"Great minds have purposes, others have wishes." - Washington Irving

User login

Who's online

There are currently 0 users and 26 guests online.

Welcome to iBrattleboro!

Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

Find iBrattleboro on:

 Twitter YouTube

Search the Archives

Ye Olde iBrattleboro Archive

Use the pulldown to choose desired number of results.

 

Search the first decade
of iBrattleboro archives
at Archive-It.org
Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Disappearing Bus Service


Last September there was all this news about Megabus bringing cheap direct rides from Brattleboro to NYC, and MAX bus company bringing cheap and frequent rides from here to Boston. Was great to have cheaper alternatives to compete with costly Amtrak rides to NYC and Greyhound service, which only goes to Boston and back twice a week.

Anyone notice that Megabus and MAX already ended service here? Took less than a year. Sucks to lose something before having a chance to even use it. What are we, chopped liver? Anyone else disappointed or even hear about Megabus and MAX in time before they left, or do most people not really care?

»

Comments | 25

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
 #

Ouch

I didn't know that they stopped. (This means I'll go back to calling that complex a parking garage. When it had/has bus service to major cities, it can be a Transportation Center.)

Good bus service in the east-west directions are rather crucial here, since our trains go north to south, and low cost, mass transport is much needed for anyone watching their budget.

(Maybe we should invent an app that allows anyone to request a bus, and anyone with a bus could come pick them up. Call it Ubus. )

 
 #

That bus service stopped

That bus service stopped during the summer- I don't think they had a lot of riders,
Also Peter Pan and Greyhound have parted ways so not sure how that will affect the very limited bus service we did have. When I moved here 10 years ago there were 3 buses going back and forth to and from Boston every single day! You could actually go to Boston for the day and get back here in the same day- that's impossible to do now. Whether it's buses, trains or taxis- Brattleboro gets the short end of the transportation stick. Even our local bus system is inadequate if you don't want to wait 90 minutes for a return bus on Putney Road.

 
 #

Bad Bus Service

I'm so glad I have a reliable car. I can't imagine living here without one. Public transport has got to be the most inconvenient, embarrassing ways to get around town. Better public transport would be nice but I guess it's just not profitable enough in rural areas, even with massive government subsidies. At least we don't have traffic, so the whole car experience is a lot less stressful and more enjoyable, for those that have that luxury.

 
 #

Speaking as someone who does

Speaking as someone who does not have a car it's incredibly frustrating and isolating to not be able to get somewhere else or even to get around Brattleboro in a timely and efficient way. The closing of Brattleboro Taxi only made a bad situation worse. Not much attention is paid to the lack of transportation from the town leadership- although I recognize much of it is out of their hands.

 
 #

Transportation sharing service

Add "those without transportation" to the list of local marginalizations.

We spent the first few years here without a car, and it was hard. It makes things more expensive - everything takes longer to do, you are limited by what you can personally carry up hills, you are stuck buying at convenience stores and the Coop that are nearby, and to escape meant renting a car and overpaying for their insurance, etc.

The plus side was much more exercise, really seeing and noticing the town, meeting others out walking, noticing nature, etc. And not paying for a car, gas, or oil always is nice.

Maybe what is needed here is a car-sharing service. It would need to be local and long-term... but some sort of program where a car or two is provided low-cost by one of the dealerships, and it can be found in some designated spots around town for those in the program to share. Bike sharing, too. heck - full transportation option sharing, with a fleet of sharable vehicles - bikes, skateboards, wheelchairs, canoes, cars.... maybe the business plan competition can get one going.

 
 #

Uber?

Sounds like there's a need. If Uber served Brattleboro I'd definitely get my side hustle on. Would help cut back on dui's too, offering people a safe, easy way to get home after a night at the bar.

 
 #

The Uber company- much like

The Uber company- much like the new taxi service that has taken over the Brattleboro Taxi building are- for all intents and purposes- nonexistent. The taxi company "hopes" they will be up and running by late November and Uber...well, I've tried to get an Uber 5 separate times at different times of the day in the past 10 days and each time there has been "no car available". Apparently they have 1 driver who is only available to drive during school hours. I've lived in big cities and small towns before and never have seen such a lack of transportation as this place has.

 
 #

Uber availability

I passed the full background check a while back to become an Uber driver for Western MA before they had service in Brattleboro. Currently working on switching my service area to Brattleboro, but it takes a few weeks for them to process additional background checks to meet different state requirements. Once I'm approved I can guarantee there will be a car available much more often in town, generally from noon until about 3am.

 
 #

That will be a start

That will be a start certainly although you might be waiting a long time for any calls at 3 AM.
The attraction of having Uber in town was that transportation would be available at any time - especially in the day time hours when people need to get to appointments and run errands. I don't understand why it's taking so long to get the new taxi service licensed- I heard that they are having trouble getting drivers but wouldn't you need to be up and running to actually attract drivers?

 
 #

Late night service

Since bar closing time is 2am, and I'm naturally a night owl, there might be a market for those who need a sober driver to get home. I'll definitely try it out and if there's a demand, I'm happy to meet it. Waiting on final approval from both Uber and Lyft.

 
 #

I know that when the taxi was

I know that when the taxi was running they had very little call for rides after 10 PM. The only time they had drivers on late were New Years Eve or if there was an event that was running late. The busiest times are mornings for appointments and errands and for people who need to get to or from the buses and trains and again in late afternoon when the train gets in.
If there's only one driver and you get a fare that's going out of town- which happens frequently- then local rides aren't able to happen. I hope Uber can attract a few drivers so there's some reliability.
Good luck with it.

 
 #

thanks

Interesting about late night business. I would think there'd be a huge need for sober drivers out here in a rural area where a lot of people don't live walking distance to the bar. I live downtown, have a nice, new, clean reliable car and will do the best I can to provide reliable service. Uber says they should have my account approved for Brattleboro service in 5-7 business days.

 
 #

A car sharing service is a

A car sharing service is a good idea- certainly ZIP car works well but that still wouldn't address the people who suffer the most from a lack of transportation - the disabled; the elderly and those people who have mobility issues due to medical conditions.While there is a transport service to get people to medical appointments if you qualify there are just times when you need to go to the store to buy milk or cat food or you want to go to an event at the library or to a SB meeting. The lack of public transportation in Brattleboro leads to isolation, anxiety and depression. You'd think somebody would look at that and try to find a solution. Not everyone can walk the 6 or 7 blocks to get to a store or to the transportation center to get a bus. And, no one wants to be totally dependent on family or friends to drive them around. It's frustrating.

 
 #

The program

So it sounds like what we need is some sort of combination program - vehicle sharing (like ZIP cars), plus an on-call pick-up and drop-off service (like a taxi/ride sharing app).

It sounds like this would mostly need to operate during business hours to get people to stores and appointments.

It would need to be affordable to use and to operate.

(I'm just thinking out loud here...)

How about two donated electric vehicles? One for each need (share/ride), parked in a central location, and a non-profit program to raise some funds and enlist volunteer drivers. It could be a partnership of a car dealership, the Town, some of the heavy-demand destination stores and businesses (grocery stores, hospital), and maybe some organizations that serve elderly or disabled populations. Add in a tech company to design an app or website.

Income could come from grants, donations, and people paying for rides. Sharing a car could be 24 hrs a day; getting a ride could be during set hours. Expenses would be car upkeep, fuel, advertising, and a coordinator.

 
 #

When I was finally able to

When I was finally able to reach a human at the taxi company the woman said their opening was delayed due to some issues with the licensing. I hope that the problem is not with the town making it difficult for them to start providing service.
I think I'm going to contact the SB members and see if they know what's going on.

 
 #

Max and Mega

Some car-less friends tried these buses, and found their websites to be not user-friendly. The main turnoff seemed to be the inability to purchase advance tickets; one was apparently expected to just show up at the appointed time. A big gamble, especially when someone needs a taxi or a helpful friend just to get to the station in the first place.

This is just what I heard, never tried myself.

 
 #

These bus lines stopped

These bus lines stopped running in Brattleboro a few weeks ago. The only one now is the once daily Peter Pan or maybe it's Greyhound. Those 2 companies just parted ways.

 
 #

Lyft and Uber

I got approved for Lyft, but they don't cover Brattleboro, just all of western mass and southwestern NH. I guess I could serve Hinsdale, Chesterfield, maybe Keene, but riders would not be able to request pick ups in Brattleboro.

When my Uber final approval comes through, I'll be able to serve Brattleboro, and I plan on being online for pick up requests as much as possible.

 
 #

free advertising

Write up a story about what you can offer when you can offer it... it appears many would like to know!

 
 #

Uber now

Thanks for the support! I made a new post about it for the iBrattleboro community. I was approved by Uber in Brattleboro today, as the Checkr and CORI background checks came through. I'm currently online for pickup requests, based in downtown Brattleboro, and am available for rides to and from anywhere Uber allows. I will adjust my schedule based on demand, so name a time and I'll do my best to accommodate, or just check the app for availability.

My goal is to provide reliable, safe, clean, upscale service cheaper than the regular taxi, in a much nicer vehicle. For riders, I will provide cell phone charging ports & cables, choice of Pandora music built into the Uber app on my phone, and Bluetooth connectivity so customers can play music directly from their phones. Five star reviews from customers are critical, and I will go out of my way to earn that. Just let me know what you'd like to make your ride more enjoyable, and I will happily oblige.

 
 #

This is great news. I used to

This is great news. I used to use the taxi to do errands and to go to the train station when I go to NY.
I look forward to riding with you. I have the Uber app - I'm assuming that's the best way to book a ride?

 
 #

Uber app

Yes, the Uber app would definitely be the best way to book a ride. It will show you my current location, estimated ETA to pick up, and allow you to request a ride without having to make a call. I have 15 seconds to accept any ride request, so you will get almost immediate confirmation. Uber occasionally offers free ride promotions and free ride credits, so be sure to take advantage of that if possible.

 
 #

Bus no show

My son reported last Sunday that the bus he was planning to take to return to Boston never showed up, stranding 3-4 people. Fortunately, one of the others had no choice but to get to Beantown quickly so her friend drove all of them. I wonder if the online schedule needs to be updated or if all would-be passengers were operating off outdated info. This is the bus that picked up in the gas station parking lot on Canal Street.

 
 #

Normally that bus leaves the

Normally that bus leaves the gas station on Canal Street at about 10:30 AM- it may have a different schedule on Sundays. Also, Peter Pan and Greyhound bus lines have parted company so the schedules may have changed due to that.

 
 #

You can't get there from here. Seriously

So, a little more discouraging news about public transportation in Brattleboro.
The Greyhound bus that leaves the gas station on Canal Street normally at 10:30 or so used to go to Springfield, Mass via western Mass where you would have a 20 minute layover before boarding a Peter Pan bus that went to South Station in Boston- arriving at approximately 2:35. Long trip but doable.
I just went online to buy a ticket to go to Boston later this month and discovered that now the 10:30 Greyhound bus does go to Springfield, Mass arriving about 12 noon but- because Peter Pan has severed its ties with Greyhound you now have a 3 hour wait for a bus to Boston- getting you there at approximately 5:30 PM.
Seven freaking hours to get from Brattleboro to Boston! So, basically if you don't have a car you're stuck here. No way to efficiently or economically get to Keene: to Greenfield; to Boston or anywhere you might be going to from Boston.
This is really a terrible situation. I'm not sure if town leadership can look at this problem and try to come up with a solution or if they would even view it as a problem.
But, it doesn't bode well for attracting people to move here and buy a home.

 

iBrattleboro Poll

Brattleboro is considering a second sidewalk snowplow. That snowplow

Choices