By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – The town’s new shuttle service is increasing in ridership, according to an official from the Central Mass. Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC).
Jonathan Church, a project manager with CMRPC, provided an update on the shuttle service to the Economic Development Committee (EDC) during its Oct. 7 meeting.
The shuttle, provided by the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA), has been operating two routes since it kicked off service in December 2012. A commuter route runs from the Westborough MBTA station on Smith Valve Parkway to several office parks on Route 9 and then back again to the station in late afternoon. Shuttle pickup and dropoff times are coordinated with trains from Boston and Worcester.
Following the morning commute, the shuttle makes runs up and down East and West Main streets from approximately 8:35 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Daytime stops include the Westborough Senior Center, Bay State Commons, Westborough Public Library, Forbes Municipal Building, and Westborough High School. Residents may also “flag” down the shuttles and ask the driver to drop them off at different places along the main routes.
The cost is $1.50 each way for riders age 14 and up. The elderly/disabled rate is $.75. The rate for children ages 5-13 accompanied by an adult is also $.75 and children under age 5 can ride for free. Riders must have exact change.
Most of the riders utilizing the service are commuters going to the office parks, Church said. When the shuttle launched in December 2013, 51 commuters participated. In September 2014, that number grew to nearly 500.
“We now have 12- ½ hours of service Monday through Friday,” Church said.
Currently the shuttle utilizes a 12-passenger van. The WRTA may add extra vehicles or start using a bigger van in the future if warranted, Church said.
For a complete schedule of shuttle times, visit http://www.therta.com/schedules/westborough.
In other business, the EDC members honored their former chair, Lester Hensley.
Hensley took over from the committee’s first chair, Rod Jane, in 2011 and served in that position until September 2014.
Deborah Penta, the founder and CEO of Penta Communications, Inc. and the current EDC chair, presented Hensley with a compass in honor of “his vision for navigating the EDC,” she said.
“So much progress has been made under his leadership,” she added.
Hensley is the president and CEO of Westborough-based EMSEAL Joint Systems Ltd. He also currently serves as the chair on the Planning Board.