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The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

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Monday, December 12, 2011

CART offering free bus service- Possibly to Atkinson?

From the Eagle Tribune;

December 12, 2011
CART offering free bus service
By Doug Ireland

A long-awaited free shuttle bus service is coming this week to Derry and Londonderry, with plans in the works to expand to Salem, Windham and possibly other towns.

The Cooperative Alliance for Regional Transportation (CART) plans to begin the service along Route 102 on Thursday, according to executive director Lee Maloney.

CART hopes to offer the other free routes by next year, she said. Those include a route that begins at Whispering Winds off Mammoth Road in Windham and continues to shopping venues in Salem, including The Mall at Rockingham Park, Maloney said.

Another route along Salem's busy business corridor is still being planned, she said.

"Everybody is looking forward to them," Maloney said. "It's going to be like a real transportation system."

The Route 102 service — with roughly eight stops along the busy corridor — was expected to begin three months ago but was delayed because of computer software problems, Maloney said. The software is used for tracking buses.

Cart's "Sun Bus" will run five days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., allowing residents — especially senior citizens — to visit shopping centers in Derry and Londonderry.

The bus will stop at local housing complexes, Hood Common in Derry and Market Basket in Londonderry.

The route, established in conjunction with Easter Seals and Rockingham Nutrition, also includes stops at the Meals on Wheels sites at the Marion Gerrish Community Center in Derry and the Londonderry Senior Center.

Rockingham Nutrition was able to obtain $24,000 in federal funding to help pay for the route, executive director Debra Perou said.

"We're very excited to get it underway," she said. "There is a huge potential there. I'm really hoping it becomes a real link."

While the Derry-Londonderry service has been in the works for a while, the two routes planned for Salem are relatively new.

Expanded service in Salem would benefit senior citizens, said Lynda Drouin, an employee at Salemhaven nursing and rehabilitation center.

"It would be extremely helpful," she said.

Drouin said she knows a woman who enjoys using the current service because it is so convenient.

CART has proposed a three-day shuttle service, possibly for free, connecting Hampstead and Londonderry.

A pay-your-way route running daily from Derry to Salem is also being planned. CART has received a three-year $600,000 grant from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program to fund the route in conjunction with the Interstate 93 widening project, Maloney said.

But a $100,000 match is required, she said.

It's hoped riders will donate money to help fund the free shuttles. CART began running advertising on some of its buses this summer to help defray costs.

The free shuttle service is a big change for CART, which has offered a ride request service since it began in October 2006. Anyone needing a ride in its six service towns could call up and ask for one at a cost of between $3 and $5 each way.

That service would continue for the approximately 1,700 people who use it.

CART serves Chester, Derry, Hampstead, Londonderry, Salem and Windham, with contributions received from the participating towns. These contributions are then matched with federal transportation funding.

Maloney met with residents Thursday in Atkinson, where there is interest in establishing a CART route.

CART has provided approximately 65,000 rides to local residents over the last five years. They are especially used by senior citizens going to medical appointments and grocery stores.


Anonymous said...

Speaking of transportation. In March the voters allowed HIM to buy two new cruisers and dispose of THREE. Now we are hearing that he thumbed his noses at us and he did not sell them, he KEPT THEM.

HE wants to put forth a warrant article to keep one of them! Is he kidding?

This guy has got to go.

Anonymous said...

degenerative deviant behavior syndrone.

Anonymous said...

If he does ask to keep the cars he was supposed to get rid of, he is breaking the law and trust of the legislative body, the people at the town meeting.

What a crook.

Anonymous said...

He already has kept them!

Anonymous said...

The only way seniors in town will learn about CART is if town hall sends a letter. King P controls thier thoughts and minds by controlling information they get or don't get.

I'd love to hear his soundbite spin he tells 'em so they'll stay away from CART.

Got stamps?

Anonymous said...

I noticed a brand new unmarked Ford Explorer in the parking lot. Did the town authorize this?? Who is going to be driving this new luxury suv??

Anonymous said...

We did not authorize a new car. He bought two new cruisers per the March vote and never got rid of the others cars.

He needs to be fired.

Anonymous said...

Where are the minutes of the meeting where Selectman Fred Childs said: "We'll have a public vote next week, but we've all decided on him."?

Did the "Three Monkeys" have another one of their illegal meetings again?

Is this a Quid pro quo, for the chief keeping three illegal police cars?

Anonymous said...

Did you see the police chief, er.. Elderly Affairs Director, at the budget committee meeting last night?

Todd should know when to shut him off, when he cuts people off when they are talking and then lobbying for his Elderly Police Dept.

He went on negatively about the CART program and then actually said that the presentation at the library was a set up by someone in town to replace his transportation gig.

Said if it wasn't for one of his spies, he wouldn't even know that it was going on. Shoulda be watching the selectmen's meeting, they announced it.

Anonymous said...

does cart allow cats on there buses

Anonymous said...

does ea allow trustees on their buses?

Anonymous said...

He said he has spies? That is an admission of a conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope it is a setup and EA is gone soon. Buh-bye.

Anonymous said...


tim dziechowski said...

Phil certainly knew about the CART presentation at the library well in advance, because I emailed him an invitation to it the weekend before. I also invited the selectmen, budget committee, and every department in town government.

Here is what the newspaper article didn't cover.

CART, as I mentioned in another thread, started out as a taxi service. They are losing money that way and now have decided to become a free bus service.

What is unique about the bus approach is that they will take calls for pickups and dropoffs that are within a quarter mile of the bus route. So if they design routes that come within 1/4 mile of most houses in town, they might have a service we would be interested in.

The buses would run about once an hour, and would be equipped with bike racks for commuters and wheelchair lifts for the handicapped. I suggested that they need to synchronize their schedules with the MVRTA buses in Haverhill which run up to the State Line Plaza. I also suggested Atkinson-Plaistow and Atkinson-Salem business/shopping/medical routes.

They are busy designing routes for the towns they operate in now, and are at least four months away from even beginning to propose anything for Atkinson.

Phil said at the meeting that he thought CART's bus service might be something that would be good for the town. They certainly aren't in a position to compete with the service that elderly affairs now provides.

What will probably happen next with CART is that the planning board will look into it along with other issues when we revise the transportation chapter of the master plan. At some point there will probably be a questionnaire mailed out and everyone will be able to put in their $.02 about CART, EA, and any other transit opportunities we may have.

Anonymous said...

I was embarrassed for the woman who did the Cart presentation...the only people attending were the Consentinos & all of their relatives. Four or five residents & a couple of Phil's buddies from the police dept. The members of the other town boards should have been there! It was an excellent presentation.

Anonymous said...

We didn't need to be there, everyone can see this is a great idea and I'm sure if they don't take ten years to get it, we will all benefit soon.

The EA taxi service is not a good program, it's political and only services those who Phil likes, others be damned. The residents should be outraged at the display of arrogance by Phil Consentino.