Triangle Transit Expands Area Commuting Options

Extended bus route offers service to Mebane and Hillsborough

Beginning in the New Year, Duke employees living in Mebane and Hillsborough will have a new, money-saving way to get to work.

On Jan. 12, Triangle Transit will extend its Orange-Durham Express (ODX) route to include two stops in Mebane in addition to Efland and Hillsborough. Riders will get an uninterrupted trip into Durham with stops outside Duke Hospital and downtown’s Durham station. The route expansion is part of a larger effort by Triangle Transit to improve service options for commuters throughout the area.

Faculty and staff can utilize the route with a GoPass, which provides unlimited rides on local and regional bus routes run by Triangle Transit and the Durham Area Transit Authority. The GoPass, which must be renewed annually, costs $25, roughly the equivalent of 15 round-trip bus fares, depending on bus line.

“Normally, I might spend up to $300 a month on gas between driving to work and at home, so the savings alone will compensate me for my time on the bus,” said Becky Douglas, staff assistant at DUMAC LLC, Duke’s investment organization, who will start riding the ODX route next month from Mebane. “Even better, I’ll be able to relax. The road rage driving to campus is unreal.”

Douglas and a coworker shared the ride to work for almost six years until the coworker retired this fall, prompting Douglas to look for another cost-saving commute. That led Douglas to Alison Carpenter, manager for Duke’s transportation demand management program, who recommended the GoPass due to Triangle Transit’s new route. Douglas’ commute time will be about an hour each way, but she said that gives her plenty of time to relax and worry about anything else than traffic.

“I’ll be glad to not be involved with all the other drivers so I can sit and read or play a game,” she said. 

Along with the new ODX route, Duke offers other options to get to campus without driving alone, from help forming carpools or vanpools to biking resources. A full list of options and information can be found online.

“Triangle Transit’s newest expansion is just one of the many ways we hope faculty and staff will consider getting to campus in a sustainable way,” Carpenter said. “Getting to work without a car can be easier than most people think.”

Here's a look at the new ODX route: