THE CURRENT DRAFTS ROUTE IMPROVEMENT PLAN
January 25, 2017
ROCKINGHAM – The Current continues work on a route improvement for many of its routes in Windham and Windsor Counties.
The plan’s goals are to improve the riders’ experience, increase ridership, attract new riders, and to support businesses and human service agencies throughout the region.
The plan is in response to a study done in 2016 by the Southern Windsor Regional Planning Commission which gathered extensive input from the public, towns, drivers, and human service agencies. Schedules are being reviewed based on the input, and already four routes’ fares have been eliminated.
The routes involved in the first phase of the plan are the #1 Springfield In-town, #2 Bellows Falls In-Town, #53 Bellows Falls-Brattleboro, #55 Bellows Falls-Springfield, #57 Bellows Falls-Rutland, #61 Bellows Falls to Okemo, and the 101 Route shopping trip from Chester to Claremont.
The #61 Route’s schedule was changed in November to accommodate Okemo’s employees and guests. Okemo has provided generous financial support for the route, and ridership is up substantially from a year ago. The 101 route changes are simply the fare elimination.
As potential route or schedule improvements are planned, they will be vetted in a multi-level public input and review process by riders, non-riders, towns, planning commission, the state, and The Current’s drivers and Board of Directors in the coming weeks. At least two public hearings will take place – one in Rockingham and one in Springfield.
“We are excited to finish the drafting stage and present this to the public in the coming weeks” said Rebecca Gagnon, Current General Manager. “These routes have not been analyzed in many years, and so many ridership factors have changed.”
Other routes will be looked at in the spring, but for now the focus is on the routes mentioned above.
“We thank our riders for their patience and support, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments on our draft plan”, Gagnon said.