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An important consideration while visiting Durham or deciding whether to move here is how you’ll get around. Here are some options to keep in mind as you make your plans.
Whether you plan to arrive to Durham by car, plane or bus, you’ll need to decide how you will get from one place to another within Durham itself.
If you drive, you’ll have to consider the cost of parking. Most of the central Downtown streets now have parking meters. You’ll pay $1.50 per hour. You can use cash, a credit card, or even your phone to pay. The good news is that the parking meters only function during the weekdays, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm – so evenings and weekends are free. Here is a map of all the metered locations.
There are also plenty of parking decks Downtown. For the decks owned by the City, you’ll pay $1.25 per hour up to a maximum of $13.75. Just like for the parking meters, decks are free on evenings and weekends (although during some events like at DPAC or baseball games, there is an event charge usually $5). The parking decks and surface lots owned by the City also have monthly rates, ranging from $70 to $95 per month depending on location.
Durham is a young urban city. It is also very health conscious. More and more bicycle paths and lanes are being built to ensure the safety of bike riders. The most well-known of the trails is the American Tobacco Trail – covering many areas of Durham and extending into neighboring Wake and Chatham Counties. Here is a map of the trail: http://www.triangletrails.org/american-tobacco-trail
Don’t have your own bike? Rent a bike. Or like so many other cities, bike shares are available EVERY.WHERE. The three main services in this area are LimeBike, Spin and Ofo. How do these work? Using an app on your cell phone, just pick up a bike, scan the QR Code, and for $1 for 30 minutes (Ofo charges $1 for 60 minutes), you can go pretty much everywhere in Durham. Leave the bike somewhere visible when you’re done. That’s it! Just grab the one closest to you.
BULL CITY CONNECTOR
The most underrated way to get around Downtown Durham is taking the Bull City Connector! It is FREE! This bus connects Duke University to Golden Belt by following the most popular areas of Downtown, including Ninth Street, American Tobacco District, City Center, and Central Park.
The bus runs every 17 minutes. Monday through Friday, from 6:30am to 9pm and Saturdays from 10am to 9pm. There is no service on Sundays.
Durham has a public bus system. You can put your bike in the front rack, so the bus helps you to make the larger stretch of your commute while you bike the last bit at either end. A single ride share ticket costs $1.00 and day passes are $2.00. Half-price discounts are available to those on Medicare or who have a GoDurhamID. Just about everyone else is FREE! Students 13 and up are free prior to 8pm on weekdays.
On its way, my friends, on its way. The light rail system will connect eventually Durham and Chapel Hill. The project has been shelved for now. In the meantime, here is a photo of Charlotte’s light rail system to help you visualize the dream!
Annick, The Common Traveler