"The Current", operated by Connecticut River Transit, lets passengers on at its stop on Flat Street. (Reformer file photo)
"The Current", operated by Connecticut River Transit, lets passengers on at its stop on Flat Street. (Reformer file photo)
Saturday May 25, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- Connecticut River Transit has reached a deal with the town of Brattleboro to open up an office in the Brattleboro Transportation Center.

The company, which operates the town bus, The Current, hopes to have an employee in the transportation center at 77 Flat St. six days a week during the times when the bus is running.

CRT Operations Manager Michelle Ovitt said the office employee will be able to provide information about the routes and schedules, as well as be able to sell bus tokens.

Ovitt said the decision to operate an office in Brattleboro comes as the company has been able to extend and strengthen transportation service in southern Windham County since taking over the bus service from the town in 2010.

CRT was chosen to take over the Beeline bus service, which was operated by the town, after the Brattleboro Selectboard decided it made more sense to have a transportation company running the service

"We're growing. We're busy and it's a good feeling," Ovitt said. "We want to be there to provide information and to be available whenever something arises."

Ovitt said construction workers have been building out the small office in the transportation center, and she said she expects to have a CRT employee working there within a few weeks.

CRT is paying for all of the construction costs. The transportation company signed a five-year lease with the town and will pay $100 per month for the approximately 106 square-foot office, with an annual escalation of 1 percent.

CRT received some criticism last year when it changed its service routes and hours, with some riders complaining that the company could have done more to publicize the changes.

Ovitt said things have been going much more smoothly, and she said it will be beneficial to the company and to the riders to have someone in Brattleboro.

She also said the CRT employee will be able to keep the inside waiting room open during the cold winter months until the last bus has left.

"It's going to help everyone to have someone down there," Ovitt said.

Brattleboro Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland said CRT will be able to close the transportation center up at night, a responsibility that is currently handled by the Brattleboro Police Department.

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 279, or hwtisman@reformer.com. Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.