The minor changes proposed to Milton’s commuter bus route are coming closer to implementation, Chittenden County Transportation Authority officials said last week.
Adding Colchester to the four-year-running Milton bus route to Burlington will change commute times only slightly, CCTA Planning Manager Jon Moore said at a second public hearing last Thursday at Milton’s town offices.
In the newest proposal, riders who leave from the municipal building at 6:50 a.m. will now depart at 6:45 a.m. to arrive at Fletcher Allen at 7:25 a.m., five minutes earlier.
Moore said FAHC and the University of Vermont are common stops, and the feedback from regular riders at last month’s forum helped shape the small changes.
“If [meeting attendees] didn’t suggest that, we’d end up leaving here at the original time, and they’d be five minutes later getting to Fletcher Allen,” Moore said. “That’s why we have these meetings – to get the feedback and make it work for as many people as possible.”
Rissa Michelson, whose spouse takes the bus to FAHC daily, said the adjustment might work better for more commuters’ schedules, especially if their shift starts at 7:30 a.m., when the earliest bus arrives at the hospital.
Moore agreed: “That’s a case where that five minutes could make all the difference in the world,” he said.
The new route, to start June 16, reroutes the bus from Interstate 89 to Route 7, allowing Colchester riders to hop on at four locations: Albany College of Pharmacy and a stop near Shaw’s at Water Tower Hill, Severance Corners and Creek Farm Plaza, Moore said. The town signed a contract for service last year.
Michelson reiterated her concern about the Sunny Hollow hill area, but Moore said drivers tested the route four times this winter and never had issues. In case of inclement weather or accidents, drivers would reroute to I-89 or arrange for a backup transit vehicle, Moore said.
The route will become effective so long as the CCTA board approves the recent modifications this month, Moore said.