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Bus Service Connects Duke, UNC Campuses

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DURHAM — Travel between Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill is now a little easier.

Duke and UNC officially launched a new bus service Friday to connect the two schools.

Just 10 miles separate the college campuses, but for many students, that can seem like a world away. That is no longer the case, thanks to a new bus that connects the schools with one short ride.

"I've used it since day one and it's fabulous. The TTA bus takes a little bit too long, but this bus is direct and it only takes 20 minutes," says Chicky Eegstrom, a Duke employee who takes classes at UNC. She says the new bus service cuts her commute in half.

"When you talk to people about why they don't go to the other campus, one of the main obstacles is transportation and parking. Parking is very difficult here at Duke and it's very difficult at Chapel Hill and this will facilitate that," says Eric Mlyn, director of the Robertson Scholars Program.

The program's goal is to increase academic and social collaboration between the schools. One way to do so is through the new bus service.

Fifteen students are chosen from each campus to participate in the scholars program, but every student, faculty and staff member will benefit from the effort.

Airlie Sattler is using the service from Duke to get to her job at UNC's botanical gardens. She already has one suggestion to improve the non-stop commute: adding bike racks.

"It's a mile and a half walk when I get to the end. This way I can zoom down the hill and get my exercise and zoom back up the hill. It will make it a lot easier and it also gives a lot more flexibility. You can go to a lot of places if you can hop on a bus with a bike," she says.

As for the rivalry, organizers guarantee this will do nothing to hurt what has been in place for years.

"Once you get beyond that rivalry, what you really find is a great deal of mutual respect between these two fine institutions," says Myln.

Buses stop at Duke's Chapel Circle and at UNC's Morehead Planetarium. The buses run every 30 minutes, seven days a week:

  • Monday - Friday: 7 a.m. - 11 p.m
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: Noon - 5:30 p.m.
  • The service is free for anyone holding a Duke or UNC ID.

    The Robertson Scholars Program is funded by a $24 million endowment gift from Julian and Josie Robertson. One of their three sons went to Duke, a second son attended UNC.


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