Monday, August 8th was an exciting day- for the first time ever, we now have direct regional bus service to and from Downtown Carrboro! GoTriangle Route 405, which currently runs between Chapel Hill and Durham, will be extended into Carrboro and will provide service during rush hour between Carrboro and Durham. A big crowd was on hand Monday morning to greet the new buses. Here are the key things to know about the new Route 405:
- There will be seven departures from Carrboro to Durham every morning, with the earliest at 5:45 AM and the latest one at 8:41 AM. There will be seven return trips in the evening with departures from Durham to Carrboro between 3:30 pm and 6:30 pm.
- GoTriangle buses will make two stops in Carrboro: one at Collins Crossing/Abbey Ct, and the other at the Weaver St Realty/Jade Palace pair of bus stops downtown.
- Route 405 will provide a direct, one-seat ride to the Duke West campus and Duke Hospital area along Erwin Rd, the American Tobacco Campus, and to downtown Durham.
- The regular cash fare for the bus is $2.25 for a one-way trip. Discounted multi-ride tickets are available, and employees at Duke, American Tobacco (read far down page), and other major employers are eligible for a prepaid GoPass from their employer.
The Schedule as of August 2016:
Carrboro to Durham (morning)
Durham to Carrboro (afternoon)
Prior to Route 405’s extension, the only way to get to Durham by transit in the morning from Carrboro was riding Chapel Hill Transit and then catching Route 405 into Durham. However, the morning train to Charlotte (Piedmont #73) leaves Durham at 7:19 am, and the F, J, and CW routes all don’t start early enough to connect with the 405 in Chapel Hill to make the connection. With 405 beginning in Carrboro, there are now TWO departures from the Jones Ferry/Collins Crossing stop at 5:45 and 6:15 am which both will get you to Durham Station in time to catch the early train. The same two trips also pick up in Downtown Carrboro at Weaver St Realty at 5:48 and 6:18 am, respectively.
Things Carrboro Residents Can Do With Route 405, Part II – Grab Breakfast in Downtown Carrboro and Ride To Duke/Durham With Ease
A trip I have tried to make many times in the past but was too challenging goes like this: I would be headed to Downtown Durham for work, and thus need to transfer from a Chapel Hill Transit bus from my neighborhood in Carrboro to GoTriangle. SInce this switch needed to occur in downtown Chapel Hill, if I wanted to grab breakfast at Weaver St, Neal’s, or anywhere else downtown- I would need to catch three buses to make it work:
- Bus 1: Neighborhood to Downtown Carrboro
- Bus 2: CHT bus from Downtown Carrboro to Downtown Chapel Hill
- Bus 3: GoTriangle bus to Durham
The CHT buses that you can take to make the second trip (CW, J, and F) sometimes have big enough gaps between them between 7 and 8 am that with the old schedules/routes, you’d be rolling the dice that you’ll miss your connection and be late to work in Durham. Route 405 stopping in Carrboro solves this dilemma neatly by eliminating that middle bus trip.
Imagine you live up North Greensboro St near the intersection with Hillsborough Rd, and work at the American Tobacco Campus. The F route leaves N Greensboro at Morningside Drive at 7:38 am and reaches the Century Center stop (across the street from WSM) at 7:42 am. You can take the F bus, and have 30 minutes to get coffee or breakfast on the WSM lawn and then stroll over to the Weaver St Realty stop at 8:10 or so. At 8:14, GoTriangle 405 comes by and reaches Durham Station at 8:55 am, and you walk right into American Tobacco by 9:00 am.
Prefer breakfast in downtown Chapel Hill? Don’t worry, that still works too. Just keep riding any CHT route to Franklin St, get food there, and board 405 at the Carolina Coffee Shop Stop.
Things Carrboro Residents Can Do With Route 405, Part III – Get a Beer With Friends After Work in Downtown Durham
With departures on the half hour from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm, if you work in Downtown Durham, it’s easy to stop by the lawn at Bull McCabe’s, West End Wine bar, or even Bull City Burger or the Pinhook as long as you plan your walking time well. What if everyone wants to go to Fullsteam? No problem. You can catch GoDurham Route 4 right by Fullsteam & MotorCo at 6:17 pm, which will bring you to Durham Station with 5 minutes to spare to switch to GoTriangle 405. You’ll be back at Jade Palace in downtown Carrboro by 7:13 pm.
What About Getting To/From Carrboro By Regional Bus Outside of Rush Hour?
While Route 405 now provides direct access to Carrboro during morning and evening rush hour, you can still travel between Carrboro and Durham during the midday and evening by transferring between Chapel Hill Transit Routes J, CW, F, CPX, or CM- and GoTriangle Route 400. Route 400 covers all of the same stops as Route 405, but makes a few extra stops in Durham near the Patterson Place shopping center. Route 400 was also upgraded this week as midday service went from once an hour to once every 30 minutes. After 7:00 pm, Route 400 runs hourly until the last departure leaves Durham Station at 10:00 pm, getting to the Varsity Theater in Chapel Hill at 10:33 pm.
Route 400 runs every half hour on Saturdays between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm and once every hour on Sundays. Additional Hourly service is provided Saturday evenings between 6:00 and 10:00 pm. View the Route 400 Schedule here.
Biking to Route 405, and Bringing Bikes On Route 405
Like all GoTriangle buses, the Route 405 vehicles have a bike rack that can hold two bikes on the front of each bus. If you’ve never tried to use a bike rack on a bus before, I recommend viewing this 2-minute video from AC Transit in California. The rack they use is exactly the same style as the ones found on GoTriangle and Chapel Hill Transit buses, and the camera angles are really good at showing how it works.
If you find that the bus you want to ride already has two bikes in the rack, and you can’t wait for the next bus, it’s best to lock up your bike and pick it up later in the day. There are lots of convenient bike parking locations in downtown Carrboro- zoom in on the intersection of E Main St and E Weaver St in the map below for bike parking convenient to the Weaver St Realty Bus Stop.
Another tool you can use to make using Route 405 and Chapel Hill Transit even easier to use is the real-time bus locator app made by Transloc, which works on IPhone and Android phones, and can track all seven transit systems in the Triangle.
To learn more about Transloc, check out this video:
Happy riding! That’s all the tips and pointers I have for now. Have questions about some aspect of the service I didn’t cover? Tried planning a trip and aren’t entirely sure that you have the best trip for you? Add a comment below or drop me an email; I’ll see what I can do to help.