By Greg Duggan
Come Monday, bus riders going between Williston and Burlington will no longer need to transfer at South Burlington’s University Mall. Instead, a new service will run along U.S. 2 between Williston Village and Cherry Street in downtown Burlington.
“This is a long-awaited moment for Williston,” said Jim McCullough, one of Williston’s two Chittenden County Transportation Authority commissioners. “And for Williston and Burlington area employers. It’s easy to be a good employee if it’s easy to get to work, and cost effective.”
One-way fares cost $1.25, though CCTA planning manager Meredith Birkett said 10-ride passes are available for $10, and a monthly pass goes for $42.
The existing CCTA bus service requires riders to transfer at the University Mall when traveling between Williston and Burlington.
Birkett said the new route, which extends into Williston Village, has 17 stops along U.S. 2 east of Industrial Avenue. New bus stops along CCTA Route 1V include spots at Talcott Road, at Tower Lane and Old Stage Road, in front of the police station and across from Town Hall.
For Route 1V, two morning buses will leave Williston Village — at the stop across from Town Hall — at 7:05 and 8:05 on weekdays, arriving at Cherry Street at 7:35 and 8:35. The afternoon buses will leave Cherry Street at 4:40 and 5:20, arriving in Williston Village at 5:10 and 5:50.
“For myself, an employee at (the University of Vermont), I will be taking this bus service two or three days a week minimum,” said Al Turgeon, Williston’s other CCTA commissioner.
Other changes to service include weekday buses between Taft Corners in Williston and Cherry Street leaving every 15 minutes between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. That schedule applies to CCTA’s Route 1. During the rest of the day the buses depart every half hour. Buses will also run later in the evening, with the last bus for Burlington leaving Taft Corners at 11:30 p.m. The evening buses run less frequently.
“I think this will be an attractive option for commuters, especially with the 15-minute service,” Birkett said.
CCTA will also begin offering a Sunday bus service between Williston and Burlington, an option that does not currently exist.
The CCTA used a survey and public forums to gain input from riders for the new schedules and routes.
“I believe the CCTA management did an absolutely phenomenal job listening to what residents wanted,” Turgeon said.
Turgeon and Birkett said the routes could see further modifications based on additional suggestions. Turgeon said he would welcome feedback; he can be reached at 578-3931 or [email protected] Turgeon has already pushed for a stop at the corner of North Williston and Mountain View roads, and Birkett said CCTA planned to look at potential stops in the area on Thursday.
“We definitely try to work with people and put stops in where they’re safe and convenient,” she said.
A schedule of the new bus route is available online at www.cctaride.org. Anyone with questions can call 864-CCTA.