BLUE LOON BUS SERVICE ADJUSTS SCHEDULES

by Christian Mower on March 9, 2012

THE BLUE LOON BUS SERVICE THAT PROVIDES INEXPENSIVE SHUTTLE TRANSPORTATION IN CARROLL COUNTY IS CHANGING ITS SCHEDULES TO PROVIDE MORE EFFICIENT SERVICE AND INCREASE THE NUMBER OF RIDERS.

BEVERLY RAYMOND IS TRANSPORTATION COORDINATOR WITH THE TRI-COUNTY COMMUNITY ACTION PROGRAM. SHE SAYS THE

8-PASSENGER WHEEL CHAIR ACCESSIBLE VANS THAT PROVIDE POINT TO POINT DIAL-A-RIDE SERVICE HAVE BEEN OPERATING FOR MORE THAN A YEAR NOW – AND TYPICALLY CARRY ONLY ONE TO THREE PASSENGERS AT A TIME – WELL BELOW THEIR CAPACITY.

TO INCREASE THAT PASSENGER LOAD, DIFFERENT AREAS OF THE COUNTY WILL BE SERVED BY DIAL A RIDE SERVICE ON DIFFERENT DAYS.

AS AN EXAMPLE, DIAL A RIDE SERVICE IN NORTH CONWAY TO MADISON WILL CONTINUE MONDAYS THROUGH FRIDAYS, BUT SERVICE TO EFFINGHAM AND FREEDOM WILL ONLY RUN ON TUESDAYS.

FARES DIFFER DEPENDING ON THE DIAL A RIDE ROUTE BUT RIDERS 60 YEARS OLD AND UP ARE NOT CHARGED.

THE CONWAY DAILY SUN SAYS 12 COMMUNITIES IN CARROLL COUNTY ARE BEING ASKED TO CONTRIBUTE $3,000 EACH TO SUPPORT THE DIAL-A-RIDE PROGRAM BUT OFFICIALS IN SEVEN OF THOSE TOWNS – INCLUDING BARTLETT, CONWAY, EFFINGHAM, FREEDOM, MADISON, SANDWICH AND TAMWORTH – ARE NOT RECOMMENDING VOTERS APPROVE THE REQUEST.

CONWAY MUNICIPAL BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIR DAVID SORDI TELLS THE SUN COMMITTEE MEMBERS FEEL THE BLUE LOON IS REDUNDANT WITH OTHER SERVICES, IS ONLY USED BY A SMALL SEGMENT OF THE POPULATION AND IS NOT CHARGING ENOUGH IN FARES TO SUSTAIN ITSELF.

THE BLUE LOON FLEX ROUTE SYSTEM USES 16-PASSENGER WHEEL CHAIR ACCESSIBLE BUSES THAT SERVE THREE BASIC ROUTES, FROM WEST OSSIPEE TO NORTH CONWAY – FROM WEST OSSIPEE TO WOLFEBORO – AND FROM WEST OSSIPEE TO LACONIA. BASED ON FEEDBACK FROM DRIVERS, DISPATCHERS AND PASSENGERS – THE FLEX ROUTE SCHEDULE WILL CHANGE SLIGHTLY AS WELL.

RAYMOND ENCOURAGES RIDERS TO CALL THE NORTH COUNTRY TRANSIT DISPATCH CENTER TOLL-FREE AT 1-866-752-6890 TO DETERMINE HOW MUCH A ROUTE COSTS OR GET HELP FINDING THE BEST ROUTE. FARE AND SCHEDULE INFORMATION IS LISTED ON THE WEBSITE AT wwww.tccap.org.