Thursday July 09, 2015
The Chittenden County Transit Authority provides a number of valuable services throughout Vermont, offering sustainable public transportation which includes fixed routes that serve South Burlington. At the July 6 city council meeting, new General Manager Karen Walton gave an overview of CCTA’s history, the services it provides, and statistics specific to South Burlington.
CCTA currently serves the nearby communities of Burlington, Essex, Shelburne, Williston, Winooski, Milton, Hinesburg, and a portion of Colchester, in addition to South Burlington. LINK Express routes serve Montpelier, Middlebury, and St. Albans commuters.
CCTA is the first and only transit authority in the State of Vermont. In 2011, CCTA and the Green Mountain Transit Agency (GMTA) became a single unified organization. Outside of Chittenden County, CCTA operates in Washington, Lamoille, Franklin, and Grand Isle Counties. CCTA provides a variety of public transportation services including local routes, commuter routes, demand response medical shuttles, and service to elders and persons with disabilities. CCTA also provides shuttles from senior housing complexes to local supermarkets and operates neighborhood specials for student transportation to Burlington schools.
CCTA is currently governed by a 13-member Board of Commissioners, with two commissioners representing Burlington and one commissioner representing each of the following; South Burlington, Winooski, Essex, Shelburne, Williston, Milton, Hinesburg, Washington County, Lamoille County, Franklin County, and Grand Isle County.
Councilor Chris Shaw asked about ridership and its relationship to gas prices. Typically, ridership would go down with falling gas prices, but CCTA’s numbers have continued to reflect an incremental increase. Of the services specific to South Burlington, the Williston #1 and #1V (along US2 from downtown Burlington to Umall to Taft Corners) have seen an 11 % increase in 2015 so far, the SB circulator (from Umall to Dorset Street to Kennedy Drive to airport) has seen a 17 % increase, and the Shelburne Road #6 (service along Rt 7 through Burlington, South Burlington, and Shelburne) has seen a 4 % increase. South Burlington residents also have access to the 116 commuter (along Hinesburg Rd., Kennedy Drive, and Dorset Street), the Montpelier LINK (service at the Sheraton and Shelburne Road Shaws), and the Middlebury LINK (along Rt 7).
Financing was also discussed and a diagram was provided to show what each member community pays and where their contribution goes. South Burlington contributes the second highest amount (second only to Burlington which pays $1,514,193 total) of the 8 member communities. Of the $441,206 that South Burlington contributes, $256,169 go to the fixed and commuter routes, $7,287 to go to the capital match/debt service, and $177,750 goes to ADA paratransit.
With the build out of City Center imminent, CCTA is considering future services for the city such as a direct connection between Route 7 and Dorset Street and the service design around Tilley Drive where UVM Medical Center is planning an expansion.
Councilor Tom Chittenden inquired about real time transportation monitoring so that people would know exactly when a bus was slated to arrive through phone notifications, for example. The organization will be putting out a request for proposal for that and other additional IT improvements in the fall.
What can people expect in the near future form CCTA? An extended kids summer fun pass is in the works, an expanded facility to include paratransit eligibility, and a rebranding effort.
Want to know more? Check out www.cctaride.org.
SOURCE: Corey Burdick, Correspondent