Vermont Shires Connector to launch next month

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BENNINGTON — Premier Coach will operate the new bus service linking southwestern Vermont to rail service in New York's Capital Region that's expected to launch early next month.

Dubbed the Vermont Shires Connector, riders will be able to buy a single ticket for travel through inter-line ticketing through Amtrak's website. With stops in Manchester and Bennington, the bus will bring riders to the Amtrak station in Rensselaer, N.Y., the Greyhound terminal in Albany and Albany International Airport.

The new service was announced Tuesday by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) with partners Premier Coach and Amtrak.

Randall Charlebois, vice president and general manager for the Milton-based charter bus company, said the vehicles "are set up for customer comfort and convenience" with amenities such as outlets and wifi.

"We enjoy connecting people and places and look forward to doing this for the Shires of Vermont," he said in a news release.

The new bus is expected to feature two runs each day, with stops in Manchester Center and Bennington.

The twice-daily shuttle service, expected to launch in early September, will connect the Manchester and Bennington areas of Vermont, known as The Shires, to New York City, via the Albany-Rensselaer Amtrak station. The shuttle will wait for the Amtrak train to arrive before departing for the Albany international Airport, and then Bennington and Manchester.

The bus would start at the tour bus parking area at the municipal parking lot in Manchester Center, and then the Hampton Inn and The Equinox hotels. In Bennington, the bus will pick up and drop off riders adjacent to the parking lot for the Bennington Station Restaurant on River Street.

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