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New Chatham Transit route links Siler City to Chapel Hill

Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009

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Pittsboro, NC - Chatham Transit Network has announced changes to its services to provide a set weekday schedule for the public to get to and from Siler City, Pittsboro, Fearrington Village and Chapel Hill, effective August 24.

“Our cross county route builds on the new Chapel Hill Transit route between Chapel Hill and Pittsboro by using many of the same bus stops, but different hours of the day,” said Dale Olbrich, director of the Chatham Transit Network (CTN). The two systems do not connect, but do share some of the same stops.

He added that “this has been a great opportunity to move toward a fixed route to serve the general public, since we can use several of the same bus stops. However, our stops in Chapel Hill include the Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) at UNC Hospitals instead of the UNC Parking Deck.”

From any of the stops in Chapel Hill, riders can connect with the rest of bus services around the university and Chapel Hill.

The new Chatham Transit Network Cross County Route offers three schedule options, leaving Siler City at 7 am, 11 am, or 3 pm. It takes approximately 75 minutes to go from the Wal-Mart in Siler City to the ACC at UNC Hospitals. The trip is nearly 90 minutes to go all the way to the State Employees Credit Union in Chapel Hill.

For the return trip, the optional departures from the ACC at UNC Hospitals are 8:15 am, 12:25 pm and 4:15 pm. See the schedule chart for more details.

“To be sure that you have a seat on the bus, we encourage you to call 542-5136 by noon the preceding day to make a reservation,” Olbrich said. “Those with reservations get first priority.”

He advises arriving at the stop at least five minutes ahead of time. The buses will wait three minutes for riders and then will move on to the next stop.

The cost is $3 each way, regardless of how many stops you travel. Exact change is required. However, Chatham Transit Network will accept the monthly Chapel Hill Transit passes that can be purchased for $65 at Pittsboro Town Hall, the Piggly Wiggly on East Street in Pittsboro and Chapel Hill Town Hall.

Lowe’s Home Improvement in Pittsboro offers a free park-and-ride let where commuters can leave their vehicles. The other stops do not provide parking space for commuters.

Olbrich said that the cost of the route is subsidized by a federal transportation grant that comes to the network through the NC Department of Transportation. “This is not the same federal grant that helps fund the Chapel Hill Transit route to Pittsboro, but it is one we qualify for as a designated Community Transportation Program.”

Olbrich said that Chatham Transit Network will continue to offer other services. “People can reserve a van and driver for group destinations and we continue to provide special human services transportation for the Council on Aging, Health Department, Social Services Department and other agencies.”

A portion of the network’s federal stimulus grant has been designated for the county’s Sustainable Development Communities Department to hire a mobility manager focus on countywide transportation collaboration, including expansion of public transit to other parts of the county.

“We do have other transit providers in the county, but they do not provide general public transportation. Hopefully, this partnership with Chapel Hill Transit is the first step in building an expanded network for residents in Chatham County.”

For additional information about Chatham Transit Network routes and services, contact a customer service representative at 919-542-5136.

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New Chatham Transit route links Siler City to Chapel Hill

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