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Perks for riding DATA start Monday

The city's public bus system, the Durham Area Transit Authority, will offer a bunch of rider perks next week, starting with free fare on Monday. Other events include free ice cream and chicken sandwiches.

It's all part of "Try Transit Week," to encourage public transportation, reduce congestion and carbon emissions, according to a city news release.

The release says Monday's promotion is in honor of "International Car Free Day." Here's the full schedule:

  • Monday is Fare Free Day in Durham on all DATA buses.
  • Tuesday is Customer Appreciation Day, and DATA will give away ice cream and bike and pedestrian blinking lights beginning at 3 p.m. at the DATA Transfer Facility at 521 Morgan St. The offer is good while supplies last.


Durham school goes green, gets LEED cert.

W.G. Pearson Elementary School has received LEED certification, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Pearson, a magnet program located at 3501 Fayetteville St., is the state's second elementary school to receive the rating, according to a news release.

The rating comes from guidelines specifically for schools from the U.S. Green Building Council. Pearson's current look was designed by Moseley Architects.

Council mulls over 4-day weeks

Durham City Councilman Howard Clement III proposed today that city staff investigate having employees work four-day weeks to help save on energy costs.

The idea is that having to power City Hall and city vehicles four days a week instead of five will save money on power bills and gas, as well as spare employees one commute per week.

"It's been tried all over the country in light of the gasoline situation, which I don't think is going to improve anytime soon," Clement said today at a council work session.

"I would hope we would take this seriously. This could amount to significant savings, particularly for our employees."

City Manager Patrick Baker said he would have staff look into the experiences of other governments that have tried the change. County commissioners in June also asked county staff to look at the possibility.

State of Utah employees recently started the practice.


Durham to buy 20 hybrid buses

image of school busThe Durham Area Transit Authority showed off plans on Monday to bring hybrid buses into its mix of vehicles.

They announced that they'll purchase 20 Gillig hybrid buses in the coming fiscal year, a change expected to cut as much as 40 percent of the city's fuel consumption and associated cost.

The hybrid buses also are designed to reduce emissions and negative impacts on the city's air quality.

More about DATA: they run 19 routes. Fifty buses transport more than 14,000 people every day.

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