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Bus depot planned in Bradford, Vt.

  • An artist's rendering of the Upper Valley Community Transportation Center, located off Interstate 91 at the park and ride facility in Bradford, Vt., is due to start construction in October 2020 and be completed by spring 2021. (Courtesy Tri-Valley Transit)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 6/30/2020 9:06:34 PM
Modified: 6/30/2020 9:19:35 PM

BRADFORD, Vt. — The nonprofit that runs Stagecoach bus routes says it hopes to break ground in the fall on a $3.6 million bus depot near the Bradford Park-and-Ride off Interstate 91 after two years of planning and fundraising.

The so-called Upper Valley Community Transportation Center will include a multi-bay structure where buses can be washed and serviced, indoor space for drivers to use, and a covered shelter for waiting passengers.

The price tag has grown from $2.1 million in 2018, both from inflation in construction costs and because it will be a “net-zero” building, with solar panels and other amenities which are expected to pay for themselves in energy savings and saved operational costs over the course of a decade, according to Mary-Claire Crogan, the community relations manager for Tri-Valley Transit.

TVT operates both Stagecoach, based in Randolph, and Addison County Transit Resources in Middlebury, Vt.

“That will be our main hub for the Bradford satellite,” Crogan said on Tuesday.

The facility will serve as the depot for Stagecoach’s Bradford Area Circulator and River Route lines, the latter of which had grown by 2018 to carry about 18,000 riders from northern Orange County to employers in White River Junction, Hanover and Lebanon, including stops at Dartmouth College and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Crogan said bus drivers will use the space initially, but Stagecoach hopes to add maintenance staff and there is potential for an indoor waiting room for passengers down the road.

Seating during the COVID-19 pandemic has been limited to essential trips only, but Stagecoach said it is seeing a growing demand for rides as employers reopen.

“TVT is seeing an increase in riders who are newly unemployed but still need to get to essential services; vulnerable populations who have had to delay health care appointments and procedures; essential workers who have been critical to containment of the crises; and high-risk, stay-at-home community members who have needed food deliveries,” the nonprofit said in a news release last week.

TVT recently received a $100,000 grant from Jane’s Trust, which was named for Jane Bancroft Cook, an heir to the Dow Jones fortune who died in 2002, and who has family members in the Upper Valley. That grant unlocks $900,000 in government grants for the Bradford project, and Crogan said she is optimistic that the last $213,000 needed for the local match will soon be in hand.

TVT in 2018 was awarded a $2.1 million Federal Transit Administration grant through the Vermont Agency of Transportation to launch the project. Crogan said AOT has committed additional funding to the project because it is a net-zero design, and that the upgraded bus-washing components of the facility will also save money in bus replacement costs over a 10- to 15-year period.

Linda Matteson, the coordinator for the District 3 Environmental Commission, said the project will require an Act 250 permit and that an application was being worked on but had yet to be filed.

Crogan said Stagecoach hopes to break ground in October and open the new facility in the spring.

John P. Gregg can be reached at jgregg@vnews.com or 603-727-3217.




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