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Some Off-Campus NCSU Students Get Parking Assist

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RALEIGH — Parking can be a headache whether you are looking for a spot downtown, at the mall or even at school. This year, there is a new commuting possibility for some students who live off campus.

The new bus line is a special arrangement among North Carolina State University, several apartment complexes and the city of Raleigh.

Instead of fighting for parking spaces on campus, the students will be able to hop onto a bus to get to and from classes. A voucher they get from their apartment complex will enable them to hop on board.

The new Centennial Loop will leave N.C. State, travel down Centennial, over to Lake Wheeler, and down Sierra and Lineberry, where several apartment complexes are located.

The route will continue up Trailwood where the bus will pick up more students before heading back to campus via Gorman Street and Avent Ferry Road.

The developers of Melrose, Thistledown and University Woods Apartments put up $160,000 collectively to make the route possible.

Todd Allen, a Raleigh transit planner, says it is a unique program that Capital Area Transit (CAT) has never done before. Allen expects it to be very successful.

Students say it already is, because while there are many pluses to living off campus, getting to and from class easily is not of them.

"I think it's a very good service. A lot of people I know are going to be probably be taking the bus to school because it's a lot easier than paying the gas, with the gas prices going up and everything, than driving every day to and from campus," said student Siabhon Foster.

The Centennial Loop is a temporary route, only scheduled to run for one year.

The public will also be able to take the new CAT route. They will have to pay the normal bus fees.

Buses run Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., stopping approximately every 20 minutes throughout the day.