Fare-Free Bull City Connector Adds Duke Stops

New bus stops aim to streamline service, increase ridership among students, employees

Bull City Connector riders will have a more efficient trip as the fare-free bus adjusts its routes. Photo by Jessie Gladin-Kramer.
Bull City Connector riders will have a more efficient trip as the fare-free bus adjusts its routes. Photo by Jessie Gladin-Kramer.

Beginning Aug. 15, Durham’s Bull City Connector will adjust service with new routes that streamline pick-up and drop-off while also adding new stops along Duke’s campuses.

The fare-free Connector will now go further onto West Campus, provide new stops to serve Duke Hospital and continue to take riders along Main Street to Golden Belt. On average, Bull City Connector buses accumulate 1,500 boardings every weekday, but the service adjustments aim to push that number higher by increasing ridership among Duke community members and offering more efficient access to downtown. 

“Updates to the Connector’s route will be a big help to riders looking for quick transit between Duke and downtown Durham,” said Alison Carpenter, manager for Duke’s transportation demand management program. “Best of all, there will be an overall reduction in route time, with 17-minute frequency on weekdays.” 

Bull City Connector buses will no longer serve Durham Station in order to continue faster along Main Street, but will still have stops two blocks near the bus transportation hub. Direct service from Durham Station to Duke will still be provided on GoDurham routes 6, 6B, and 11. Bull City Connector stops along Trent Drive will also be discontinued in order to provide new stops along Erwin Road, closer to Duke Hospital’s main entrance and the Eye Center.

The changes are being put in place by GoTriangle after the City of Durham, Duke and GoTriangle participated in a study to determine ways to improve transit services to the University and Health System.

Here are some service adjustments that directly impact the Duke community:

  • The new route alignment extends further west to the Research Drive-Circuit Drive roundabout for better access to professional schools on West Campus. 
  • There will now be three stops for Duke Hospital and Duke Clinic, with better access to North Pavilion, Duke Hospital’s main entrance and the Eye Center.
  • New stops will be placed near Anderson Street and Erwin Road to maintain service to Duke Central Campus.
  • The route will stay on Main Street between Ninth and Anderson streets to better serve Duke students and employees accessing the Ninth Street district, especially those who live in new apartment complexes in that area. As part of this, a new stop will be placed at Main and Ninth streets.

The Connector will run 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays. There is no Sunday service. 

A full list of changes to the Bull City Connector’s route can be found on its website, and a map outlining the changes can be found on the GoTriangle website. Riders can also use this flyer to learn how to get from stops along East and West campuses to popular downtown destinations, like the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, American Tobacco Campus and more. 

“Enjoying all of Durham’s amenities is now easier for Duke employees who can hop on and hop off throughout downtown,” Carpenter said. “When you can ride for free on these buses, why wouldn’t you want someone else to do the driving for you?”