Free Downtown Circulator

Last updated Jul. 29, 2014 - 10:19 am

The R-LINE is Downtown Raleigh's FREE bus service to connect employees, residents and visitors to retail, restaurants, entertainment venues and parking in the Central Business District (CBD). The service has its own distinct look and feel from regular Capital Area Transit bus service. This makes the R-LINE distinguishable for riders from a distance.


The City of Raleigh is studying improvements for the R-LINE as part of Raleigh’s 10 year Downtown Plan. These improvements could affect the existing R-LINE routing.

Please take a few minutes to complete the R-LINE Survey. Time to complete the survey is approximately 5 minutes.

Even if you do not ride the R-LINE often, your input is appreciated. Completing this survey will help determine some of the following:

R-LINE Purpose and Need
•Evaluate the R-LINE for potential route and service improvements.
•Develop an optimized R-LINE route to better serve existing and future downtown riders.
•Consider time horizon for improvements and funding need.
•Evaluate Fare changes (free vs. fare charge).

R-LINE Route Considerations
•Provide bi-directional service vs. existing one-way loop.
•Extend service to downtown adjacent neighborhoods- (Cameron Park, Oakwood).
•Extend service to NC State University.
•Connect Union Station and Moore Square Transit Station.

For more information regarding the R-LINE or the Downtown Plan call 919-485-7433 or visit


Monday-Wednesday Hours: 7:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Thursday-Saturday Hours: 7:00 AM - 2:15 AM
Sunday Hours: 1:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The circulator will run approximately every 15 minutes. The route will be served by 2 buses that will allow for headways to remain at approximately 15 minutes.

Please note, the R-LINE only stops at designated R-LINE stops indicated on the route's map.

Download Map

Details on Buses

This route is served by 3, 40' hybrid electric, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) style buses; one bus will serve as a spare. The City of Raleigh chose to use 40' buses because they can easily be placed into regular CAT bus service if necessary. The City of Raleigh chose a BRT style hybrid because it is environmentally friendly, will run quietly in the CBD and it provides a distinctive look to the service.

The green and blue colors emphasize its unique "green" attribute; they stand for blue air and green earth. The design of the bus also symbolizes that the R-Line is a joint effort of the Raleigh Transit Authority, Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) and the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (GRCVB). The "R" logo is part of the DRA's "You R Here" campaign. Also, the colors of the bus are not only environmentally friendly but are the colors of GRCVB's logo.

The R-LINE is an example of the Raleigh Transit Authority's commitment to expand transit service in Raleigh and the City of Raleigh's commitment to make Raleigh a "green" city. For more information visit

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