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Carroll County Transit coming soon to your area

Routes run to Memorial Hospital, Wolfeboro and Laconia

December 24, 2009
Realizing these needs, in 2006 Tri-County CAP's North Country Transit Division applied for a grant through the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) to do a feasibility study to quantify transportation needs in Carroll County. TCCAP's North Country Transit received the award and research found that as of 2005, 867 families within the County did not own a vehicle, 3,706 people belonged to the below-poverty population, 1,279 people belonged to the mobility limited population, and 11,013 people were age 60 and older.

During the study a "grass roots" committee was formed to work with TCCAP on the implementation of the transit system. The group continues to work on the project in an advisory capacity and is called the Carroll County Transit Advisory Committee (CCTAC). The committee has representation throughout the county consisting of Town Selectmen, representatives from human service agencies, civic organizations, businesses, caregiver groups, and the general public.

CCTAC presents route plans

After a year of research the consultant presented several route and service plans to the committee.

The preferred plan that will serve the County consists of two flex routes that will leave West Ossipee at 6 a.m. The buses will run in opposite directions, with one heading toward Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro and the other heading toward Memorial Hospital in Intervale. Both buses will stop at scheduled stops along the way to pick up and drop off people. Flagdowns will also be accepted if it is safe for the bus to stop.

The two buses will run the route continuously, connecting in West Ossipee for transfer of passengers four times throughout the day. The system will end service at 4:45 p.m. in West Ossipee.

A third bus will leave at 6 a.m. and will travel toward Laconia twice a day. One trip will leave in the morning at 6 a.m. and a second trip will travel from Laconia to West Ossipee arriving at 4:45 p.m.

The routes operating on Route 16 from Wolfeboro to Intervale will deviate a quarter-mile, meeting ADA requirements. The third route to Laconia is a commuter route and will not deviate. Routes are posted on the Carroll County Transit website at: http://www.carrollcountytransit.info/.

There are also three in-town demand-response services (dial-a-ride) areas that will operate in the Conway-North Conway, Moultonborough-Tamworth, and Ossipee-Wolfeboro areas from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to meet the transportation needs of local residents. Service will be provided throughout the day, Monday to Friday. Additionally, a fixed-route connector will operate between West Ossipee and Laconia all day, five days per week.

Eight buses acquired

Last year, the committee was in the process of raising money for capital for operating the system. Needed to operate the system were four 16-passenger and four eight-wheelchair accessible buses. Fortunately, Tri County CAP was able to obtain the buses from the NH Department of Transportation through funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). These vehicles were 100 percent funded. This was a tremendous help for the project. Buses are scheduled to arrive in late spring/early summer of 2010.

Carroll County Transit plans to coordinate with existing volunteer drivers programs through the retired and senior volunteer and Caregiver programs to serve all areas not included in the preferred service plan. The volunteer drivers will fill the gap in services by providing residents a ride to the public transit service. This service will be coordinated, scheduled, and dispatched under the new Carroll County Transit Program and North Country Transit. Carroll County Transit will be recruiting volunteer drivers and welcomes individuals interested to contact Ted Laliberte, System Manager at 323-8150 or tlaliberte@tccap.org.

The committee is presently working on an RFP to contract out the flex and commuter routes systems. The RFP is scheduled to be on the Carroll County Transit and Tri-County CAP website Dec. 28. The committee is also meeting with all the towns within Carroll County to keep them informed of the project and encouraging their support. The start-up date for the entire system is scheduled for July 1, 2010.

Check the website for updates that will be posted as the implementation process progresses.

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