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

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.

  1. 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 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

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 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).

Final Input Requested on W. Franklin Street Lane Reallocation

The Town of Chapel Hill has revised designs for W. Franklin St. and needs your input by March 30. There are two options posted on the project website for review and instructions for providing feedback.

Project Background: The NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT), which owns and maintains all of Franklin Street, will be resurfacing W. Franklin Street from Columbia Street to Merritt Mill Road this summer. As part of the resurfacing project, there is an opportunity to restripe the street to make more room for on street parking, bike lanes, and other amenities, while improving safety for all users.

For more information, contact Sarah Poulton at or 919-969-5009.


Repairs scheduled for the eastern end of Morgan Creek Trail March 23-28

Parks and Recreation will close the eastern end of the Morgan Creek Trail and all of Merritt’s Pasture on March 23 for repairs. We expect the work will take up to five days to complete. The Morgan Creek Trail will remain open from the trail head on NC 54 to the Fan Branch Trail connector.

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation will close the eastern end of the Morgan Creek Trail and all of Merritt’s Pasture on March 23 for scheduled repairs.  We expect the work will take up to five days to complete.

The Morgan Creek Trail will remain open from the trail head and parking lot off of Fordham Blvd and NC 54 to the Fan Branch Trail connector and 1.6 mile Fan Branch Trail. For safety reasons, we ask everyone to honor the closure area until the work has been completed.

If you have any questions please contact Marcia Purvis at  

While focusing on our ongoing COVID-19 response, the Town of Chapel Hill has closed our Parks and Recreation facilities, including parks, dog parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, tennis, volley ball and pickleball courts. All indoor recreation and aquatic facilities are closed.  All recreation programs are canceled until further notice. 

The Town of Chapel Hill’s decision to close all Parks and Recreation facilities was not made lightly. We understand the desire to get outside or out of the home to enjoy this early spring weather.  Reduced or non-mandatory functions during these events seek to protect public and employee safety.

Our greenways and cemeteries remain open. While spending more time at home, there’s more time to get outside or take a walk. Please use our social distancing  guide as you enjoy the outdoors with others.

For more Information available at 

Chapel Hill Transit Modifying Schedule

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:

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:

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:

Riding Tips:

  • 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