Chapel Hill Transit

Chapel Hill Transit Public Input Workshop

Chapel Hill Transit invites public participation in developing a strategic and financial plan to guide growth, development and investment for the transit system. Two identical public workshops are scheduled:

  • Thursday, March 6, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.-Carrboro Town Hall (Board Room)
  • Monday, March 10, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.-Chapel Hill Public Library (Meeting Room A)

The meetings will be structured in an open house format with small group discussions. Attendees will be able to view exhibits and provide feedback between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Presentations will be made at 4:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. for a plan overview and next steps.

Since 2002, Chapel Hill Transit ridership has doubled to about seven million riders annually, its fleet has expanded to 99 vehicles, and service hours have increased 30 percent. As demand continues to grow, the system faces challenges to maintaining or enhancing current levels of service as funding levels plateau and costs rise. Locally, transit continues to respond to the travel needs of the millennial generation and older adults while also supporting community goals. The development of a strategic and financial plan is an important step in protecting previous investments and setting a course of action for the future growth.

This strategic planning process is among the projects of DESIGN 2020, the implementation phase of Chapel Hill 2020, the community's comprehensive plan. It supports the theme of "Getting Around" and the goal to create a comprehensive transportation system. The planning effort also addresses the top two concerns expressed by residents in the 2013 Community Survey -- 1. Overall flow of traffic and congestion and 2. How well the Town is preparing for the future.

Watch for more outreach events, including web-based activities that will occur throughout the public planning process. Learn more at

The strategic and financial plan is being developed by Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, Inc. Nelson\Nygaard is an internationally recognized firm committed to developing transportation systems that promote vibrant, sustainable, and accessible communities. Nelson\Nygaard recognizes that transportation is not an end by itself but a platform for achieving broader community goals of mobility, equity, economic development, and healthy living. Founded by two women in 1987, Nelson\Nygaard has grown from its roots in transit planning to a full-service, award-winning transportation firm with offices across the United States.

Chapel Hill Transit is the public transportation provider that serves Chapel Hill, Carrboro and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For complete information about CHT services, schedules, route changes or directions to the nearest CHT stop, visit, email or call a CHT customer service representative at 919-969-4900(press 1).


Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 4:30pm to 6:30pm


Carrboro Town Hall (Board Room), 301 W Main St, Carrboro, NC

Wake county just isn't crowded enough to support rail transit outside experts say

The panelists said Wake County was not likely to attract the federal funding it would need for a light rail line, and it doesn’t have a dense downtown employment center that would support rush-hour commuter trains.

“It’s a mass mode,” Polzin said. “And you need mass to make it work cost-effectively."

But Chapel Hill is going to bet $30 million (with Durham) that we could use for other transit on getting federal and state funding?  Now that's something worth ranting about!

Park and Ride Fees: Disincentivizing Transit Use?

Tonight, the Chapel Hill Town Council is expected to enact fees on users of their park and ride lots. This fee is in response to UNC’s decision to start charging at their own park and ride lots. Leaving Town-owned park and ride lots free would create a traffic nightmare, so the Town is trying to start their own permit program. I’m sure that the extra revenue that will be generated from this fee is also a consideration, especially in a tight budget year.

While most people (75% by CHT estimates) who use the park and ride lots are affiliated with UNC, there is a sizable minority who do not use the park and ride to travel to campus. UNC students and employees will pay for their permit through UNC (because of taxing and payroll deduction issues), and that money will then be given to the Town. Non-affiliated users will purchase their permits directly from the Town. The resolution being considered tonight sets the fee at $250/year, or about $1/weekday.

I understand the importance of implementing the fee, but there are two major issues that have not been addressed:

CHTC Makes Buses a Limited Public Forum

In a 5-2 vote, the Chapel Hill Town Council tonight reaffirmed Chapel Hill Transit (CHT)’s bus advertising policy with minor adjustments. The policy, which was technically a draft that had been erroneously enforced by staff, makes town buses a “limited public form,” and prohibits advertising that is “disparaging, disreputable or disrespectful.” The main debate of the evening centered around subjective terms like “disparaging” and “disrespectful” would be interpreted by staff. Council Members Eastrom and Czajkowski were the two dissenting votes. Council Member Pease was absent.

The Council also approved resolutions limiting the number of ads with the same message from the same source that can appear on a single bus and allowing staff to place disclaimers with bus ads stating that they do not represent the views of the town government.

Chapel Hill Transit Partners Committee weighs in on bus advertising

The Transit Partners, made up of representatives from the Carrboro Board of Alderfolks, UNC, and the Chapel Hill Town Council, met this morning to talk about options for allowing ads on the Chapel Hill Transit buses. After some discussion about the 5 options in front of them (from not allowing any ads to declaring the bus advertising space a public forum, greatly limiting acceptable ad restrictions), all members agreed, though a vote was not taken, to put forth Option 5, which would allow political and religious ads on Chapel Hill Transit buses with the, somewhat worrisome, caveat that the ads cannot be "offensive".

The Chapel Hill Town Council will discuss this recommendation when they again take up the bus ads issue on December 3.



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