R-Line Pulling up to stop on Peace Street at Seaboard Station
I’ll admit it. Raleigh doens’t have the best public transportation, but the addition of the R-Line in early 2009 is baby step in the right direction. In case you don’t know about it, here is the deal. The R-LINE, dubbed an eco-friendly approach to urban transportation, is a FREE circulator service that features hybrid electric buses that connects you to restaurants, retail, entertainment venues, museums, hotels, and parking facilities in downtown Raleigh.
The R-Line stop in front of the new Raleigh Convention Center
The buses run every 10-15 minutes on a continuous loop around downtowns busiest spots. Including places like Seaboard Station, Glenwood Avenue, City Plaza, and Wilmington Street. Stops are conveniently spread out along the loop and you can use your smart phone to check out exactly where the bus is to gauge how long you have before heading to the stop closest to you.
One of my favorite things to do when I am going to an event downtown is to park my car up by Seaboard Station (near Peace Street) where parking is free and plentiful and take the R-Line to destinations along Glenwood Avenue and downtown City-Plaza. This allows me to take in the scenes of downtown and avoid paying for parking. For people who get frazzled looking for parking the R-Line takes a lot of the stress out of visitng downtown.
If you are going to the first Oak City 7 Concert this Thursday night in City Plaza give the R-Line a try and let me know what you think!
R-Line Hours of Operation
Mon-Wed (7 am-11 pm)
Thurs-Sat (7 am-2:15 am)
Sun (1 pm-8 pm)
To view the R-Line route map or check out its real-time location visit the R-Line website: http://www.godowntownraleigh.com/get-around/r-line
If you are headed to downtown Raleigh be sure to check out the free R-Line Circulator Bus. This free bus service loops around downtown connecting the central business district and its ample parking with the restaurants, bars, and venues along Glenwood Avenue South and the lower portion of downtown by the new Convention Center and Moore Square.
The two bus system runs loops every 15 minutes with multiple stops at points of interest along the way (map). Hours of operation for the service are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 2:15 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. While the stops aren’t very far apart, make sure you know which one is closest to you final destination. The bus will not just stop just anywhere for you (I’ve seen people ask and get denied).
My wife and I took the bus a few times this past summer when we were visiting downtown to attend concerts in Moore Square. It was really easy finding a place to park in the big vacant government building lots along Peace Street and take the quick bus ride down to Moore square were parking can be tight and cost you a few dollars. It is also kind of fun to ride because you essentially are getting a mini-tour of downtown Raleigh and meet other folks who are out for a night on the town.
According to a recent news and observer article the R-line carried over 150,000 passengers between its inception last February 13, 2009 and December 5, 2009. While it may not be used as often as it could, I think this is a step in the right direction for downtown Raleigh and a sign of more good things to come. I’ll see you on the bus!