More Bus Service for the Bradford Area and I-91

Exciting new bus service improvements from our partner, Stagecoach Transportation Services!
  • Expanded RIVER ROUTE (Wells River-Newbury-Bradford-Fairlee-Thetford TO Hanover-Lebanon-White River Junction)
    • More consistent timing
    • Better connectivity with Advance Transit
    • Late morning and mid-day trips
    • Service to Centerra Business Park, the new State complex in WRJ, and destinations along Rte. 5 including the Haven and King Arthur Flour
    • Reverse commute service – morning northbound and evening southbound trips
    • Eight daily trips to VA Medical Center
    • FARE FREE UNTIL DECEMBER 1, 2015
  • New CIRCULATOR bus provides service around Bradford, Newbury, Wells River, and Woodsville!
    • Runs Mon.-Fri. 8:30 am-4:30 pm
    • Provides access to grocery stores, pharmacy, senior center, Upper Valley Services, and more
    • FARE FREE UNTIL JANUARY 31, 2016

Find SCHEDULES and more info here.

New Study on Funding Local Transportation

Vital Communities is pleased to release a new study that examines an optional vehicle registration fee used by over a dozen New Hampshire municipalities. The fee, authorized under RSA 261:153 VI, allows municipalities to collect up to $5 per registration to establish local transportation improvement funds for projects as diverse as basic road maintenance, sidewalk construction, and public transit.

Vital Communities Transportation Program Manager Aaron Brown, the report’s author, concludes that a growing number of communities are interested in the fee and that towns and cities have benefited greatly from their local transportation funds.

“The municipalities that collect the fee range in population from under 2,000 to more than 100,000, but they share a common theme: the revenue collected under this program is essential for maintaining good local transportation options.” —Transportation Program Manager Aaron Brown

Representative Patricia Higgins, a Democrat who represents Hanover and Lyme, recently introduced a bill that would raise the maximum amount that a municipality may add to their vehicle registration fee from $5 to $10, but only if the voters of that municipality decide they want to raise more revenue.

“Towns and cities can no longer rely on state funds to meet their important transportation needs, be it repairing a bridge so goods can reach a market, funding public transportation so commuters can get to work, or making a bike route safer for students to get to school. This fee, totally optional, allows localities to identify and solve their own problems. I’m grateful for the work of Vital Communities in educating towns and cities all over the state of the existence of this enabling legislation, and I hope my bill will allow local residents more flexibility to arrive at local solutions.”

Read the full report: A Look at the Municipal Vehicle Registration Fee

Got 5 Minutes? Chance to WIN $50

Do you live in Bradford, Hartford, Norwich, or Windsor? You have the chance win a $50 gift card to a LOCALLY-OWNED BUSINESS of your choice if you complete a 5-minute transportation survey. Click on your town to be linked to its survey.

          BRADFORD Follow-up Survey 
          HARTFORD Follow-up Survey 
          NORWICH Follow-up Survey
          WINDSOR Follow-up Survey 

This survey follows-up the SMART COMMUTE town transportation survey you may have taken in spring 2014. Smart Commute is a collaboration between the towns of Bradford, Hartford, Norwich, and Windsor and local nonprofit Vital Communities. The aim is to help residents of these towns save money, build community, and lower environmental impacts by making it easier to carpool, take the bus, walk, or bike.

You are encouraged to take the survey whether or not you took your town’s original survey in 2014. Thank you for your input!

Smart Commute Home Edition is a program of Vital Communities and is paid for through the generous support of the Canaday Family Foundation and The High Meadows Fund.

office bike share

Office Bike Share

When Vital Communities staff expressed interest in cutting down on car trips to meetings, Transportation Program Manager Aaron Brown found a way to help. He donated an old bike that was taking up space at home and set up an office bike share.

We added rear baskets large enough to fit a laptop and other supplies. Staff can reserve the bike through an online calendar and leave their cars parked for local trips.

Interested in setting up your own workplace bike share? Contact us to learn more.

Your Input Needed – Stagecoach Bus River Route

Do you ride Stagecoach’s River Route? Or would you like to?

Stagecoach is improving efficiency and increasing options on the River Route Bus Service from Wells River, Newbury, Bradford, Fairlee, and Thetford to Hanover, White River Junction, and Lebanon.

Share your input at a public meeting on the proposed changes to the River Route. 

Tuesday, September 1
    – DHMC in Auditorium G from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
    – VA Hospital in B-44 Room 103B from 1:30 to 2:30 pm
    – Bugbee Senior Center in White River Junction from 6:30 to 7:30 pm

OR

Wednesday, September 2
      – Bradford Academy Building6 to 7 pm 

For more information, please call Stagecoach at 802.728.3773 or email Info@Stagecoach-Rides.org.

Gear Up for Everyday Bicycling

Do you want to bike more? Ready to take the next step, but not quite sure where to start?  Vital Communities can help! In just one short hour, participants in our Everyday Bicycling workshop learn practical tips to stay safe and active on the road:

  • What gear you need (and don’t need) to stay safe and comfortable
  • How to make sure your bike is in good shape for getting to work, school, the grocery store, etc.
  • How to map out a route that fits with your time and comfort level
  • How to “read” the street and ride safely under a range of conditions

These workshops are free thanks to support from Go! Vermont. In addition to these workshops—available to workplaces and community groups—we also help schools organize Bike & Walk to School daysContact us to discuss scheduling a biking event for your group.

Stagecoach’s Jim Moulton Named National Transit Manager of the Year

The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) has honored Jim Moulton of Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) and Stagecoach Transportation Services (Stagecoach) as the 2015 Community Transportation Manager of the Year. CTAA consists of member organizations that support creating mobility for all Americans regardless of where they live or work. Each year CTAA chooses from the best among thousands of Community Transportation Managers across the nation to receive this award. Moulton is the first Vermonter to be selected for this honor. The Manager of the Year demonstrates exceptional leadership while providing transportation service that is integral to the community by creating vision for the system and gathering support both from within and outside the organization. “I am humbled to receive this honor,” said Moulton, “and grateful for ACTR and Stagecoach’s team of committed and caring staff, dedicated volunteers and invested board members”.

Jim-CCTA award2015 (266x400)

The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) gave Moulton a vote of confidence when they requested his leadership support for Randolph-based Stagecoach, which had lost its founding executive in 2013. “Under Moulton’s leadership, Stagecoach has become stronger financially, operationally and administratively,” said Paul Kendall, Stagecoach’s Board Chair. “In a short time period, Stagecoach has expanded services to the most vulnerable community members, achieved fiscal stability, strengthened community connections, revitalized its board of directors, and developed staff management and leadership. The Stagecoach Board is thankful for the experience and visionary leadership that Jim has brought to the organization.”

During Moulton’s tenure at Middlebury-based ACTR, ridership on the bus system has grown by more than 430% while the service budget has more than tripled. Last year ACTR provided 173,000 rides through its bus and dial-a-ride programs. “The ACTR Board of Directors is very proud that Jim has been chosen for this honor,” said Adam Lougee, Board Chair. “In his more than 12 years with us, Jim has taken a struggling transit organization with limited routes and facilities and transformed it into a vibrant organization. ACTR lives up to its motto, “transportation for everyone” each and every day, by providing safe, reliable and affordable transportation. Jim’s vision for the organization, communication skills, financial acumen, compassion and ability to implement systems make him an exemplary leader. We believe Jim deserves the recognition and accolades and recognize how fortunate we are to have Jim leading ACTR.”

Moulton has also chaired the Vermont Public Transit Association for over a decade, working to promote the use of and investment in public transportation statewide. “Jim has done a great job of leading sustained growth at ACTR for over a decade,” said Chris Cole, VTrans Deputy Secretary. “The gains are clear in the ridership increases, diversity and quality of services offered, and the stunning facility project, recently completed under his direction. Over the past year, Jim has stepped up even further to also manage Stagecoach. This was all accomplished at the same time as continuing to serve as the longtime Chairperson of the Vermont Public Transit Association. VTrans thanks Jim for all of his hard work and congratulates him on the well-deserved CTAA recognition.”

To learn more about the ways that ACTR and Stagecoach’s services have impacted the environmental, economic, and social health of Vermont, please visit www.actr-vt.org or www.stagecoach-rides.org.

Hartford Middle Schoolers Bike and Walk

Around 150 students participated in Hartford Memorial Middle School’s first Bike & Walk to School Day on May 6. Organized by Vital Communities, the event had school staff, parents, the Hartford Police Department, and Vital Communities staff stationed along Route 5 as kids got to school alert and energized. Thanks to the Bike Hub of Norwich for sponsoring the event and providing bike tune-ups at the Dothan Brook path. Contact us if you’re interested in organizing bike and walk events for your school!

Smart Commute Hartland Survey Results are In!

Smart CoDamon Hallmmute Home Edition is a program that Vital Communities launched in 2014 to help residents in participating Vermont towns lower their transportation costs. Modeled after our successful workplace-based program, Home Edition follows a simple three-step process: (1) survey town residents; (2) develop an outreach plan and analyze infrastructure needs; and (3) help the towns implement new projects.

We launched our second round this spring, with the towns of Hartland, Sharon, and Royalton. Survey results are in for Smart Commute Hartland!

Some key findings from the survey are:

(1) Hartland residents want to use the internet to organize carpools, but many are unfamiliar with Go! Vermont, an easy-to-use tool for matching rides,

(2) Hartland residents support new bike lanes and sidewalks,

(3) Most Hartland residents have never ridden The Current bus, but many are eager to learn more about it. You can even use Google Transit to plan a trip on The Current.

Check out the full survey results!

Stay tuned for survey results from Sharon and Royalton. Have a project idea for one of the towns? Let us know at uvtma@vitalcommunities.org.