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Carroll County Transit buses ready to roll

Open House next Tuesday at TriCounty CAP in Tamworth

CARROLL COUNTY TRANSIT Program Coordinator Ted LaLiberte stands before the first two Blue Loon buses, delivered on Monday, Nov. 29, to the TriCounty CAP office in Tamworth. (Mellisa Ferland photo) (click for larger version)
December 02, 2010
TAMWORTH — The bright blue buses of Carroll County Transit, a.k.a. The Blue Loon, have arrived and are ready for passengers, a long-awaited first step towards a public transportation system in Carroll County.

Though priority is given to senior citizens and handicapped persons, anyone can call (866) 752-6890 at least 24 hours in advance to schedule the bus to pick them up and deliver them to a destination within their zone. The zones are: Zone One (Conway, North Conway, Intervale, Albany); Zone Two (Tamworth, Sandwich, Moultonborough); and Zone Three (Ossipee, Wolfeboro, Tuftonboro). There is a fee of $2-$7 depending on the distance to the destination.

"This is an exciting time, and an exciting project for Carroll County. As economic hardships continue to rise, fuel prices fluctuate and unemployment remains an issue within communities, the opportunity to park and ride, and take the bus becomes another viable option, if not a necessity for many," states program literature.

"Trips can be arranged to go to health care appointments, shopping, employment, senior centers, social activities, and many other places. As with all other Tri-County CAPs Transportation programs, we pride ourselves on our courteous, friendly and well- trained drivers and schedulers who assist our riders from when they call to schedule their trip to when they board and disembark our clean, heated or air conditioned wheelchair accessible vehicles," said program coordinator Ted LaLiberte.

The Carroll County Transit buses with their "Ride the Blue Loon" logo were delivered Monday to the Tri-County Community Action Program building in Tamworth. The purchase was funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds (stimulus money).

The next layer of the transportation program is scheduled to be up and running in a couple of months. There are more buses being completed by the manufacturer. Once they are delivered, the "demand response" layer of the program will begin. The plan includes an all-day demand response public bus service that will travel between Memorial Hospital in North Conway and Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro. Two buses running in opposite directions will cover the route making four to five round trips daily. Transfer of riders from the northbound and southbound buses will be in West Ossipee. The buses will travel on a designated route, making scheduled stops along the way, as well as stopping for passengers who may flag down the bus and hop aboard. A third commuter route will also be available traveling from West Ossipee to Laconia making trips twice daily and connecting with the transit system in Laconia. This will enable people to get to services and facilities within the Laconia area.

Carroll County Transit will host an open house next Tuesday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon. The public is invited to meet the director and staff, take a ride on the new buses, enjoy refreshments and learn more about how the transportation system works. The event will be held at the TriCounty CAP building on Route 16 in Tamworth.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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