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REGION & STATE: VTrans lags in connecting public transit services

Observer file photo An Amtrak train pulls into the Essex Junction station.
Observer file photo
An Amtrak train pulls into the Essex Junction station.

By C.B. Hall

For Vermont Digger

Every year, the state of Vermont spends $6.5 million to operate two Amtrak trains and $6 million to support local bus operations, but the state, Amtrak and local companies have yet to establish connections between trains and buses, despite calls to do so from transit activists and the Legislature.

A lack of coordinated bus and train service has been an issue for years in Vermont, but little progress has been made.

In 2007, the Legislature directed the Agency of Transportation (VTrans) to “examine the feasibility of making public transportation in Vermont seamless, efficient, and user friendly, with usable connections.” But a 2008 VTrans study on public transportation did not go beyond a tepid recommendation that the state “consider various options for organizational change or consolidation.”

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