North/South route added on Fridays

Joshua Farmer

A new route was added to the Mountaineer North/South Bus line provided by Horizon Coach Lines, according to a North Carolina Department of Transportation news release.

The route only travels on Fridays while Appalachian State University is in session. It leaves Charlotte at 2 p.m. and arrives in Boone at 5:35 p.m., then leaves at 7:15 p.m., arriving in Charlotte at 10:50 p.m., according to

A one-way ticket from Boone to Charlotte costs $13 for a student with a valid identification, according to

Business development spokesman for Horizon Coach Line Billy Ray Rhyane said 90 percent of the riders are university students.

NCDOT provided funding for the second route, Rhyane said.

In November, NCDOT approved $235,193 for Horizon Coach Lines for the additional Friday route.

The funds were matched by federal funds, totaling $470,386, according to a NCDOT news release.

Rhyane said the route is a good idea since the bus would come twice on Fridays, providing more access to Charlotte from Boone.

Sophomore criminal justice major Olivia Sings said she has taken the Mountaineer North/South Bus from Boone to Charlotte since her freshman year.

Sings said the new Friday lines “are not necessary” and that if times are added they should be earlier.

Communications Officer for the NCDOT Jennifer Garifo said the department decided to fund the additional route to “better accommodate riders from Appalachian State University and other areas in the high country who are traveling to [and from] Charlotte on Fridays.”

Before the additional route, Friday travelers could only leave in the morning.

With the new route, riders have the option of traveling north earlier in the afternoon, Garifo said.

“This decision was made based on experience with the Mountaineer East/West intercity bus route which currently travels between Boone and Greensboro,” Garifo said.

It was found that the Friday evening runs on this route had the largest amount of riders, she said.

“When the Mountaineer North/South initially began service in 2010, funding for an additional run on Fridays was not available,” Garifo said. “Now that it has been funded, we hope that people will use this additional service and see what a great option the Mountaineer North/South is for travel.”

Story: STEPHANIE SANSOUCY, Senior News Reporter