Ground Transportation Guidelines

Many Bass Connections teams conduct field research or go on site visits or team outings that involve off-campus travel. Regardless of whether off-campus travel is local, domestic or international, teams should be aware of the following guidance on ground transportation.

Public transportation: Whenever possible, we encourage teams to use public transportation. This is particularly true here in Durham as well as in other cities with large, reliable public transportation systems.

Driving in personal vehicles: We strongly discourage faculty, staff and students from driving other students in their own vehicles. Students and faculty are not covered by the Duke’s auto liability insurance while operating their own vehicles. Any faculty, staff or student who chooses to drive their own vehicle should be made aware that they do so at their own risk.

Lyft Rides program: For short, local trips, your team may consider using the Lyft Rides program. Through this program, teams can set-up pre-paid trips for students which will prevent students from having to cover out-of-pocket costs. Please note that this option should not be used to transport minors (individuals under 18) who are not Duke students.

Using Lyft Rides

  1. Students should first sign the Duke liability waiver.
  2. Your team can then pre-pay for trips through Lyft Events using the purchase card of a team leader.
  3. Please note that M-F from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Duke does not allow taxis/ride-hailing services access at the following four locations on campus: West Campus Bus Stop; Bryan Center Circle; Research Drive Circle; East Campus Bus Stop. We recommend scheduling pick-up and drop-off locations using the designated locations established by Duke.

Car rentals: Car rentals should be done using Duke’s Enterprise or National plan, which includes insurance and liability coverage. To rent a car under Duke’s plan, please visit, log-in using your NetID and scroll to the bottom of the page. When renting a car, please review Duke's Rental Vehicle Guidance

Undergraduate students should not drive rental cars. Graduate students are generally discouraged from driving a rental car but if they do serve as a driver, they should take note of the "student drivers" section of the Rental Vehicle Guidance.

Rental cars should not be used for international travel without first discussing and assessing the risks with your theme administrator.

Charter companies: Teams may also hire a shuttle from a charter company. When doing so, please conduct due diligence on the company in advance to ensure that it is a safe and reputable provider. (Due diligence may include checking that the company’s drivers have commercial driver’s licenses and that the company’s vehicles have up-to-date insurance coverage and safety inspections. Contact your theme administrator if you have questions about vetting a particular company.)

University-owned and leased vehicles: If your unit has access to a University-owned or leased vehicle, Duke recommends that you use such vehicles for all business-related travel as these are insured by the University.

Routine driving: Any employee, student, volunteer or contract employee who plans to operate a Duke vehicle (whether Duke-owned, leased or rented) as a routine part of his or her position must complete a vehicle safety and defensive driving course through Duke. For more information about these requirements, please review Duke's Vehicle Safety Policy and contact the Occupational Hygiene & Safety Division at 919-684-5996 or by email at:

Duke Policy Links and Resources: