Margaret McNab has a love-hate relationship with traveling the Triangle’s increasingly congested roads. She hates, hates, hates driving, but she loves taking GoTriangle’s Durham to Raleigh Express route or DRX.
“Love isn’t even a strong enough word,” says McNab, a freelance marketing specialist in Durham who calls herself a superfan of transit. “I love that rule where buses can drive on the shoulder. I love sitting there with my headphones in and whizzing pass all those cars. It’s so nice to not have to dedicate any brain space to navigating traffic.”
If your brain needs a rest from the stress, this coming week is the perfect time to hand over the driving to a transit operator. Try Transit Week begins Monday, Sept. 18 and runs through Friday, Sept. 22, with Thursday the 21st being Fare Free Day at GoTriangle, GoRaleigh, GoCary and GoDurham.
“For some people, transit provides an alternative to the aggravation of driving in traffic or maintaining the expense of a car,” GoTriangle General Manager Jeff Mann says. “For others, transit is their only access to get to work, school or their doctor’s office. A strong regional transit system means better access and opportunities for everyone, and we hope more people will take advantage of it.”
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McNab found that to be true of transit in Portland, Oregon, where she lived before she moved to Durham about eight years ago. Because of Portland’s extensive transit system, she had never needed a car. She chose her second Durham home based on its proximity to transit and to her workspace at Gridworks so she could scrap the old Saab she had been forced to buy.
“I sold my car on Craig’s list for 300 bucks, which I used to buy a bike and some candy,” says McNab, who now walks, bikes or buses to the office. When she needs to meet clients in Raleigh, she takes the DRX, and getting to Chapel Hill also is easy for her on GoTriangle Route 400, which runs every 30 minutes on weekdays.
“It’s just so nice to have that time to sit and prepare for meetings, for whatever it is I’m going out to do,” McNab says. “Sometimes I listen to a podcast. It’s fun on the bus to try it on for size. The Wi-Fi enablement is awesome.”
Thanks to voter-approved investments in transit, GoTriangle, GoDurham, GoRaleigh and GoCary all expanded service last month, making it even more convenient for riders and other residents to get out of their cars and enjoy the benefits of buses.
“I’m always surprised when people haven’t tried transit,” McNab says. “Just because, if you’re a curious person, why not? There are so many smart and curious people in the Triangle. They should get curious about transit.”
GoTriangle has numerous park-and-ride lots to help those who don’t live near a transit stop connect with jobs, schools or doctors, with six lots in Raleigh, two in Apex, three in Cary, two in Fuquay-Varina, two in Garner and one each in Knightdale, Wake Forest, Wendell and Zebulon. Find maps at gotriangle.org.
Never ridden the bus? Get all you need to know at bit.ly/ridegotriangle then start by plugging in your address and the address of your destination at gotriangle.org. Need help planning a route? Call GoTriangle at 919-485-7433.
Use the free TransLoc app to see buses moving in real time and get arrival predictions and proximity alerts. No one need waste time waiting at bus stops. Learn about TransLoc at gotriangle.org/transloc.
“As this area becomes more metropolitan, the eco-friendliness of the choices we make around commuting will become increasingly more important,” McNab says. “And transit does keep people off the roads. Whether on a bus, on a bike, or ridesharing, they are all small ways people can make a big difference.”
‘Try Transit’ events/schedule
First, get a Transit Bingo card online at gotriangle.org/trytransit or at the Regional Transit Center or Durham station so that you can win prizes for doing simple things like signing up for rider alerts, giving us a shoutout on social media, using our free Wi-Fi on the bus or watching our “Ride the Bus” video at bit.ly/ridethebusvideo.
Tuesday, Sept. 19 – Follow us on Twitter @GoTriangle to find out more about popular destinations in your city.
Thursday, Sept. 21 – All GoTriangle, GoDurham, GoRaleigh and GoCary routes will be free to encourage first-time riders to try the bus. It’s also Rider Appreciation Day at GoTriangle and GoDurham. Spot our team out and about at the Regional Transit Center and Durham Station and grab a thank you gift! This is also the last day to turn in your Transit Bingo card, which you can find online at gotriangle.org/trytransit or at the RTC or Durham Station.
Try Transit Week begins Sept. 18 and runs through Sept. 22, with Thursday the 21st being Fare Free Day at GoTriangle, GoRaleigh, GoCary and GoDurham.