3, weather permitting.
This closure will impact the Saturday JN and T routes going northbound. Chapel Hill Transit customers will need to use the next closest stop to board the bus.
For the Saturday JN route, the closest stops are:
- S. Columbia Street at Abernethy Hall and
- Rosemary Street at Pritchard Avenue
For Saturday T route, the closest stops are:
- S. Columbia Street at Abernethy Hall and
- Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. at North Street
Transit agencies trimming service to match ridership needs, further reduce COVID-19 risks
Research Triangle Park, NC (March 27, 2020) – Because many people use multiple bus routes to get around the Triangle, the area’s public transit agencies are working together to cut down on unnecessary trips and reduce risks to customers and bus operators even further as more riders shelter at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Only essential trips should be made on transit now for those needing to get to health care and other critical sector jobs and to access necessities such as food and medical care.
Providing transportation during the pandemic is an essential public service, and each agency is committed to maintaining access for those with jobs at hospitals, senior living facilities, grocery stores, take-out restaurants, gas stations and other locations critical to sustaining society and keeping the public safe.
Starting Monday, March 30:
- GoTriangle will move to Saturday-level service Monday through Friday and Sunday-level service on the weekends. Please find those schedules here. For GoTriangle, this means the agency’s core routes will maintain 30-minute frequencies during the week and go to hourly on the weekends. Also Monday, GoTriangle will suspend service on the WRX, FRX and ZWX.
- GoCary will move to Sunday-level service every day, but add trips to increase the service span from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Please find more information here.
- GoDurham, which already suspended all service after 9:30 p.m., will reduce frequencies Monday through Saturday on Routes 4, 7, 10B and 20 and suspend service on Route 5K. Please find a list of those reductions here.
- Chapel Hill Transit has been running Saturday-level service since March 19 and remains free to the public.
- GoRaleigh plans to move to a weekend schedule with a few exceptions. Routes serving hospitals and other essential facilities (Route 2 Falls of Neuse, Route 4 Rex, Route 15 WakeMed, Route 19 Apollo Heights) will continue to operate with weekday frequencies. Please check goraleigh.org for more information.
- GoWake Access will be available to provide trips for essential activities between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. in areas where GoRaleigh, GoCary and GoTriangle are not operating in Wake County. GoWake Access will waive all fares for riders through April 30. Reservations must be made Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 24 hours in advance of the needed trip. To reserve a trip, please contact GoWake Access Transportation at 919-212-7005.
Given the uncertainty each day brings, transit customers should sign up to receive service alerts based on the routes they use primarily. Sign up for any agency’s alerts at bit.ly/triservicealerts.
All agencies have suspended fares (Chapel Hill Transit is always free) and instituted rear-boarding only except for those with ADA needs to reduce risks for our bus operators. Anyone riding public transit in the face of the shelter-in-place declarations in Wake County, Orange County and the City of Durham should do so only for essential travel as defined by those entities.
Each agency is monitoring ridership on each route and may adjust plans accordingly. Please check bit.ly/gotrianglecovid19 for updates.
As always, please call our Regional Information Center at 919-485-7433 if you have any questions.
Information also is available on Twitter (@goraleighnc, @gotriangle, @godurhamtransit, @chtransit and @waketransit) and on Facebook (@gotriangle, @goraleighnc, @chtransit and @godurhamtransit).
Town of Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill Transit is running a modified schedule Monday through Saturday, outlined below. No fixed route service will be available on Sunday. Chapel Hill Transit is reducing service at the advice of public health officials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
The modified schedule will run Monday through Saturday using the following routes and schedules:
- Saturday CM & CW Route
- Saturday D & FG Route
- Saturday JN & T Route and
- Saturday V Route
- GoTriangle’s 420 Route
- EZ Rider will offer Saturday level service Monday through Saturday, and will operate from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
- No Weekend NU or U route will run.
Learn more about our current service levels at: Covid-19 Update
Chapel Hill Transit is instituting new policies to help encourage social distancing while taking transit, including strict enforcement of the standee line and a new rear boarding policy. People with accessibility needs may still board through the front door. Typically, when you board through the front door, the layout of the bus guides you into close proximity with the transit operator. Boarding through the rear allows passengers the ability to board the bus in a more open space. Chapel Hill Transit also encourages customers to spread out while on the bus and follow CDC approved safety guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
Chapel Hill Transit is committed to the safety of our customers and operators. We have increased vehicle cleaning frequency to ensure each vehicle is cleaned and disinfected daily and hired additional staff to support those efforts.
“We don’t make this decision lightly,” said Brian Litchfield, transit director, “We know that many people in our community rely on our services to get to work, especially doctors, nurses and other staff at the hospitals. We hope this changes in service is short-lived and that we will be able to return to normal service as soon as possible.”
Chapel Hill Transit is closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with the emergency management services, public health officials and our partners at the UNC-Chapel Hill. Community members and Chapel Hill Transit customers should sign up for service alerts and follow us on Twitter to get the most up to date information as more changes may be needed in the future.
Chapel Hill Transit’s administrative offices will be closed to the general public starting Thursday, March 19. Lost and found will be available by appointment. Customers can call 919.969.4901 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where to Get Service Information:
Conditions can change quickly. Get the latest updates on transit service by:
- Visiting our COVID-19 service updates page:
- For EZ Rider Services call 919-969-5544
- Sign up for service alerts
- Twitter (www.twitter.com/chtransit)
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Take advantage of a less-crowded bus and practice social distancing, maintaining at least six feet of distance between other passengers and the operator.
- If you are able, arrive at your bus stop earlier to allow yourself options if the bus you are attempting to catch is more full than you are comfortable.
- Ensure you are practicing good personal hygiene
- Stay home when you are sick, except to seek medical care
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If worse comes to worse, use your elbow or a piece of clothing to avoid contaminating your hands or the air around you
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces
Chapel Hill Transit will adjust service from March 6-15, 2020 for UNC-Chapel Hill’s Spring Break.
Chapel Hill Transit will adjust transit services during UNC-Chapel Hill’s spring break.
- The weekend U and NU routes will not operate beginning Saturday, March 7 and will resume on Sunday, March 15.
- The weekday NU route will not operate Monday, March 9 through Friday, March 13. The weekday NU will resume on Monday, March 16.
- Safe Ride routes will not operate beginning March 6 through March 14. They will resume on Thursday, March 19, 2020.
EZ-Rider will have adjusted service hours on Saturday, March 7 and 14, and Sunday, March 8.
Learn more about Chapel Hill Transit hours of operation and holidays at this link: Hours of Operation & Holiday Calendar
*Safe Ride is a service funded by the UNC-Chapel Hill Student Government for the safety of students. For information on routes and schedules: Safe Ride Program
Public Input Sessions for Possible Changes to Chapel Hill Transit 2020!
Chapel Hill Transit is preparing service changes to begin in August 2020. Staff will be available to discuss these changes at four public events:
- Monday, Feb. 10, from 5-7 p.m. in the Board Room of Carrboro Town Hall
- Wednesday, Feb. 12, UNC Off-Campus Housing Fair from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (UNC students and staff only) in the Great of the UNC Student Union
- Thursday, Feb. 13, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Carolina Springs (residents only)
- Wednesday, Feb 19, from 5-7 p.m. in Room 109 of Carrboro Town Hall
These sessions will not have a formal presentation, but participants will be able to engage with transit staff, review maps and ask questions about the proposals. Input given at sessions will be used to help our planning team to create final route maps and schedules which will be shared again in late spring.
These service changes are products of Chapel Hill’s Short Range Transit Plan, which was made with public input in 2017 and 2018. Service changes are meant to improve service frequency on major transit routes, maintain transit access to the communities we serve, simplify the bus system and improve weekend service, using our existing financial resources.
You can learn more about the short range transit plan and these service changes at: https://www.townofchapelhill.org/town-hall/departments-services/transit/about-chapel-hill-transit/projects/short-range-transit-plan
Chapel Hill Transit
Chapel Hill Transit offers residents a free and dependable way of traveling throughout the Town without the need for a personal automobile. Think of all the gas money that can be saved by using Chapel Hill Transit! Additionally, using Chapel Hill Transit comes with the satisfaction of knowing you have played a role in reducing the automobile emissions that harm our health and contribute to congestion. Even if you live outside of Chapel Hill, there are regional transit systems as well as Park n’Rides on the fringes of Town.
BIKE ON A BUS!
It is easy to place a bike on a bus. If you are not sure what to do, take a look at this quick and easy video!
Bike Month 2014
May 3 – BikeAbility Event – Fire Station #4 Training Grounds, 9 a.m. – Noon, 101 Weaver Dairy Road Extension – Join this event designed to encourage all people to use a bicycle as a way to get around including to and from work. Specifically there will be a display and opportunity for testing bikes for those with special needs. Open to all ages.
May 7 – International Bike to School Day and Chapel Hill Bike to Work Day – Students, parents, professionals are all encouraged to cycle/walk during peak travel hours of the day rather than using a car!
May 8 – UNC’s Bike to Work with Heels Event, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Come by the Beach Cafe and enjoy time with UNC Staff regarding cycling to and from work and best strategies for using every way to get there EXCEPT by car!
May 12 – Special Bike Store Discounts – Available All Day
May 13 – Carrboro’s Bike Breakfast Workshop, 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., Armadillo Cafe Parking Lot. Join in the fun for getting your bike ready to use for cycling safety and ways to get to and from work. Gather information about various bike advocacy groups, wrenching tents, free coffee and hot biscuits and great giveaways promoting cycling to and from work!
May 14 – Free Bike Inspections at Bike Shops in Chapel Hill and Carrboro
May 16 – National Bike to Work Day
May 16 – Switching Gears Bike Night– 6 pm to 9 pm The Plaza at 140 West Franklin Street – Night for cyclists of all ages and especially those considering cycling to and from work in the next 12 months! Join the DSI Comedy group to enjoy bike humor and events including Gold Sprints, Bikes on Bus Workshop and Timing Competition, Children’s safety events, helmet decorating, slow races, duck racing and MORE!
Bike Alliance Chapel Hill and Carrboro’s Bike Coalition will have cycling groups meeting at outer lying areas in Chapel Hill and Cycle-In to The Plaza together!
Friday’s Through June 27, Live & Local – The Plaza at 140 West Event Series: April 25th begins a series of Friday night concerts and entertainment at The Plaza at 140 West Franklin in Chapel Hill. All Friday nights we encourage folks to Walk/Bike – In and join the crowd for this great set of entertainers each Friday night through the end of June!
Bike Coffee Break Days – all month there will be Coffee Stands that will pop up in the downtown area. Stations will encourage the use of alternative transportation for the 1st time OR to be incorporated into daily life on a regular basis! Joe – The Switching Gears Duck will be offering a Free-Cuppa-Joe (sponsored by several local coffee shops) and be available for selfies that can be posted to his Facebook Go Joe page!
Chapel Hill Transit System Map
Please click on the image for links to other maps.
Plan Your Next Trip
- Go Triangle Trip Planner–for all of your local and regional transit needs.
- Nextbus–Up to date wait times for all Chapel Hill Transit lines.