Release Date: January 23, 2024

  WINDSOR: Southeast Vermont Transit, aka The MOOver, celebrates its first year of microtransit service today.

On January 23, 2023, the three-year pilot program began in Windsor with a single vehicle, new software, and huge public support. Nicknamed the MicroMOO, it operates Monday-Friday 6:00 am – 6:00 pm and is free of charge to everyone. The service area is the Town of Windsor, and along Route 5 north to the Hartland Public Library and south to the Exit 8 Park & Ride.

Microtransit is Uber with a van. Riders must reserve rides by calling the MOOver, using an app, or via a computer. The service is open to everyone regardless of trip purpose.

For its first year the service provided 6,276 rides to 198 different people. Of those riders, 20 are wheelchair bound; 74 are ambulatory seniors aged 60 or over; and 104 are non-seniors. More rides are given on Friday (23% of total) than any other day of the week. Trip purposes are personal (38%), shopping (28%), medical (19%), employment (11%), and school trips (4%). The most rides given in a day so far was 45 on November 15th. On average, the MicroMOO provides 25 rides per day.

A single lift-equipped seven-seat van drove 12,142 miles in the first year, with the average trip length being two miles.  The van has all-wheel drive and studded snow tires so it has no snow days.

“We are so fortunate to have such strong support from the Town, Mt. Ascutney Hospital, all the human service agencies in Windsor, and of course the riders.” said Randy Schoonmaker, MOOver CEO. “The local contribution of hard work designing and marketing the program and support from the riders have made for a great first year.”

The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) funded twelve microtransit feasibility studies and then funded five microtransit pilots. The first pilot was Montpelier, followed by Windsor, Morrisville, and Manchester. Middlebury’s microtransit is funded but has yet to begin.

The MicroMOO is a three-year pilot funded by $120,000 of federal funds and $30,000 from the Mobility and Transportation Initiative (MTI) program.

“We thank VTrans for making this pilot possible,” said Schoonmaker. “Now we have to increase ridership and hopefully sustain the program after the pilot period.”