Transit changes mark new direction for future

August 23, 2010

As the new academic year gets underway, students, faculty and staff will see signs of a new direction for Duke Parking & Transportation Services.

Enhancements introduced during the summer include a new online tracking tool called DuTrack that follows the location of Duke buses on their routes, and the new fare-free Bull City Connector bus between Duke and downtown Durham. Parking and Transportation Services has also spent the summer rethinking busing routes to make better use of Duke's resources and those of the Durham Area Transit Authority.

 "We've been looking in the rear view mirror too long," said Sam Veraldi, who became the director of the department in May. "We've been doing things a certain way just because that's the way we've always done them. We're looking ahead now, focusing on the future to take advantage of technology and align our resources with those in the community to run a more efficient and eco-friendly operation."

The change in bus routes will help facilitate the movement of about 3 million passengers each year while taking steps to reduce carbon emissions as part of Duke's target of becoming a climate-neutral campus by 2024.

"We have an immediate goal of reducing transportation-related greenhouse gases by 6 percent by 2012," Veraldi said. "Every small step we can take to reduce redundancies and become more efficient will help us meet that goal."

To improve efficiency of Duke's bus service, routes are being adjusted effective Tuesday, August 24. The major changes include:  

  • C1 East-West will continue as the main link between East and West campuses. Six times a day, during class change hours, the route will be extended to Towerview Drive and Science Drive (C1 CC). Between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., some C1 buses will also include a stop at Smith Warehouse (C1/Smith). As a result of these changes, the C1 East-West route will replace C3 and C6 routes.
  • C2 weekday route will extend its hours to operate from 7:15 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Wednesday, 7:15 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Saturday, and 8:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday. This route links East and West Campuses with Central Campus (including stops on Swift Avenue, Alexander Avenue, Flowers Drive and Anderson Street). As a result of the extended hours, the C2 route will replace the C4 route.
  • The H3 bus will no longer operate between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Riders wanting to get from Duke Hospital to remote parking on Hillsborough Road can take the H5 to Erwin Square, or the Data #11 to Hillsborough Road (fare required).
  • The H5 shuttle, which provides service from 705 Broad St. to Hock Plaza on Erwin Road, has been modified to extend down Anderson and Campus Drive to include a stop at Duke Chapel. The shuttle, which will run from 7:29 a.m. - 5:45 p.m. on Monday through Friday, will replace the C6 route.

Information on all Duke buses, including maps and timetables for weekday, weekend, spring/fall break schedules is available on the Duke Parking and Transit website.

The website also includes a link to DuTrack, the student-developed GPS-based tool that displays real-time locations of buses on all campus routes. "By making it more convenient to catch the bus, we hope to encourage ridership atnd reduce the number of car trips around campus," Veraldi said.

Duke community members are also encouraged to use the new fare-free Bull City Connector bus, which provides service every 15-20 minutes connecting Duke University and downtown Durham, and links to all other DATA routes at the Durham Station. Under an agreement between Duke and the City of Durham, Duke provided matching funds so the city could receive a federal grant to buy the new hybrid-diesel buses. Duke will also contribute toward annual operating costs of the service.

"The Bull City Connector partnership allows us to meet a demand that we had not previously been able to serve: getting students downtown and employees who work downtown to campus," Veraldi said. "It opens up all sorts of opportunities for students and other members of the Duke community."

For more information about buses and other alternative transportation options at Duke, visit the Duke Parking and Transit website.