Local News

Downtown Raleigh begins free, circulator bus service

Posted February 13, 2009 10:17 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Getting around downtown Raleigh just got a little easier. The R-Line, the city's new eco-friendly, circulator bus service, is up and running.

“It's going to raise the quality of life immensely for downtown residents,” said Mark Healy, a downtown Raleigh resident.

Two free, hybrid-electric buses began taking riders Friday to restaurants, retail, nightlife spots, museums, hotels and parking facilities in downtown Raleigh.

“I've been here 40 years and it (Raleigh) has changed a lot in its improvements,” said Jacqueline Mosher, R-Line rider.

The bus route is designed to connect Raleigh's business district to its entertainment destinations. The idea is for people to park their cars and get on the R-line instead of driving about downtown.

“I want to get a job this summer and since I don't have a car, I'll be able to ride this,” said Blair Callahan, a downtown Raleigh resident.

John Connors grew up in a large city and now lives near downtown. He says the R-Line gives Raleigh a big-city feel.

“Maybe a quarter of a mile, we can walk and catch this bus and then go down to the restaurants and other establishments downtown. That's good. We don't have to take the car out,” Connors said.

The 36 seat R-Line buses run every 10 to 15 minutes. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 2:15 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

After 6:30 p.m., the R-Line route will also include the City Market area and the warehouse district.