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Direct bus service between Brattleboro, Boston returns

BRATTLEBORO—Direct bus service between Brattleboro and Boston is back, with help from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

MassDOT’s BusPlus program, a public/private partnership with other transportation agencies in New England and New York and private bus operators, is behind the return of direct bus service between southern Vermont and Boston. It is being funded through a one-time, $18.4 million federal grant.

The program has bought 31 new buses for regional for-profit operators, including Greyhound Lines Inc., which is the sole provider of interstate bus service in Brattleboro.

MassDOT says the new buses include the latest advances in safety, and are equipped with a 110-volt power outlet at every seat, fully outfitted restrooms, increased leg room, new, comfortable seating, and Wi-Fi.

In exchange for receiving the new buses, the private operators will have to expand and improve regional bus service and be responsible for operating and maintenance costs.

For now, Greyhound is operating the Boston-Brattleboro service on Fridays and Sundays.

Buses on both days will depart from the Brattleboro stop at Lipton Mart on Canal Street near Exit 1 at 3:45 p.m., and arrive at South Station in Boston at 6:30 p.m. The bus will only make two stops in between: in Keene and Nashua, N.H.

The schedule from Boston to Brattleboro is also the same on both days. Buses will depart from South Station at 12:30 p.m. and arrive in Brattleboro at 3:15 p.m., with intermediate stops in Keene and Nashua.

The standard one-way fare is $38.

There is currently only one daily bus to Boston from Brattleboro, but it requires a transfer in Springfield, Mass., and takes longer. It leaves Brattleboro at 10:20 a.m. and gets to Boston at 2:25 p.m.

The grant will also be used to continue the Springfield, Mass., to White River Junction leg of that service, which makes a daily stop in Bellows Falls at the Amtrak station.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #245 (Wednesday, March 12, 2014). This story appeared on page C3.

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