Come along with Liz Pope and her guests Lee Koonce and Joanna Powers for the low down on the Appalcart, Saferide, parking, and more!
Liz Pope: Hey everyone, it’s me, Liz Pope. Today, I have my dear friends Joanna Powers.
Joanna Powers: Hey!
LP: And Lee Koonce.
Lee Koonce: What’s up!
LP: With me today to talk about exactly what it’s like to have, or not to have a car in Boone. Lee and Jo are both seniors—as am I—having lived both on and off campus. They’ve learned the ropes of getting around our beloved Boonetown. Lee is an Ambassador, so he basically knows everything about Appalachian. I think it’s also important to note that Joanna is my roommate, and could probably blackmail me at any moment, so this is your chance.
JP: Definitely could!
LP: Actually, we’ve all known each other since freshman year, so we know what it’s like to be a freshman and not know where anything is in Boone. So, we are here to help you. We all know and love Boone for its cozy, college town feel, but sometimes that makes for busy roads, limited parking, and Appalcart dependence. But fear not, we are here to give you the low down. Here we go. So freshman, you may or may not know that if you bring your car on campus, you cannot park on campus, you must park at the State Farm lot, and I think we all parked our cars there freshman year didn’t we?
JP: Yeah, I did, that’s where my car was parked.
LK: I did not. I actually not have my car on campus until my second semester, so I bought a half semester pass at one of the churches, right behind my dorm.
LP: Very cool, that’s convenient.
LK: Yeah, it was about a 5 or 10 minute walk.
LP: That’s sweet. How much was it? Can I ask that?
LK: No, it wasn’t that bad! Since it was only half of the semester [year] it was about the same price as what it was for the whole year at State Farm.
LP: Okay, sweet. So I did a half semester at State Farm also, so it was like $100 or $110?
JP: I think it’s like $200 total, around there.
LK: I think I paid around $150.
JP: Was it the one across from Daniel Boone Inn?
LK: It was right behind Earth Fare.
JP: Yeah! That’s where my sister, she went here freshman year, and that’s where she parked. You just have to move your car after 5:00 on Friday. But it’s really convenient. I thought about getting it for school life, but I’m broke so I just decided to take the Appalcart, because it’s free.
LP: So, if you need to get to State Farm you’ll need to take the State Farm bus, which is very fun. It runs very late on Sunday, which is really nice so that if you’re coming back in town, you can take the State Farm bus, or if a really nice friend wants to drive you, that’s really cool. But your car will likely have to live at State Farm unless you get a gig like Lee did, and you can walk to your car. But you have to pay, and it’s unrelated to the university. So, you can do that, too! Okay, the Appalcart. What is the one question that freshmen will be asking about the Appalcart? How do you get to Wal-Mart?
JP: That’s so true! Red and Express I think go there, and I think you can also do Purple and then just get off at Applebee’s if you wanted to and then walk.
LP: I would say Express is probably the fastest. You can take it from Library Circle and it goes past Hoey also. Freshman year I think I was terrified to take Express because I didn’t know where it went, I didn’t know anything. I just knew Red went to Wal-Mart. I was like “Alright, I’ll get on Red!” But, it kindof smells sometimes, it’s very full.
JP: I thought that Red and Pop 105 were the only buses around campus, because that’s all I saw. I didn’t even know about Express until I lived in an apartment our sophomore year. So, I definitely think Express would be the fastest.
LP: And it drops right at Wal-Mart. So that’s easy. So we all actually grew up in the Triangle area, so we have never experienced buses. So, we had to learn a lot about how to navigate that. Freshman year if I hadn’t gotten deathly sick and studied an Appalcart map for like 5 hours because I was so sick, then I would have no idea where to go. I don’t know, Lee what was it like for you trying to figure out the Appalcart for the first time.
LK: To be honest, I don’t know if I’ve ever taken the Appalcart by myself.
LP: So you’ve taken it with a friend.
LK: Yeah, I always have that buddy going on.
LP: Because you’ve lived close to campus for the most part.
LK: Yeah, so the past two years I’ve lived in an apartment walking distance, so I never took the bus. But, this year I live off campus, a little bit further off, and so because I’m a senior, I have a good parking spot. So, I just drive to campus.
LP: Heck yeah. Where do you park?
LK: Either at Stadium or the small gravel lot next to Beasley Media Complex.
LP: So if people wanted to get a parking pass, where would they go? Where did you go to get yours?
LK: You register online the summer --
JP: It’s in July, they sent an email out. It gives you the details.
LK: They’ll send an email out with everything. Yeah! Or just pay a lot of money and park in Rivers Street [parking deck].
LP: Yeah! Very true.
LK: That’s fun, too.
LP: Okay, do you guys have an Appalcart horror story? Per chance?
JP: Yeah, I think I do. I think everyone does. I feel like if you don’t, you didn’t really—
LP: You didn’t really ride the Appalcart.
JP: You’re not an Appalcart savvy person or something
LP: Lee, what happened to you.
LK: Well, I have two, and neither of them applied to me. But, I’m going to tell them in honor of my friends.
LP: Okay good.
LK: One of them, she had gone to an event for our major and had this whole free pizza. But, because the box was somewhat open, the Appalcart driver would not let her on the bus. And she had this whole thing of pizza, and she had to have someone come pick her up because they wouldn’t let her on the bus.
LP & JP: What?!
JP: I’ve eaten on the bus like every day!
LP: Me too! I always eat granola bars and stuff. I guess it’s a whole pizza.
JP: I’ve brought like sandwiches and stuff! I’ve been out there with my soda, and my sandwich.
LK: Well, the bus driver was very persistent.
JP: I feel like it’s specific drivers. You have to kind of get to know them. Also, I feel like they definitely know the regulars that get on the bus.
LP: I would say, so we’ve have the same purple route driver for probably three years now.
JP: Yeah, we’ve have the same purple one, but the red one! I haven’t seen him this year!
LP: He always played really soothing music.
JP: It was very flute-y. Everyday.
LP: It was like a flute…instrumental. It was very nice! But we haven’t seen him in a while. Dusty we miss you. But if you know your driver—definitely get to know them if you can, because they will squeeze you on if it’s really full, they will make room for you. The driver that has been our driver for three years always makes room for everybody, so that’s really nice. So make sure you get to know them! The other story, is that a good one? Is it scary? I don’t want to scare the freshmen.
LK: Well, I mean, my friend got thrown up on on the bus. So, uh. It was just on his arm. So he—
JP: Shook it off.
LK: Yeah, just a little shake of the arm.
LP: At what time of day did this happen?
LK: This was on game day.
LP & JP: Ah yes!
LK: So that makes more sense.
LP: Speaking of game day, you are fully dependent on the Appalcart on game day. You cannot drive anywhere.
JP: No, you can’t park anywhere.
LK: Or walk! Take your pick.
LP: Or walk!
JP: Or do anything really.
LP: Jo, do you have anything interesting that happened to you on the Appalcart?
JP: Well, I don’t know if it’s as crazy now. I didn’t get thrown up on, but I was coming back from Raleigh and I parked at State Farm, and it was snowing. Sometimes the Appalcart doesn’t come, or if it does come sometimes it get stuck especially you know hills aka mountains aka Boone. So that happens. I was on the Appalcart trying to come back to Cone and go to bed, and we got stuck in another Appalcart had to come, but it was nice though because since it’s through Boone, they made sure that we got through it. So it wasn’t that scary or anything, but I just thought I was going to have to sleep in an Appalcart. I was like “I guess I’ll just lay here.”
LP: Nice bonding experience.
JP: Yeah there was maybe like ten of us on the bus.
LP: Yeah, so the buses sometimes if it’s too cold, or if it’s snowing, the buses will not run, and if the buses can’t run, we don’t have class! So that will happen sometimes.
JP: Yeah, it’s pretty much if it can’t go up to the Cottages, that’s a good indicator is what I’ve heard. Because that’s such a big hill.
LK: I don’t think my car can get up to the Cottages, tbh.
LP: It’s a struggle. The Cottages are these huge townhomes up on a huge hill up [Highway] 105, and the hill to get up there is very dangerous. I’m not sure how the bus makes it up, but it does. So if it’s snowing…who knows?! So that is why we will not have class some times. That’s teal route! There are so many colors. Also, all of the Appalcart routes are colors so there’s teal, purple, pink, red--
JP & LK: Green west.
LK: That’s what I take home if I need to.
JP: Green east, orange.
LP: Pop 105…not sure why it’s called Pop.
JP: Yeah, and express and state farm.
LK: Poplar Grove.
LP: Oh, is that why?
LP & JP: Ohhhhhhhhhh.
LK: Poplar grove 105. I think that Pop 105 may go to Highlands? University Highlands?
LP: Oh yeah, it does! Those are university housing, there’s a ton. Gold. Silver.
JP: I don’t even know where those go.
LP: Have y’all every met anyone crazy on the bus?
JP: Um, yeah. I have met some very interesting people on the Appalcart, because it’s not just students that go on it. It’s all of the town or Boone. No matter what city, I guess, you meet some interesting people especially if it’s public transit.
LP: I met a couple once, they were veterans. And they were telling me this story—and the both had their army jackets on—and they were telling me this story about when they first came to Boone they biked to Boone. Like, they biked up 421, up the hill.
LK: Like, bicycles?
LP: On bicycles. I was like, “Woah…what?” And then they told me how they settled, and I got to know them. And I’m just sitting on the bus, and I was like “Okay, it’s my stop. I gotta go, but it was really nice to meet you guys!” And they were like, “Thanks for talking to us…no one ever talks to us.” I was like, “Oh, you guys are really nice! Have a good day, bye!” But yeah, that was on red route. There are a lot of local people who ride the red route. Get to know them they’re nice. Oh! The Appalcart is free. My freshman year, I don’t know who told me but they were like, “Yeah, you have to show your App Card when you get on the bus, so make sure you have your App Card ready.” So the first time I got on the bus I’m holding up my App Card, and they were like, “What?”. And I was like, “Oh…I don’t know.” So I don’t know who told me that, I don’t appreciate that at all, because it made me look like a dumb freshman. So you don’t have to show any identification you just get on. It’s fine.
LK: I feel like that’s really nice though, because App is all about sustainability, and everything like that. So, being able to do that for free is nice. Also, the town of Boone as a whole is not as wealthy and things like that, and so it’s nice to be able have public transit.
LP: Yeah, you save gas. If you drive every day, that’s a lot of gas. So, take the bus. Carpooling in any capacity is awesome, especially because App is so sustainable. It’s a good call. Saferide? Saferide is a life saver. Freshman year, I think we would Saferide to the APH to get to Waffle House…often.
LK: Yes! Or Bojangles. Or Wendy’s and Taco Bell and Cookout are right there, too.
LP: Late at night if you don’t want to walk, you just take Saferide. But Saferide is a service that the university provides where you call a phone number, which is 828-262-RIDE. I noticed that yesterday, I didn’t know that it was RIDE because I just have it saved in my phone. And after 7:00 until 3:00 am I believe, you can get a ride anywhere on campus for free. They just come pick you up, and you tell them where you’re going and it’s free. It’s super easy.
LK: For you and one other person.
LP: Oh cool!
LK: Yeah. So, you can call two people. So, if you’re taking it to Waffle House, that’s why you have to take it to the APH, and then you walk to Waffle House.
LP: And if you don’t know what the APH is…
JP: The Appalachian Panhellenic Hall where sorority girls live, that are usually sophomores.
LK: My freshman year, within my first two weeks, it was my fraternity’s first mixer, or date function, and me and my date were trying to get a ride to Galileo’s from the east side of campus. So we called Saferide to give us a ride to Galileo’s, and they said, “Yeah, we don’t do that.” And they said, “We can take you to the SRC.” And we were dressed up as bats. So we got in Saferide dressed up as bats, went to the SRC, and then walked to there.
LP: It saves you a lot of time!
LK: Yup! It did.
LK: Something that I didn’t know the first time I called Saferide is that they are not going to contact you when you’re there. You just have to be ready to go out there, so sometimes it can be there in five minutes, other times it can be there in twenty minutes, and if you’re not out there they will leave. Then you can call another one, which is the nice part about it, but definitely being proactive and waiting—which can be a good and bad thing. I’ve have Saferides leave me too, even when I’m like, “Wait!”
LP: Make sure you’re there.
LK: The last day before the end of my first semester of freshman year, I was waiting on the west side of campus. It was fourteen degrees outside with 30 miles per hour winds, and I was at my friend’s dorm and I called them in the elevator, and someone kept hitting the elevator buttons, and they left me. It was there within two minutes, and they left me.
LP & JP: Oh my gosh.
LK: And, so then I had to walk all the way home.
LP: So be out there. So, for the Appalcart it doesn’t matter if you’re a student or not, but Saferide you do have to be a student. You’ll give them your name and they’ll take down your information, so that when you get in—I think they’ll even say your name sometimes if they’re looking for someone?
JP: Yeah, “Oh Liz Pope!” and you’ll be like, “Yes!” And then you’ll get in.
LP: So they make sure you’re a student, so that you’re not riding with random people. You’re riding with other students as well. And they’re big vans, they’re huge white vans. That can fit a lot of people. Normally that’s sketchy, but it says Saferide on the side so it’s fine! It’s literally called Saferide. And it’s free! Totally free.
LK: Included in the tuition and fees, as we say on campus tours.
JP: Also, sometimes when you’re on Saferide, they’re not going to directly take you straight to where you need to go. So, they sometimes do some stops on the way, but it’s a very precise down to a tee kind of thing. We had a friend who would work there, so that when we would call we would be like “Hey!” and she would be like “Oh my gosh, hey! It’s Holly!” and we were like—
JP & LP: “Oh hi!”
JP: “We need a ride.”
LP: Yeah, they have walkie talkies, and it’s very efficient. You can also work for Saferide if you’re a student. All the drivers are students. So, it’s students helping students, which is pretty sweet.
LK: Yeah, staying up late if that’s your thing, as many nights as you want I guess.
LP: Yeah, three a.m. and it’s 7 days a week too, so you can call it any day of the week. Sunday, and it’ll take you to State Farm. I didn’t know that freshman year I wish we had known that.
JP: Yeah, I did not know that at all.
LK: I think it’s just in less demand.
LP & JP: Yeah.
JP: Yeah, I also think with other forms of transit, like Uber just came up here and things like that, is something that the up and coming generation—wow I sound old—they definitely use things like that to call. Like one of our friends yesterday went to Wal-Mart and took a ride there, and paid for a ride to go to Wal-Mart. I was like, “What? You can get there for free!” I think they’re just scared of it, and I don’t think they know. It’s definitely something that is faster, and cheaper, and more sustainable.
LP: Yeah! Take the bus. Take Saferide.
JP: It’s fun.
LP: Do it.
JP: You see friends!
LP: You see friends on the bus! I made a friend on purple route strictly from taking the bus with her everyday, now we’re friends. Hi Natalie! Because you see the same people everyday, especially if you have the same class.
JP: That’s so true.
LP: Well, there’s also a Facebook group for ride share. So, if you are needing a ride home, so let’s say you live in Raleigh. Someone will post on there and say, “Hey, I’m going to Raleigh if anyone needs a ride, just give me gas money.” So that’s a Facebook group that exists so you can carpool with random strangers, and make some friends, save some gas.
JP: I did it once!
LP: Oh, you did?
JP: Mhm. I did it once. I took a girl home. We knew each other through mutual people, but we weren’t necessarily friends, but she paid me gas money and she was really nice.
LP: It’s useful. And if you’re going anyways.
LK: Why not? There are buses to Greensboro and Charlotte. I took that once to Greensboro, and had my parents meet me half way. It was kind of sketchy.
JP: And you buy it from Phil’s. One time my freshman year I was so sick, really sick, and my parents couldn’t get me because they were working and I’m from Raleigh. So, they wanted me to come home so that I could see my real doctor. So, I think I got you, Liz, to get a ticket from Phil’s and I hopped on the bus deathly ill. But, I rode it to Greensboro, and they make some stops on the way.
LK: It drops you off at a sketchy train/bus station in Greensboro.
JP: Yeah, I 100% made sure my mom was there before I got there. But, that’s also another service. They pick up right in front of Red Onion, and you can buy it through Phil’s across the street. And I think it’s only $8? $8-$15.
LP: Oh my gosh!
LK: Yeah, it’s really cheap. I took it on a Thursday night home. I had a family member in the hospital, so I was like trying to get home pretty quickly, and didn’t have my car. So that was nice. I mean, I felt bad for someone having to come pick me up from Greensboro, but—
LP: Way better than Boone.
JP: There’s a lot of public transportation around Boone, so much. I kind of forget about all of it.
LP: Now that were talking about all of it.
JP: It’s nice to be a part of a university that does have that, because I know other schools—like my brother goes to Chapel Hill and he struggles to find rides certain places. Or, he uses Uber which is sometimes, especially in big cities like Chapel Hill, is super expensive.
LP: We’re so lucky! Thanks Appalachian.
JP: It is nice though. I never really realized. I never realized how much until we’re actually been talking about it.
LK: Yeah, and we complain about parking, but so many people have their car, it’s so much nicer than other universities. Like, yeah it kind of sucks when that one time you need a parking spot, there’s not, but in the grand scheme of things it’s so much nicer than other university’s parking. Like, dear God I had to walk two minutes. You know, I was complaining about walking from here to Stadium, which is what? Five minutes? Maybe?
LP: Parking on King Street is a dollar an hour, that’s not horrible.
JP: You can park there after five.
LK: That scares me. I can’t parallel park.
JP: And there’s the 30 minute parking in the library circle, you can park there, if you need to print something.
LK: Trivette. Roess.
JP: Or Roess, excuse me.
LP: Make sure you put the money in the right meter though, because I didn’t, got a parking ticket, didn’t pay it in time, and then it was $45, and I started thinking about how much money that is and what I could have spent it on, so put in in the right meter! Don’t be stupid!
JP: Yeah that’s definitely something. I think if you haven’t gotten a parking ticket on King Street then I don’t think you’re an App student. I think it’s like $14.
LK: Knock on wood.
JP: Yeah literally knock on wood.
LK: I also used to live right by King Street so I never parked there.
LP: Oh, that’s nice.
JP: People who live at the APH, it’s the same standard, free parking after five anywhere on campus. But, there are some places that are after 4:00 p.m., like by Beasley.
LK: Peacock, the gates open at 4:45 p.m.
LP: Oh really? I did not know that.
JP: SRC is 4:00 p.m.
LP: Cool! But, everywhere is 5:00 p.m. and then weekends are free.
JP: Unless it’s a game day.
LP: They will tow your car.
LK: Friday after 5:00, until Monday morning at 6:00 a.m. or something.
LP: They will boot your car also at certain lots. Joanna has gotten a boot before.
JP: My mom has gotten a boot. I’ve gotten a boot, at the old Cilantro’s, the lot right next to Mellow Mushroom.
LK: Ugh, R.I.P.
JP: It was $100 and it was not worth it. Well, we’re going to take the Appalcart back home!
LP: Yeah we are!
JP: I don’t know which one, what time is it?
JP: We have four that come right near our apartment which is really nice! So if you miss red—oh no!—purple—oh no!—express—oh no!—pink!
LP: Red, purple, pink, and express! There is an app called NextBus, I see a lot of underclassmen using it. They always have it pulled up on their phone. I personally don’t, just because I know the times at this point, but it supposedly tells you where exactly the bus is, so you could figure the bus out that way, or just get an old school map from the student union, I think.
LK: I think I have one lodged into my desk somewhere.
LP: Just study it up!
LK: Honestly, look at the maps. They look intimidating, but I definitely think making the mistake of getting on the wrong bus kind of helps you I guess. Woo! Appalcart!
LP: Appalcart! Is there anything else about traveling around Boone that would be confusing for freshmen? King Street is dangerous, it’s honestly very traffic-y, so avoid it at all costs if you can. Also, if you’re picking up your friend from the library circle or Raley circle, don’t sit in the road, because the bus will come in an blare their horn at you. It’s terrifying, just don’t do that. Pull up on the little mound think at library circle.
JK: You’re allowed to sit there. You can sit there for a while. That’s how I dropped off my books.
LK: Yeah, you can park there.
JK: You can park there. I think it’s like 15 minutes. I mean, you’re not really parked there. I put my hazards on.
LK: Yeah, I did that, too.
LP: Just don’t get in the way of the bus.
JP: Yeah, they will blare it, and then everyone sees you because that’s a very popular park of campus.
LP: It’s embarrassing.
JP: Hashtag embarrassing.
LP: Speeding is bad also, don’t do it, especially on the Parkway. It’s like a federal offense or something?
JP: Yeah, our friend got a ticket like three times.
LP: Yeah, so don’t do that.
JP: Also--just a fun little tidbit—driving through Wilkesboro, even though that’s not Boone, they sit there. I think they have nothing else to do because I have never gotten a ticket, but both of my siblings have gotten tickets. And I know they have so many speed traps, so 55 [mph] there.
LK: Also, Rivers Street. 25 [mph], go 25 no matter what time of day, what time of night, go 25. That’s where the police station is, so they just literally are home there.
LP: Yeah, and there are a ton of pedestrians, especially during the day on Rivers Street—you will hit someone if you’re not careful.
JP: There’s that crosswalk on Rivers Street that isn’t really a crosswalk. That’s right after Convocation, that’s also a bus stop.
LK: Oh, yup. Right in front of the JET [building]. Tour groups? Huge liability.
JP: They need to put white lines, or some flashing stuff. Because, I’ll be turning off Faculty [Drive] onto Rivers Street, and I’m like “Woah, pedestrians!” and I’m trying to step on my brakes, and it’s already a scary way to turn anyway. Yeah, jaywalking is a high key thing.
LP: Yeah, people do that here. You’re not supposed to, but you do. It’s okay! So, time out from this podcast for a second. You’re listening to this conversation I had with my friends like two weeks ago, but right now I’m in the editing process and it occurred to me after talking to my boss that there is actually one more thing that we should probably address about ways to get around Boone. We have this conversation in the podcast, but I want to include it with a preface. So, there is this thing called Boone Student Beeper, which is a Facebook page, it is technically a crowd sourced ride share service, and it’s completely unrelated to the university, but because it’s such a huge part of the average Appalachian Student’s reality, we figured it’s something important incoming freshman should know about. But, before we jump into that, I want to stress how important it is for everyone to use your best judgement before getting into a car with someone you don’t know well, or don’t know at all. And, you should always ride with a friend, and if you feel wary or uncomfortable about the situation…just don’t get in the car. Just be safe and trust your instincts! So without further ado, here is our last little insight before we let you go. So Uber is up here, but it’s not very popular. There is something called the Boone Student Beeper page, which is a Facebook group that anyone can join, students or otherwise, and you look at the page and there’s phone numbers, people will post phone numbers, call them, and you can get a ride. Sometimes your friends will be beeping, you can beep, if you want, they just call you, ask where you are, ask where you’re going, it’s great. It’s a good system. It’s a little bit suspect at times, because literally anyone can post or pick you up, and vice versa. So typically, at least me and my friends, we try to call someone we already know so that we know that they’re safe and normal.
LK: Or like mutual friends.
LP: Yeah, at least mutual friends!
JP: Like, “Oh, my Ambassador friend is beeping!” and then you’ll get their number.
LP: And it’s nice because I mean, the bus doesn’t run, Saferide doesn’t drop you off at your apartment, it’s kind of like what else do you do? Cabs are non-existent up here, but the beeper page is very useful.
LK: It’s efficient.
LP: It’s efficient!
JP: And also if you live off campus, it’s pretty much the only alternative.
LK: Yeah, the good thing about beeper is that the rates are standard. So, even if you live at the Cottages it’s still going to be the same amount of money versus someone who, like me, doesn’t live that far off campus even though the distance is further. Whereas, Uber it’s price per mile.
LP: No surges. So if you need any more information about the Appalcart you can go to appalcart.com, Appalcart like A-P-P like App, ha ha! Not like Apple, like the fruit. Don’t do that. And if you need any more information on parking or anything like that you can go to parking.appstate.edu. Awesome! Lee and Jo, thank you for coming in today.
LK: Thanks for having us!
JP: Yeah, thank you!
LK: I had a fun time, playing with these mics. These are cool!
JP: Yeah, I feel really legit right now.
LP: Alright, this is Liz Pope. That was AppX. Boom. See ya next time!
What do you think?
Share your feedback on this story.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives. App State is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, with a national reputation for innovative teaching and opening access to a high-quality, affordable education for all. The university enrolls more than 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and 80 graduate majors at its Boone and Hickory campuses and through App State Online. Learn more at https://www.appstate.edu.