An Appal a day: Guide to commuting with AppalCart


AppalCART system map. Courtesy of AppalCART.

Andrew Rice, Reporter

With 14 different bus routes around the High Country, AppalCart has been the official provider of public transportation for students and residents of Boone since 1981. The transportation company’s recent update, released Aug. 15, is one students new and old can familiarize themselves with below. 

Routes on the AppalCart system run throughout popular campus destinations, residential communities and other popular areas in Boone. According to their website, AppalCart started  services in 1980 until it became the official and first bus transit system in Boone in 1981. 

 “So many workers rely on AppalCart to be their transportation to and from their places of business,” said David Jackson, AppalCart board of director’s member. “That certainly keeps more vehicles off the road and lessens the impact on traffic.”

Among the many commuters the TransLoc app is most commonly used to keep track of bus schedules and availability for pickups. 

The Red Route runs from 6:35 a.m. – 10:08 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9:05 a.m. – 5:33 p.m. Saturday and 12:05 – 8:03 p.m. Sunday. This route provides service to Wal-Mart, Mountain Laurel Hall and Watauga Medical Center with a campus stop at College Street Station; the roundabout between the college bookstore and campus library.

The Pop 105 Route provides transportation to the Appalachian 105 Lot, where students can pick up their off-campus vehicles, and University Highlands Student Apartments. Pop 105 picks up from stops at Garwood Hall, the Schaefer Center and Holmes Convocation Center. The Pop 105 Route runs from 6:55 a.m. – 9:55 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8:42 a.m. – 5:50 p.m. Saturday and 11:42 a.m. – 8:20 p.m. Sunday. 

In addition to the Pop 105 Route, there is a shuttle servicing two stops in the Appalachian 105 Lot as well as stops on campus including Trivette Dining Hall and Mountaineer Hall, which are not typically serviced by the Pop 105 Route. The Appalachian 105 Lot shuttle runs from 4 – 9:57 p.m. Friday and from 4 p.m. – 1:27 a.m. Sunday. 

For students in the Living Learning Center, Mountaineer Hall and Appalachian Heights, the Blue and Gold Routes provide transportation to main campus destinations like Peacock Hall, the Student Recreation Center and Dogwood Hall. From 6:05 a.m. – 9:59 p.m. Monday through Friday, both of these routes serve students living on the mountainside. 

For those needing transportation to M.S. Shook Student Health Service, the Express Route runs from 7 a.m. – 9:55 p.m. Monday through Friday with pickup and drop off for students at Mountain Laurel Hall and Peacock Hall. 

The Green Route transports students to and from the Cottages of Boone and Mountaineer Village back into campus as well as the Hospitality House for those looking to lend a helping hand to community members in need. The Green Route also has stops at New Market Boulevard, Forest Hill Drive, King Street and Farthing Street, Wood Circle and King Street and Hillside Drive where multiple student housing complexes are located. The Green Route runs from 6:48 a.m. – 9:57 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8:36 a.m. – 5:37 p.m. Saturday and 11:48 a.m. – 7:56 p.m. Sunday.  

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, AppalCart transportation equips each bus with features including wheelchair ramps, destination signs, automatic stop announcements and kneeling suspension for passengers who have difficulty getting on or off the bus. Requests for accommodations can also be made through the AppalCart website.

For students needing weekly transportation from student housing in The Finmore, Mountain Laurel Hall or on University Drive, the Pink Route runs from 7:10 a.m. – 6:06 p.m. Monday through Friday. This route utilizes campus pick up and drop off services at the Peacock Traffic Circle, Garwood Hall, ASU Skywalk and Holmes Convocation Center. 

Adverse weather conditions can also affect the reliability of the bus system. When adverse weather conditions occur, travelers should expect the Gray, Green, Pink, Pop 105, Purple, Silver and State Farm routes to be affected. The AppalCart Twitter account will be most accurate for reporting route closures and delays due to inclement weather. 

For student housing in complexes like Mountaineer Village and East Village Apartments, the Orange Route runs from 7 a.m. – 6:17 p.m. Monday through Friday. Stops on campus along this route include College Street Station, as well as nearby campus stops including Earth Fare, King Street and Hillside Drive and the Dan’l Boone Inn. 

During football season, AppalCart services are prepared to transport attendees of games to the stadium. Routes like the Purple, Orange and State Farm Routes run starting five hours before kickoff and end two hours after the game has ended. These routes transport game attendees to stops on campus like Peacock Hall, College Street Station and the State Farm Lot from destinations such as The Village of Meadowview, Mountaineer Village and Mountain Laurel Hall.  

For residents of the Village at Meadowview, or anywhere along Meadowview Drive, the Purple Route runs from 7 a.m. – 10:01 p.m. Monday through Friday with campus stops in the Peacock Traffic Circle, Garwood Hall, the ASU Skywalk and Holmes Convocation Center. 

The Silver Route is able to accommodate students living in Studio West, Mountain Laurel Hall, off Graggville Road, Highland Hall Road, Edgecliff Lane and Pinnacle Drive as well as the recent addition of stops at the NC 105 lot. With campus stops at the Peacock Traffic Light and the ASU Skywalk, the Silver Route runs from 7:05 a.m. – 5:35 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

For students parked in the State Farm Lot, the State Farm Route provides service to campus from 7:05 a.m. – 6:05 p.m. Monday through Friday. Stops on campus include the Peacock Traffic Light, Garwood Hall and ASU Skywalk. 

For students needing transportation to Watauga Medical Center or Beaver College of Health Sciences, the Wellness District Route runs from 7 a.m. – 9:55 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. – 5:55 p.m. on Friday. With pickup and drop off spots at Boone Heights and the State Farm Lot, students studying medicine and health sciences can use the Wellness District Route in their commute.

Late night Waffle House runs are also an option through the Express, Gold and Pop 105 Night Owl routes. These routes run the same stops as their daytime counterparts except they go later into the night. All three routes transport commuters from 10 p.m. – 2:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. 

An institution since 1981, AppalCart has provided transportation throughout Boone for the past 41 years. As they expand their services, AppalCart looks to continually expand their influence on Boone to provide commuters with reliable service, according to their website. With this in mind, AppalCart has also been experimenting with expansions on its capacity of service through a limited time run of a double-decker bus model last fall semester