Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

State Plans To Expand Bus Service To Metro Areas

This week is Way To Go Week,  and Vermonters are being encouraged to carpool or use mass transit to get to work.

That’s become easier in recent years with the expansion of commuter bus service. But connecting by bus to more distant points is a  problem. 

Now the state has a plan to make it easier for Vermonters to catch an intercity bus., which are busses that either carry passengers to a large population center or connect lines that serve regional cities.   

15 years ago, busses connecting to places like Boston, Montreal and New York made stops at 50 different locations in Vermont. Now the number is down to six.  

“We have nothing on the western corridor, we have nothing serving the Northeast Kingdom and we are very limited in Central Vermont,” says to Chris Cole of the Agency of Transportation

Cole says Greyhound and Megabus provide some limited intercity service to Vermont but as intercity routes became unprofitable, private carriers discontinued them.

Because of a federal law requiring that states provide bus service to rural areas, Vermont plans to offer subsidies to companies willing to pick up new routes.

The top priorities include:

  • White River Junction to Springfield, MA.
  • Burlington to Albany, New York
  • Rutland to White River. 

Cole says there are also plans to establish a Newport to White River route.
“They’re not trips that people make on a daily basis,” he explains. “ They may make them two or three times a year, but for Vermonters who don’t have cars it’s critical.”

Cole is hopeful the routes will eventually prove profitable for the bus companies.  Until then state will pay the difference between revenue from the routes and the cost of running the busses. 

The budget for the subsidies is about $500,000, with the largest portion paid by the federal government.

Proposed Intercity bus routes

Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve has been honored multiple times with national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for his VPR reporting, including a 2011 win for best documentary for his report, Afghanistan's Other War.
Latest Stories