Ridership With GoPass Strong

Duke accounts for 27,000 boardings on Triangle Transit, DATA buses in August

Orla Swift, left, boards Triangle Transit's Durham-Raleigh Express bus. Swift is among about 5,000 Duke community members who use a free GoPass to ride area buses.

The GoPass is a GoFad.

About 5,000 students, faculty and staff have scooped up the free local and regional GoPass since it was made available in mid-July and haven't wasted time putting it to use. In August, Duke community members accounted for 27,373 boardings on Triangle Transit and Durham Area Transit Authority (DATA) buses.

"Besides the money, they save on gas and parking permit fees, I think the Duke community is seeing the time they get back for themselves," said Brian Williams, transportation demand coordinator for Duke. "Instead of being stuck behind the wheel of your car, you can surf the web on Triangle Transit's Wi-Fi, read a book or just sit and relax before taking on your responsibilities at work or home."

In all, Triangle Transit and DATA buses provided 664,331 boardings for all passengers in August. That means Duke accounted for about 4 percent of total ridership. While that looks like a small number, it only took about 5,000 Duke community members - roughly 10 percent of Duke's total student and employee population - to reach that 4 percent ridership. Based on Duke's numbers, each GoPass user boarded a Triangle Transit or DATA bus five or six times in August.

Among those users was Orla Swift, director of marketing and communications at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. She was among the first employees to pick up a GoPass, which she uses it to ride Triangle Transit's Durham-Raleigh Express (DRX) bus round-trip between West Campus and downtown Raleigh. 

Ridership on the DRX route has grown so much because of gas prices, weather and the GoPass that Triangle Transit recently added a second bus to serve the route.

"I love taking the highway now because I'm not driving, and I can sit and play on my iPad while I ride to and from work," Swift said.

In addition to free rides on Triangle Transit, the GoPass also allows for unlimited rides on DATA, Capital Area Transit and C-Tran, the town of Cary's transit service. Duke staff and faculty are eligible for the GoPass if their offices are on East, West, Central and Medical Center campuses; the American Tobacco Campus; or within one-half mile of the East, West, Central or Medical campuses (see eligibility map). All undergraduate, graduate and professional school students are eligible.  

Students and eligible employees can pick up the GoPass at one of Duke's two Parking and Transportation offices: 

  • 2010 Campus Drive (near the corner of Campus Drive and Anderson Street). Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • 04290 Duke Clinic (near the Medical Center Bookstore, on the same level as the Duke Clinics Food Court). Open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.