Final CCTA forum held in Williston (4/22/10)

April 22, 2010

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

Williston residents appear to have already had their say on the new Chittenden County Transit Authority bus lines.

CCTA held its last forum Tuesday night, one of five public hearings this month, but no one showed up.

“I don’t think there are too many concerns from Williston residents,” said Meredith Birkett, CCTA planning manager. “It’s all either improved service or extra service.”

A total of 23 people attended this month’s forums, and 62 came to forums held in February. Some Williston residents came to meetings held in other towns earlier in April, CCTA planner Jon Moore said.

Approximately 40 Williston residents responded to an online survey seeking input on the bus line’s schedule.

Birkett said CCTA officials plan to schedule the first morning trip approximately 10 minutes earlier than they planned, based on survey responses.

The new bus line will be a direct link between Williston and Burlington.

The existing route runs between Taft Corners and the University Mall in South Burlington. At the University Mall, passengers heading west have to transfer to another line to get to Burlington. The new line will go down U.S. 2 to Burlington.

During peak hours, a bus will leave every 15 minutes from downtown Burlington to Taft Corners. Service will also extend to approximately 11:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and buses will run on Sundays.

The new route will also extend to Williston Village, including Mountain View Drive and North Williston Road. CCTA officials are working to set up a park and ride for commuters in the village.

The new bus lines will cost approximately $675,000 more than the current routes, but Birkett said CCTA expects a 20 percent increase in ridership.

The CCTA Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on the implementation of the new service on April 28; the exact schedule, routes and stops would be finalized by early May. The new service is scheduled to start June 14.

Birkett said many Williston residents have said they wish the new service could start sooner.

“Some people are pretty anxious for it,” she said.