By Georgia Sparling | Jan 31, 2017
A new bus service from Wareham to New Bedford will begin soon, including service for Marion and Mattapoisett.
The Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) and Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) collaborated on the new route, which begins Feb. 6.
There will be two round trips in the morning and two in the afternoon, Mondays through Wednesdays.
“This is a very exciting chance to link social services, businesses and the people of our collective communities to new employment and educational opportunities,” SRTA Administrator Erik Rousseau wrote in SRTA Administrator Erik Rousseau wrote in an email.
As the program is grant-funded, there won’t be any cost to the communities through which the buses will travel.
“It’s been a need,” GATRA Administrator Frank Gay said in 2016. “It’s been something that’s been identified for a number of years and something that we’ve been trying to figure out how to fund.”
Half of the funding, about $42,000, came from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, with the transportation services matching the amount.
Awarded in July, the grant will last one year, but GATRA can apply for a second year.
Gay said the transportation authority usually like to assess a new program over two to three years.
The program will be a boost for Marion and Mattapoisett residents in need of public transportation.
Council on Aging departments in the three towns offer some public transportation, and SRTA provides limited on-demand service for Mattapoisett residents who qualify for assistance to get to medical appointments. Marion and Rochester, however, do not belong to GATRA or SRTA, and unfortunately, the Route 6 route won’t improve public transportation for Rochester unless residents can get to the route on Marion or Mattapoisett.
While there are not specific bus stops in Marion and Mattapoisett, the bus can be stopped along the route ad there are approximate times the bus will pass prominent corners in each town.
In Marion, the corner is Route 6 and Route 105. Eastbound times at that location are 8:06 a.m., 10:06 a.m., 2:36 p.m. and 4:36 p.m. The approximate time buses will reach that corner going westbound are 8:40 a.m., 10:50 a.m., 3:20 p.m. and 5:20 p.m.
In Mattapoisett, the corner is at Route 6 and North Street. Eastbound stops are at 7:55 a.m., 9:55 a.m., 2:25 p.m. and 4:35 p.m. Westbound stops are 9:01 a.m., 11:01 a.m., 3:31 p.m., and 5:31 p.m.
Riders should arrive at least five minutes early.
There are a total of seven stops on the route: The New Bedford Terminal, the Southcoast Health System in Fairhaven, Shaw’s/Greater New Bedford Health Center in Wareham, the Wareham Multi Service Center and Cranberry Plaza, also in Wareham.
The fare is $1.50 each way and 75¢ for senior citizens 60 years and older, children ages 6 to 11, those with a registered disability and Medicare recipients. Children under 6 travel for free.
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