Brattleboro Bus Schedule Re-Design

          BRATTLEBORO:  The Current, which operates the Brattleboro bus system, is seeking public input in its effort to improve the town’s schedules and service level.

The existing schedules were implemented in late August 2012 by the Current’s predecessor, Connecticut River Transit (CRT). The Current, which is one of two divisions operated by Southeast Vermont Transit (SEVT), took over the system in 2016 and has made only minor changes to one of the routes. Now it wants to involve the public in re-designing the system to increase both ridership and service quality.

SEVT has been awarded a grant by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) to work with consultant Stephen Falbel of Steadman Hill Consulting in Montpelier and the Windham Regional Commission to assist in the route design. The most important part of the process is a two-phase public input process before the system is adjusted late this year or early next.

There will be two rounds of public meetings, two rounds of surveys, and substantial, targeted outreach as part of the comprehensive public outreach plan. The first round includes a public meeting sometime in late August or September to gather information on what the public would like to see, what it likes and dislikes, and what recommendations they have. In addition, surveys and/or interviews will be done with employers, partners, committees, riders, bus drivers, and non-riders. SEVT will also meet with the Town of Brattleboro and will appear before the Select Board at its August 15th meeting. Following the first round of public input, a draft service plan will be designed and published for comment.

The second round of public input – consisting of a second public meeting and surveys – will present the draft plan and seek additional comments before making final changes and then implementing it.

The two public outreach rounds, plan drafting, and final changes are expected to reach into the fall, with implementation occurring after a four-week advance notice/marketing phase of the new schedules sometime late this year or early next.

“I want to assure our existing riders that the core schedules will remain, so that you will continue to reach your jobs, shopping, and medical appointments” said Randy Schoonmaker, SEVT CEO. “What we are trying to accomplish is to simplify the schedule, minimize transfers, reduce duplication, fill in gaps, and make the system more user friendly.” Schoonmaker also said that fares will remain at $1 per ride.

There are two public surveys being conducted in the first round of outreach – one for riders and one for non-riders. Riders may pick up their survey on the bus or complete it online at www.crtransit.org or on the Current’s Facebook page.

The survey for those who do not currently ride the bus can be picked up at the Brattleboro Chamber of Commerce, the Brattleboro Public Library, The Coop’s Shareholder Desk, and the Transportation Center. Non-riders can also fill out the survey online at www.crtransit.org and on the Current’s Facebook page.

All surveys must be completed by August 18, 2017.

The date for the first public meeting will be announced shortly.

For questions or comments call Rebecca Gagnon at 802-460-7433 ext. 201 or e-mail rgagnon@crtransit.org.