North Carolina State Fair

No need to drive; transit alternatives exist for fairgoers

Posted October 5, 2010
Updated October 16, 2010

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— As people make preparations to attend the N.C. State Fair, Oct. 14-24, fair officials  reminding them about the alternatives to driving and parking at the fairgrounds.

Raleigh-area park-and-ride bus service is provided by Capital Area Transit. For the cost of $4 round-trip, riders get a $10 coupon book good at any Subway restaurant, while supplies last.

CAT buses will operate from north Raleigh and Cary every 20 to 30 minutes from 8:30 a.m. to midnight each day of the fair. The exception is Thursday, Oct. 14, when buses will operate from 2:30 p.m. to midnight.

In north Raleigh, follow the green State Fair signs to the CAT park-and-ride lot at the ITB Holdings Building at the corner of Wake Forest and Six Forks roads, just south of the Interstate 440 Beltline, exit 10.

In Cary, follow the green State Fair signs from I-40 exit 290 or exit 291 to the CAT park-and-ride lot at the WakeMed Soccer Park off East Chatham Street near the Raleigh/Cary border.

In downtown Raleigh, look for the blue State Fair signs to catch the CAT bus. The route travels along Morgan, Edenton and Hillsborough streets, and operates from 7 a.m. to midnight each day of the Fair. The exception is Thursday, Oct. 14, when downtown buses will operate from 1 p.m. to midnight.

Passengers with disabilities and seniors citizens 65 and older pay a reduced rate of $2. Children under 40 inches tall ride free with a paying passenger. Exact change is required.

CAT bus riders will be dropped off and picked up outside Gate 1 of the fairgrounds, along Hillsborough Street.

Bus transportation from Chapel Hill and RTP is available on weekends from Triangle Transit.

In northern Chapel Hill, Triangle Transit will offer a park-and-ride lot on Eubanks Road, one-half mile west of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard/N.C. Highway 86. Buses will depart for the Fair on the hour from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

In Research Triangle Park, take the park-and-ride service from the Triangle Transit Regional Transit Center on Slater Road near the Sheraton Imperial Hotel. Buses will depart for the Fair at 30 minutes past the hour from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sundays.

Regular fare for Triangle Transit buses is $5 round-trip, and $2.50 round-trip for passengers with disabilities. Children age 12 and younger ride free. Exact change is required.

Triangle Transit bus riders will be dropped off and picked up at Gate B of Carter-Finley Stadium, near Gate 8 of the fairgrounds.

The Durham Area Transit Authority offers park-and-ride service daily from downtown Durham.

DATA will operate shuttles from the Durham Station on West Pettigrew Street. Buses will depart on the hour from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The exception is Thursday, Oct. 14, when bus service to the Fair will begin at 3 p.m.

Regular fare for DATA bus service is $2 round-trip, and $1 round-trip for passengers with disabilities. Seniors citizens 65 and older and children age 12 and younger who are under 60 inches tall ride free. The TRANSPASS and GoPass programs will not be valid for State Fair shuttles, but a discounted round-trip fare of $1 is available for riders with a DATA ID or Medicare card.

DATA bus riders will be dropped off and picked up at Gate 10 of the Fairgrounds, near the intersection of Blue Ridge and Trinity roads.

Fairgoers east of Raleigh can take advantage of the new Garner park-and-ride lot, operated by McLaurin Parking Company. This lot is located at the corner of South Wilmington Street and Chapanoke Road near the Tryon Road/South Wilmington Street intersection. Buses will depart on the hour between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays only during the Fair.

Regular fare for Garner park-and-ride buses is $4 round-trip, with a reduced round-trip fare of $2 for passengers with disabilities and senior citizens over 65. Children under 40 inches tall ride free with a paying passenger. Exact change is required.

Riders will be dropped off and picked up outside Gate 1 of the fairgrounds, along Hillsborough Street.

Fairgoers west of the Triangle can take the Amtrak train to the fair.

The Northbound Carolinian (train No. 80) leaves Charlotte at 7:30 a.m., and stops at Kannapolis, Salisbury, High Point, Greensboro, Burlington, Durham, State Fairgrounds and Raleigh stations. The train will arrive at the Blue Ridge Road stop around 10:49 a.m. The Southbound Carolinian (train No. 79) departs from the fairgrounds for the return trip at 4:56 p.m.

To make reservations, visit www.bytrain.org or call 1-800-USA-RAIL and use fare code NSF. Fare for a one-way ticket varies depending on where riders catch the train. Discounts are available for senior citizens, children, college students and active military.

Amtrak riders will be dropped off at the intersection of Blue Ridge Road and Hillsborough Street near Gate 12 of the fairgrounds.

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