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Two Companies Help Fund Employee Transit on Route 120

Hanover — At least two companies near the Route 120 corridor are taking action to encourage their employees to use public transit.

Hypertherm, a manufacturer of advanced plasma-cutting systems and one of the Upper Valley’s largest employers, announced earlier this month that it is funding a new Advance Transit bus route that is adding service to Heater Road and Etna Road — expanding the network of the Upper Valley’s free-of-charge public transit option.

It is being joined by Creare Inc., an engineering and research and development firm located across the street from Hypertherm’s Hanover headquarters.

Hyperthem also is creating “vanpools” from the Claremont area for employees working second and third shifts. A news release said that the company “found there was interest in these vanpools as there are no other public transit options available for people who work non-traditional hours.”

The “vanpool” program will match associates who live in and around Claremont with interested coworkers who share the same shift — the company also offers financial incentives to employees who choose “greener transportation options like carpooling, biking, and walking.”

Chris Andreasson, the Advance Transit director of transportation, said yesterday several businesses along both of the newly-serviced roads in a part of the Route 120 corridor act as a major hub for employees in the Upper Valley.

Service ends at Hypertherm headquarters on Great Hollow Road, about a half-mile from the Lebanon-Hanover border on the way to Etna village.

“Advance Transit is very excited to bring service to this previously unserved, high-employment corridor,” said Van Chesnut, executive director of Advance Transit. “We are grateful to Hypertherm for its leadership support and applaud Hypertherm’s support of expanded public transit service as part of its corporate sustainability efforts.”

Hypertherm is touting the addition of new bus routes as a testament to the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

“Through the first nine months of (2012), Hypertherm associates had collectively saved more than 624,522 single occupancy commuting miles; the equivalent of driving, or in this case, not driving, around the earth more than 25 times,“ said Jenny Levy, Hypertherm’s director of corporate social responsibility.

Buses leave downtown Lebanon at 6:27 a.m. and 7:27 a.m., and from a parking lot serving both Creare and Hypertherm in the afternoon at 3:20 p.m. and 4:20 p.m., according to Andreasson.

“These buses link with the entire Advance Transit network, so passengers can originate in Hanover or Wilder or West Lebanon and access this service both in the morning and in the reverse coming back in the afternoon,” he said.

Ben Conarck can be reached at bconarck@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.

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