ACTR, Making News
116 Commuter Gets National Attention
June 28, 2012 Check out this article featuring the 116 Commuter. It appears in the June 2012 edition of Community Transportation Association of America’s online magazine, DigitalCT. CTAA is highlighting national examples of innovation in coordination, “The strategies included in this edition of DigitalCT are designed to inspire hope and a renewed spirit of innovation. Many of those profiled here aren’t just “thinking outside the box,” they’re “living outside the box.” What’s needed is nothing short of a new way to do this business we call community transportation — new ways of providing affordable transportation; new planning methods; new coordinated partnerships; and new ways of serving our communities. In that spirit, this edition of DigitalCT focuses on profiles, strategies and resources that demonstrate coordination is inseparable from innovation.” : Vermont Creates Rural Commuter Line
The Route 116 Commuter is an innovative model of service for Hinesburg combining bus service from both directions – Burlington and Middlebury. This plan will create a commuter-oriented schedule for Hinesburg residents going north to Burlington jobs and Burlington residents traveling south to Hinesburg jobs as well as link Addison County residents in Middlebury, Bristol and Starksboro to Chittenden County via Hinesburg.
Hinesburg Rides, the Town of Hinesburg, and NRG Systems have actively advocated for this corridor bus service for several years. Local residents first voted at Town Meeting 2010 to set aside operating funds, renewing support the following year. NRG Systems has committed local match funds to cover capital costs.
Karla Munson, coordinator of Hinesburg Rides, underscores the value of the service for the entire corridor between Burlington and Middlebury. “On behalf of Hinesburg Rides, I would like to say what a great service our new commuter bus will be to the entire Route 116 corridor. I’d also like to say thank you to all who have helped support this project throughout the years, and especially NRG Systems. It has been a long time coming and I couldn’t be happier or more excited.”
One of Hinesburg’s top goals, as outlined in its Town Plan is to promote alternative transportation options such as rideshare and bus service. “Commuter bus service is a huge step forward for the Hinesburg Community,” Director of Planning and Zoning for the Town of Hinesburg, Alex Weinhagen, said. “The Town of Hinesburg sees bus service not only as necessary transportation infrastructure, but also as an important community asset.”
Public hearings to discuss specific route and schedule details and obtain public comments were held in South Burlington, Hinesburg, Bristol and Middlebury.
“We believe that support for public transportation is one of the highest-leverage investments we can make,” Jan Blittersdorf, CEO of NRG Systems, said. “It is vital for strong community infrastructure, economic development and local jobs, and the environment.”
In Addison County this will provide much needed service for many rural residents along the Route 116 corridor. “We are pleased that this innovative public-private collaboration will enable us to provide folks with access to employment markets in Burlington, Hinesburg and Middlebury.” Jim Moulton, Executive Director of ACTR, said.
About ACTR – Since 1992, ACTR’s mission is to enhance the economic, social and environmental health of the region by providing transportation services that are safe, reliable, accessible and affordable for everyone. For more information about ACTR and other routes offered, please explore this website.
About CCTA – The mission of CCTA is to operate safe, convenient, accessible, innovative, and sustainable public transportation services in northwest and central Vermont that reduce congestion and pollution, encourage transit oriented development, and enhance the quality of life for all. For more information about routes and schedules, visit cctaride.org.
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