Inter-city buses are coming back to Rutland for the first time since Greyhound suspended service five years ago.
With help from a federal subsidy, The Agency of Transportation is calling for proposals from bus companies interested in providing service between Rutland and Burlington, White River Junction and Albany, N.Y.
Barbara Donovan, the Public Transit Administrator for the Vermont Agency of Transportation says there is a need to connect Vermont cities to the rest of the Northeast. Right now, Donovan says, it’s open to negotiation.
“We’ll probably start with one or two runs a day, and as we build ridership, then we’ll look at increasing the frequency,” says Donovan.
The agency spent last year surveying the public and completed a study based on that research. It found that there was an overwhelming demand for more service, especially to smaller cities around the State.
In terms of cost, the Transportation agency won’t have any information on ticket prices until it receives the proposals. Donovan says money has already been set aside for the project.
“We’ve reserved about $400,000 for this re-route, and we’ll negotiate once we get the bids in to see how much value we can get for our money,” says Donovan.
Bids are due August 26, and the Vermont Agency of Transportation will hold a bidders conference on August 12. As far as when the public can expect service, Donovan is hopeful the buses will start running this Fall.
“Best case scenario, probably October 1,” says Donovan.
Donovan adds that the agency hopes to boost the local economy with more transit:
“We’re hoping to connect the hiking trails, when the Long Trail crosses Route 4,” says Donovan. “So people can come do recreation in Vermont, who can come skiing, who can come work at all the resorts.”