Gov. Jim Douglas announced last week that the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) has awarded $3.9 million in Federal Transit Administration taxpayer-funded grants over the next three years to six public transportation providers to help them either start new or expand existing bus routes.
"These grants will assist public transit providers across Vermont with their efforts to increase public transportation opportunities for the people of our state," said Governor Jim Douglas. "These funds will also help us ease traffic congestion along some of our heaviest traveled routes and improve air quality."
Awards were made based on the provider's ability to mitigate congestion and its associated air quality impacts as well as their ability to show the viability and sustainability of the new or expanded route.
"This money will help fund new or expanded public transit routes for the next three years," said VTrans Secretary David Dill. "In many cases, partnerships between local employers and the public transit provider were established to ensure that the grant funding would stretch as far as possible, effectively serve the commuting-public, and have the greatest overall positive economic impact."
New or expanded routes to receive funding include:
•Addison County Transit Resources will receive just over $250,000 annually for the next three years to expand service of its existing Burlington LINK shuttle, the Middlebury Shuttle, and the Tri-Town Shuttle.
•Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA) will receive approximately $695,000 each of the next three years to establish a Milton-to-Burlington LINK route in the same style as its popular Montpelier-to-Burlington LINK. CCTA will also use grant funds to establish regular service along the densely developed Route 2 Corridor between Burlington's Cherry Street Station and Taft Corners in Williston.
•Connecticut River Transit based in Rockingham and now operating as "The Current" was awarded $76,000 annually for the next three years to expand its successful Upper Valley Commuter route to more effectively serve the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center's workforce.
•Rutland's Marble Valley Regional Transit District will receive approximately $69,000 annually for the next three years to expand service by increasing the frequency of runs on the popular South Route component of their In-City fixed route services.
•Stagecoach Transportation Services of Randolph will use their award of $68,000 for the next three years to establish a Montpelier-to-Randolph Commuter route along the I-89 Corridor.
•Green Mountain Transit Agency, in partnership with Rural Community Transportation of St. Johnsbury, will use approximately $174,000 annually for the next three years to establish a commuter transit route along the busy Route 2 Corridor between St. Johnsbury and Montpelier.