WINDHAM COUNTY — Bus drivers for Southeast Vermont Transit's MOOver and The Current do not get snow days.
They help local residents and visitors get to places when the roads are not in great shape.
"I think it's important that people know that they have a transportation option on days when it's too dangerous to drive," said Wendy Harrison, a member of the SEVT board. "The SEVT buses do not stop for bad weather, including winter snow storms. Even when school is cancelled, public transit is still provided in our area. People can still get to doctor's appointments, to work or to check on friends and family."
SEVT General Manager Jan Terk said the MOOver has always had that policy. Those buses had been run by Deerfield Valley Transit Association until it merged with Connecticut River Transit to become SEVT in July 2015. The Current and MOOver are now under the same organization.
"I think that the philosophy is public transportation is an important part of people's day that need to use it," Terk said. "Some people don't have cars or rely on public transportation, whether that's commuting or doctor's appointments or whatever. Public transportation, we just feel we have an obligation to fill that need if at all possible."
Things don't always go perfectly. Terk said there have been minor incidents involving buses driving in icy conditions. However, she added, that won't stop the buses from getting up the bigger hills for which the region is known.
Schedules can be delayed, Terk said, specifically to and from Brattleboro or Bennington as Route 9 can be a challenge.
"Sometimes, the road is closed," she said. "Sometimes, it's very slow going. Our buses don't have difficulty getting over the mountain. But often, other cars or tractor trailers are in the way."
Bus drivers will either wait out the closure or they'll navigate back roads.
Terk said the buses have studded snow tires that are appropriate for the terrain. Between the two services, there are about 60 buses.
"The Current operates everything year round so they're pretty steady," Terk said, referring to the bus service offering rides between Bellows Falls, Brattleboro, Rutland and Springfield. "At the MOOver, we do ramp up in the winter."
The MOOVer provides shuttle buses to and from Mount Snow, the West Dover-based ski and snowboard resort. Terk said the service is critical for employees there. Some of them are hired seasonally and some live outside the United States.
Terk said Mount Snow will strategically place housing along Route 100 to be along the MOOver route. Tourists and guests also use the service.
All year, the MOOver has buses traveling up and down Route 100 in Dover and Wilmington with trips going to and from Bennington, Brattleboro and Readsboro.
Reach staff writer Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or @CMaysBR.