Chapel Hill To Offer Free Bus Service
Posted December 27, 2001 6:17 a.m. EST
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Some people in Chapel Hill will soon be finding something extra in their pockets: change.
Starting Jan. 2, bus fares will be free. The towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, along with the University of North Carolina, will pay for the bus service. They hope to reduce traffic, parking problems and air pollution.
Regular riders like Phylicia Diggs said they are glad that they will not have to save their quarters anymore.
"This is a college town, so it is always packed," she said. "Chapel Hill is different than the other places. I just moved from Durham and a lot of places you can't park, so you have to use the bus."
Chapel Hill Transit already has one of the highest ridership percentages in the state. With the fare-free program, they are expecting a 10 to 20 percent jump in the number of people looking for an empty seat.
The money used to pay for the service will not come out of existing tax dollars. UNC is paying the bulk of the cost through student fees and departmental funds.