A feasibility study for operating a microtransit pilot in Brattleboro is underway, and Southeast Vermont Transit (SEVT) is seeking public input on it.
Microtransit is Uber with a van. The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) funded 12 feasibility studies to the public transit agencies across the state. Five studied projects were awarded funding for a two-year pilot program. One of those pilots is Windsor, which will begin service on January 23, 2023 by SEVT.
Brattleboro was the other SEVT concept to be studied. All of the state’s feasibility studies are being conducted by Via, a leading transportation software company. The study has three stages: existing conditions, alternatives analysis, and summary with recommendations. It should be completed in late winter, in time for SEVT to apply to VTrans for funding in the FY24 grant cycle.
A brief Google survey (see link above) is open until January 13, 2023. Paper surveys are available on any SEVT bus or via US Mail (call 802-460-7433).
If funded, a series of public input opportunities will be available while the project is in the design stages. This initial survey is only for the feasibility phase.
The Brattleboro study will focus on potential service Monday-Friday from 5:00-11:30 pm. It would be free, open to anyone needing a ride that begins and ends within the Town of Brattleboro’s limits and would be serviced by a seven-passenger lift-equipped all wheel drive van. Similar to Windsor’s service, rides must be scheduled at least 30 minutes in advance via a phone call to the SEVT Office, online, or via a free cell phone app. The van cannot be waved down along its route.
“Ridership from 7:00 am-5:30 pm is well supported in Brattleboro by the Red, White, and Blue Lines’” said Randy Schoonmaker, SEVT CEO. “We wanted to augment that with new service.”
Schoonmaker cited the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) and their Working Communities Challenge project’s work with major employers and the Afghan refugee community for providing the study with key data to help support the proposed project. “They have done remarkable work with the employers and our new residents in identifying this need” he said.