Transit resolution wins support (4/30/09)

April 30, 2009

After adding a clause emphasizing the environmental benefits of mass transit, the Williston Selectboard passed a resolution supporting regional funding for the Chittenden County Transportation Authority.

The board, at its April 20 meeting, unanimously approved the resolution. It had tabled the matter at a meeting earlier this month so that language could be added saying that expanding public transit would help reduce greenhouse gases and is consistent with Williston’s Comprehensive Plan.

The resolution is being brought to area towns with the aim of building support for expanded regional service and funding to go with it. The transit agency hopes to win legislative approval for new funding, perhaps a regional gas tax or other levy.

The agency now relies in part on contributions from member towns. Williston paid $180,260 as a member in the current fiscal year.

But CCTA asserts the patchwork funding system prevents expansion to meet demand. Ridership has risen steadily amid increasing concern about the environment and fuel prices.

With a new revenue stream, the agency said it could add routes, including one that runs along U.S. 2 from Williston Village to downtown Burlington.

— Greg Elias, Observer staff