Dartmouth Coach adds another run to Boston in sign of loosening travel habits

  • Before boarding Dartmouth Coach, William Legge, the 10th Earl of Dartmouth, says goodbye to friend Kathy Rines, of, Hanover, N.H., on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in Hanover. ((Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

Valley News Business Writer
Published: 3/5/2021 10:10:46 PM
Modified: 3/5/2021 10:11:45 PM

LEBANON — Dartmouth Coach is adding a seventh daily bus run between the Upper Valley and Logan International Airport, the latest indication that passenger levels are slowly rising again as more people become vaccinated.

“Things are starting to perk back up now,” Benjamin Blunt, vice president of Dartmouth Coach and its sister company, Concord Coach Lines, said Friday. “We’re optimistic looking forward that leisure, business and student travel is going to start picking up.”

Beginning Sunday, Dartmouth Coach will begin offering a newly scheduled run of the day leaving Hanover at 2:30 p.m. and Lebanon at 3:05 p.m. for arrival at South Street Station in Boston at 5:25 p.m. and Logan at 5:40 p.m.

From Boston, the added run will begin at 6:50 p.m. from Logan and pull into Hanover at 10 p.m.

No additional service at this time will be added between the Upper Valley and New York City, which Dartmouth Coach has reduced to only one trip each way on Fridays and Saturdays during the pandemic.

Blunt said it is “hard to tell” when the bus line will be able to return to daily service between the Upper Valley and the Big Apple but he is currently looking at an “April to June” window.

“This weekend is actually pretty good,” he said of passenger levels booked for the four runs between the Upper Valley and New York City. “One of the better weekends we’ve had in the past couple months.”

Before the pandemic, Dartmouth Coach had 10 daily weekday trips between the Upper Valley and the Boston area.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the transportation industry hard and Dartmouth Coach had to suspend service for more than five months and didn’t resume operations until August.

Since then, the company has limited passenger capacity on its buses, allowing only 34 out of 51 seats to be booked on trips between the Upper Valley and Boston and a 30-seat cap on buses running between the Upper Valley and New York City to keep passengers distanced.

Blunt said the passenger caps would continue indefinitely and wouldn’t be lifted until health officials are assured the public health danger has been reduced enough to lift the capacity limits.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.

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