WILMINGTON: Southeast Vermont Transit (SEVT aka the MOOver) celebrated its 25th year of service recently.
On November 28, 1996, the Deerfield Valley Transit Association (DVTA or the MOOver) began service on four condominium routes. On December 16, 1996, the Route 100 service from Wilmington to Mount Snow and service from Mount Snow to Haystack began.
A series of used buses, many without spots, provided 127,724 rides that first year. The system gradually added new buses, and in 2004 purchased the 9.5-acre Barnboard site. In 2015 it opened its 16,000 square foot building with state-of-the-art maintenance, bus wash, and office facilities.
Also in 2015 the DVTA combined with Connecticut River Transit (CRT) to form SEVT. The company serves 34 towns in Windham and southern Windsor Counties, and is the third largest provider of rides in the state behind Burlington’s and Rutland’s transit provider. It has 64 staff and 58 buses, with staff based in Wilmington, Rockingham, Brattleboro, and Bennington.
Along the way there were floods, ice storms, a recession, pandemic, and many other challenges. There was also Skip Morrow’s contribution of artistry that made each new bus a distinct canvas of black and white Holstein spots. The core of the original Board of Directors stayed together for 19 years. The support from Mount Snow, towns, individuals, condominium associations, and other partners provided key local income to match state and federal grants and support provided by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and Senator Leahy.
“There were those who thought the system would not survive.” Said Randy Schoonmaker, CEO. “We had a very determined hands-on Board and staff that kept us going. We thank our Boards and staff for all they have done for 25 years.MOO
The MOOver has provided 5.4 million rides during its existence in the Deerfield Valley. Combined with rides since the merger, its has provided 6.6 million rides.