Walk, Bike, Bus, Carpool, Vanpool, Zimride, Zipcar!
UNC is interested in helping its community members envision and realize alternative modes of moving from place to place. We believe, as many of you do, in reducing the vehicle load around our town and campus:
- for traffic reduction,
- for improved safety and air quality,
- to support active lifestyles,
- and to be able to accommodate growing numbers of students, employees, and visitors.
Alternative modes of transportation — walking, biking, taking the bus, and car and vanpooling — offer important forms of camaraderie and community interaction that are less accessible when one is alone in an automobile.
UNC’s main vehicle for encouraging alternative habits is the Commuter Alternative Program (CAP). Students who live off campus and employees of the university and hospital who choose not to park on campus can join CAP for free!
CAP offers special incentives which are detailed below, but we also want to emphasize that students on campus can also benefit from local transportation options.
Information for new and prospective students:
Congratulations on your acceptance to UNC, and welcome to your new UNC community. Your lifestyle will change in many ways, and we’re here to help you with new, less car-dependent approaches to transportation.
Walking: UNC is a very pedestrian-friendly campus, and you will find that crossing people on your daily stroll is a nice way to get to know fellow students, professors, and other Tar Heels. By North Carolina law, pedestrians have the right-of-way at any crosswalk without a signal. We also encourage students to be alert and safety-conscious when intersecting vehicle and other traffic.
Biking: Keeping a bicycle on campus offers an enjoyable way not only to commute from dormitories to class, but to build contacts in the wider Chapel Hill and Carrboro communities. Whether meeting with local music venues to find a place for your gig, or volunteering at the local YMCA, or eating brunch at a restaurant in town, having a bicycle at the ready helps to expand your horizons into the wider community.
There is a nice bike path which connects Chapel Hill to Carrboro, beginning at the intersection of West Cameron Avenue and S Merrit Mill Rd. There are also an increasing number of bike lanes along major thoroughfares, for which we plan to develop a map shortly.
For freshmen who will be living in Craige, Ehringhaus, and Hinton James dormitories, you have access to free, day-long bicycle checkout under the pilot bike share program Tar Heel Bikes.
For those students bringing their own bikes, please register them with the Department of Public Safety to discourage theft and help in identification in the unfortunate event of bicycle theft. Bicycles can be kept in dorm rooms or locked to the racks adjacent to each dormitory. Across campus, UNC has 495 bike racks, with more to come.
On-campus: The U, NU, and RU buses (operated by Chapel Hill Transit) are campus circulators. Taking over their service at night, the Point to Point (P2P) Express Shuttle connects Franklin Street to South Campus dorms and in between from 7 pm to 3 am. The P2P is available to anyone presenting a valid UNC One Card.
Beyond campus: u buses are free at boarding to everyone. Every bus is equipped with a 2-bike capacity rack, so combine bike and transit to extend your reach even further.
Triangle Transit buses cost $2 a fare ($2.50 for express buses), and can take you to RDU Airport, Southpoint Mall, and other popular destinations further afoot.
Zipcar: This is “wheels when you want them,” like car rental but without having to pass through an agent, and with eight cars conveniently parked around UNC campus. To begin using Zipcar, you first join ($25 membership gets you $35 driving credit) and are sent a Zipcard, which will unlock the cars. You then reserve online for the time period you wish to use a particular car, and off you go. Zipcar rental costs $8.50/hour including gas, insurance, and up to 180 miles per day. This is great for shopping trips with friends to fill up on the essentials, concerts in other cities, visiting friends and family who live off the transit lines, and attending meetings or conferences. Visit zipcar.com/unc or call 1-866-4ZIPCAR to find out more.
Rideshare: Zimride is a private ridesharing network which allows you to offer or search for rides, splitting the cost of gas and enjoying the company of new acquaintances. These could be rides out of town or even on a regular commute. Zimride is the new version of the rideshare bulletin board, where college kids used to post rides home for the holidays. It functions the same way, in that Zimride is closed to the UNC community, so you have the safety of knowing that the people you are riding with are local. Zimride is tied in to Facebook, so you can check if you have mutual friends with the people who will be sharing your ride. For more information, visit zimride.unc.edu. We encourage you to sign up and use Zimride, as the success of such a user-based site depends on the number of active users.
CAP members who choose an alternative transportation option listed below (instead of a parking permit) receive discounts at local restaurants and merchants, a monthly newsletter, important email alerts, and are entered into a monthly drawing!
Alternatives to Parking on Campus:
Triangle Transit: FREE with a UNC GoPass! This pass is offered to CAP members who live outside Chapel Hill Transit’s service area and within Triangle Transit’s service area (pass is mailed after selecting this option during registration). This pass is also accepted on DATA buses in Durham.
Chatham-Pittsboro Express (PX): FREE with a PX pass (mailed after selecting this option during registration).
Chapel Hill Transit: FREE for everyone, everyday!
Free ride-matching through Zimride and ShareTheRideNC.
Bike / Walk
UNC's campus is the perfect place to get around by biking or walking, and bike registration is free!
Park & Ride
Currently, it is free to park and ride Chapel Hill Transit from one of these CAP lots. Beginning August 2013, these lots will no longer be free. However, there will still be many free Park & Ride lots throughout the Triangle.
(Only one of the above options may be selected during CAP registration.)
Zipcars are available to CAP members at a discounted fee of just $10 per year with no application fee! Zipcar provides the ability to get around – for meetings, lunch, or entertainment – without the cost or hassle of having a car on campus. Visit zipcar.com/unc or call 1-866-4ZIPCAR to find out more.
CAP is located within the UNC Public Safety building: