Good Golly, it’s a Trolley in Chapel Hill this Summer!


By Laurie Paolicelli

Free Trolley in Chapel Hill

Get Ready to Ride! Raleigh Trolley Comes to Carrboro and Chapel Hill this July

Save the Dates: July 22, 23, 24 

The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau is thrilled to introduce a cool (as in air-conditioned) way to see Chapel Hill and Carrboro’s lively arts scene, brew pubs, eclectic shops, and university-driven energy.

Thanks to a partnership between the Town of Carrboro, the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, and Raleigh Trolley, residents and visitors can hop on and hop off a FREE trolley car for three days in July. 

Chapel Hill and Carrboro’s historic streets are the perfect place to re-create the charm of past streetcar technology. “We are thrilled to offer this service during July, a time when air-conditioned tour buses are in demand,” said Laurie Paolicelli, Director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau. Paolicelli said that the trolley decision was made in part to provide easy mobility for the thousands of visitors here for the July 23 European Soccer Match: Manchester City vs. Celtic. “But we want residents to ride the bus and explore the downtowns.” (Note, this trolley does not service Kenan Stadium for the European Soccer match).

The Trolleys will help international soccer visitors enjoy our towns.

What You Need to Know About the Free Chapel Hill/Carrboro Trolley Service in July

Dates & Times: The free trolley will run on July 22, 23, and 24, from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Route: Two trolleys will continuously loop from Franklin and Henderson streets through Greensboro Street in Carrboro, weaving through the heart of the two downtown communities. Explore our growing list of business offerings on the map: Downtown Trolley Map

Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau Free Trolley Service on July 22, 23, 24

Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard
The Visitors Bureau encourages residents and visitors to hop on this air-conditioned trolley and discover our changing communities. The trolleys are air-conditioned and roomy, ensuring a comfortable ride for all. There’s no charge for the ride — just hop on at any Chapel Hill Transit stop in downtown Chapel Hill or Carrboro and enjoy the journey. You can hop off and hop back on from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm.


Times: 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Loop Duration: Approximately 25 minutes; The two buses run in a continuous loop, allowing you to get on and off quickly without long waits.

Stops and Attractions: The trolley will make stops at select Chapel Hill/Carrboro Town bus stops. Each stop will be located near participating businesses offering special deals and activities between July 22-24, such as:

  • Bars to hang out with like-minded fans and watch the Manchester City vs. Celtic game, Tuesday night
  • Specialty drinks and cocktails themed for the event
  • Specialty food items
  • Decorated storefronts
  • Raffles and prizes
  • Discounts for fans in team gear
  • Soccer drills and penalty kicks
  • …and more!

Look for the Trolley Stop signs and simply hop on and hop off!

Each stop will be marked for easy navigation.

The Trolley’s are not wheelchair accessible.

Carrboro Town Council Member Randee Haven-O’Donnell, who also serves on the Visitors Bureau board, shares the excitement:

“We’ve often heard from locals that they’re eager to explore downtown but are unsure about navigating it. With the international buzz around the Manchester City and Celtic match at Kenan Stadium on July 23rd, we saw a perfect opportunity to make our downtowns more accessible to everyone, from international visitors to our local Triangle community.”

For more information,

The Welcome Center, operated by the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, provides free water, restrooms and information. The Welcome Center will be open from 8:30 am – 9:00 pm on July 22, 23, 24. Located at 308 West Franklin Street with limited parking.

Free Trolley for Chapel Hill and Carrboro

Chapel Hill Public Parking Lots

Carrboro Free Public Parking Lots

  • Town Commons Lot @ 301 W. Main St on Laurel Avenue. Additional on-street parking is available on Saturday to farmers market patrons.
  • Weaver Lot @ 303 W. Weaver Street. Enter Weaver Street across from PNC Bank.
  • Century Center Lot @ 101 N. Greensboro St. (Across from the Century Center behind Cliff’s Meat Market.
  • Public Parking @ 502B N. Greensboro St. Access using service drive to Fitch Lumber Warehouse.
  • E. Main Street Lot @ 108 E. Main St. Gravel lot across the street from the Armadillo Grill.
  • Parking Deck and Lot @Hampton Inn, Boyd Street behind 300 E. Main Street. Access to parking deck is from East Main Street and lower from Boyd Street. Free public parking on levels 3-5.
  • Rosemary Lot (604 W. Rosemary St.) Enter off Sunset Drive.
  • Fitch Lumber Lot @ Main parking for Fitch Lumber. M-F: 5:30 pm – Midnight and Weekends: 24 hours.
  • CommunityWorkx Lot @ Main parking for CommunityWorx and YouthWorx. Hours 6:30 pm – Midnight. 

Please Note: The parking lots surrounding Carr Mill Mall are for shoppers and visitors to Carr Mill Mall retailers, restaurants, and offices only (this also includes Harris Teeter and CVS). Parking here and leaving the property may result in your car being towed at your expense.

Laurie Paolicelli is executive director for the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, a position she has held since 2005. Laurie has worked in tourism and marketing for twenty-five years, having served in leadership roles in Houston and California convention and visitor bureaus. She is a native of the Twin Ports of Duluth, MN/Superior Wisconsin. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Communications from the University Wisconsin-Superior and graduate certification in Technology In Marketing from the UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media.
This reporter can be reached at

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