Microtransit ride programs fill gaps where regular bus service won’t go

  • Date: 05/01/2024

Vermont spends more on its transportation programs than any other rural state in the country, according to a recent state report. But there are still large service gaps in many remote regions.

Susie Wyman, who lives in Londonderry, said it’s been a challenge getting her 91-year-old father to his appointments since he broke his hip this past winter. On a recent cold morning, she was in a van that’s part of a free, on-call transportation program that is run by a local nonprofit organization. It serves ten small towns that are wedged into some pretty hilly terrain between Manchester, Ludlow and Springfield.

There’s no regular bus service out here, and Wyman said the transportation option has been a game changer.

The social service group Neighborhood Connections, which is based in Londonderry, runs the transportation service. Executive Director Nicole Wengerd said they did almost 1,500 rides last year — about three times the number of rides completed during their first year in service. And that growth has forced Neighborhood Connections to seek more funding from the towns they serve.

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