In February, Greyhound Lines Inc. announced it will begin offering a weekend route connecting Brattleboro and Boston, with a stop in Keene, according to a press release issued by the Southwest Region Planning Commission.
Keene is served by the Greyhound/Vermont Transit bus lines. This station is just a few blocks from the Keene State College campus, an easy access for students commuting to and from the Boston area.
This service began Friday, Feb. 28. A bus traveling from Brattleboro, Vt. will depart Friday afternoons and return from Boston, Mass. on Sunday afternoon, according to the press release. Along the way, the bus will stop in both Keene and Nashua.
Another bus will do the opposite traveling from Boston to Brattleboro early in the day on Fridays, and return later in the day on Sunday, stopping in Keene and Nashua along the way as well.
The Greyhound is Keene’s only long-distance bus service, but this route is the first one in years that has directly connected Keene and Boston, according to Joshua “J.B” Mack, principal planner of SRPC of New Hampshire said.
Prior to this, “A person going to Boston would have to take the New York-bound bus to Springfield, Mass., and then transfer onto another bus traveling east to Boston, a total travel time of roughly four and a half hours,” Mack said. The addition of this route came about through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s BusPlus+ program.
The program, which is funded by an 18-million dollar federal grant, is designed to increase intercity and commuter transportation options available across the Commonwealth and all of New England according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation website.
“BusPlus+ is a public/private partnership in which MassDOT provides new commuter buses to private for-profit bus companies. The companies in return must deliver regional service improvements and will be responsible for all bus maintenance and operating costs,” as stated on the MassDOT website.
The new buses include accommodations, such as Wi-Fi and 110-volt electrical outlets at each seat, according to MassDOT.
A recent study by the Southwest Region Planning Commission found more than 2,500 area college students live in the vicinity of the new bus route, according to the press release.
Claire Hickey, sophomore and Boston area resident, said, “It would be cheaper for me to offer someone money for a ride to Boston, so I wouldn’t take the bus.”
However, resident of the Boston area, sophomore Taylor Murphy, stated, “I haven’t used the Greyhound because I didn’t know there was a bus to Boston, but now that I know I definitely plan on using it.”
The announcement of the new route to Boston comes nearly two years after the Greyhound company said it would be cutting bus service to Keene as well as other locations north of Springfield, Mass. However, the company reversed its decision after the Vermont Agency of Transportation stepped in to subsidize the Vermont route, which included a stop in Keene. Tickets from Keene to Boston, which can be purchased at the Corner News, located on the corner of Main Street and Gilbo Avenue, or online at www.greyhound.com, are $27 each way, if bought more than three weeks in advance. The price increases to $47 round trip if purchased on the day of travel.
Zach Fournier can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org