New Brattleboro to Boston bus added
BRATTLEBORO >> Starting Oct. 1, another bus service will link Brattleboro and Boston.
"There will be daily service. It will be once a day in each direction," Town Manager Peter Elwell said at a meeting Tuesday. "We're looking forward to that additional amenity to the public regional transportation system serving our area."
MAX Bus will stop at the Brattleboro Transportation Center on Flat Street and South Station — "the main transportation hub" in downtown Boston where all Amtrak trains and other bus companies go, Englert said. Logan International Airport is a few miles away. MAX joins Greyhound in providing trips to both destinations but makes them more frequent.
Greenfield buses are loading or unloading passengers at the John W. Olver Transit Center at 12 Olive Street and the Exit 26 Park and Ride on Interstate 91. Other stops in Massachussetts include Athol, Orange, Framingham, Gardner, Fitchburg, Leominster and Worchester.
As a way of introducing customers to the new service, round trip tickets are being offered at $29 online at ridemaxbus.com. The price is normally about $60. Special group sales are available.
"We're going to be pushing to be as low cost as we can reasonably be," said Connie Englert, principal and managing director at TrueNorth Travel Solutions. "This is our start. We certainly are looking to have some additional service when it makes sense to do so including some express stops."
The passenger buses have reclining seats, power outlets, wireless internet, and reading lights. The vehicles are wheelchair accessible and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Also, free storage space is provided for luggage and bikes.
A standard bus usually has 56 seats. Having only 51 on the MAX buses will mean "extra leg room," said Englert.
"This is full blown," Englert said. "It's a brand new bus."
Trips to and from Greenfield had been one of his company's biggest requests. In the past, buses would only come as close as Northampton in the Bay State's Hampshire County.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation awarded federal funds to the project. A $191,034 grant was received by the Shelburne Falls, Mass.-based TrueNorth Travel Solutions, which runs the MAX Bus service and consults on different transportation projects.
"We put a bid in for those funds," Englert said. "Our services are mostly in Massachusetts."
Englert called the areas of Franklin County in western Massachusetts and southern Vermont home for the company.
"We have been looking at this market for a long time," he said. "We are a social enterprise. If we can break even on this, we will be thrilled. We're looking at keeping rural areas like Brattleboro and southern Vermont growing and thriving."
Another goal involves attracting travelers in Boston to these other regions.
Call Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273.
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