A blaring siren cuts through the darkness of the room. I roll over and cover myself with my pillow, pretending this isn’t happening. Not now, not today… A sigh comes from beneath my lofted bed. My roommate grumbles as he slips into his Nike slides. I reluctantly sloth down from my mattress padded palace as he open our door. Light from the suite hallway floods our faces, causing me to squint. The obnoxious alarm, which I thought couldn’t get any worse, is now twice as loud and accompanied by strobing emergency lights. I pass by my half-awake suitemates and exit onto the hall balcony.
All ten stories of Morrison are up out of their beds.
Everyone is up. And everyone is angry.
You leave your room in Hinton James, head to class in Carroll Hall, eat lunch at Lenoir, circle back to another class in Genome Sciences, work out at the SRC, return to Hinton James, then go to dinner with friends on Franklin…the daily life of a Carolina student involves plenty of rushing around campus. While UNC is pretty walkable, sometimes you need a quicker way to get around. Read on to learn about transportation on campus, plus a few tips on how to make walking more enjoyable!
Take the Bus
A, D, F, J, S, T…the long list of bus routes can seem like a confusing bowl of alphabet soup. Which one should you get on? Luckily, you’ll only need to know three routes to get anywhere on campus—you’ll be thankful you’ve mastered them when it’s 20 degrees outside or you have to get from Craige to the Hanes Art Center in 20 minutes.
• RU: The RU (Reverse Shuttle) runs counterclockwise, so you’ll usually ride it from South Campus to North. Hop on at the stop next to the sand volleyball courts by Hinton James or outside Ehringhaus and Koury, and you can get off by Fetzer Gym, the Union and Davis Library, or the Old Well.
• U: The U (Campus Shuttle) runs clockwise, but you may ride it toward North or South Campus depending on where you’re trying to go. Popular stops include Horton, the Dean Dome (close to the business school), the Hinton James sand volleyball courts, Student Stores, the ROTC building (across from the FedEx Global Center), Hanes Art Center, and Franklin Street.
• P2P: The P2P runs counterclockwise every night from 7pm to 4am, so you’ll never have to worry about making it back to your residence hall safely. The shuttle stops at Ehringhaus and Koury, Hinton James, and Public Safety (between Morrison/Hardin and Craige/Craige North), and takes you toward Franklin Street and Granville Towers.
Pro tip: download the NextBus or EZ Chapel Hill Transit apps. With these handy programs, you can bookmark your most-used bus stops and see how many minutes remain until the next bus arrives. Check out the bus and P2P routes online for the full list of stops!
Ride a Bike
Biking is another quick way to get around campus—plus, you’ll get some great exercise. (They don’t call it Chapel Hill for nothing!) If you bring a bike, you’ll want to purchase a sturdy U-lock and register it for free with the Department of Public Safety to protect against theft.
Don’t have your own wheels? The Residence Hall Association sponsors a program called Tar Heel Bikes, where you can check out a bike from the Hinton James, Craige, Ehringhaus, or Morrison community office for free with your OneCard!
Fall weather is coming! While the trek from South Campus can be miserable in the sweltering heat, crisp mornings and scenic autumn leaves are on the way. In the meantime, hiking around campus all day is an awesome workout, and you can make it more enjoyable by listening to music, setting a goal for the number of steps you take per day using an app or a Fitbit, or walking with friends.
Whether you decide to walk to and from North Campus every day, or you give up on that plan and start taking the bus after the first month (I may or may not speak from personal experience…), there are plenty of ways to get around campus. Don’t hesitate to try them all and figure out which works best for you!
New bike sharing initiative increases student mobility
Don’t want to bring your bike to campus? Don’t worry; now you can borrow bikes from your residence hall! The Bike Share Task Force in conjunction with the Residence Hall Association has created UNC’s first bicycle share program called Tar Heel Bikes. The bicycle share program provides Kona AfricaBike Three bicycles to be checked out for short-term use by community members for trips on and around campus.
The mission of Tar Heel Bikes is two-fold: to provide community members access to bicycles and to promote sustainibilty and cultivate a biking culture on campus.
UNC’s campus might just be one of the most beautiful campuses that this country has to offer. Yes, I’m completely biased and anyone from Duke or Wake or Elon will tell you differently. Don’t listen to them. There really is just something about the way that trees bloom as you walk to class through Polk Place on an early April morning (Brendan James, anyone? – he went to UNC). Ah, it’s just lovely.
As with any campus, there are many ways to get around. Walking is, by far, the most common way to get from place to place. Carolina is a very pedestrian-friendly place. When crossing South Road to get to class in the morning from south campus, there are crossing guards at peak hours to make sure that traffic gets through as well as students.