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Scituate working to bring GATRA bus service to town

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  December 23, 2011 02:19 PM

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Officials are looking to bring in-town transportation to Scituate, with a system that would be used not only by senior citizens, but all residents.

According to Florence Choate with the Scituate Council on Aging, it’s been a two-year process to get some kind of transportation system into the town, an effort that started with trying to bring the MBTA’s "The Ride" into Scituate.

When that was unsuccessful, Choate turned her attention to GATRA (Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority).

The service is already available to neighboring towns such as Duxbury, Marshfield, and Plymouth, and would cost $1 for senior riders and $2 for others.

“It’s for everybody. It’s not just a senior service. It’s for the whole town, the whole community,” Choate said. “The kids who get off the train for BC High, instead of having parents pick them up, they could take the GATRA bus home. Seniors can take calls to go the Village Market, or whatever they set up in terms of the route. It will be decided by the selectmen and the town manager.”

The details are being worked out among the town and Francis Gay, the administrator for GATRA, who will most likely have a meeting with Town Administrator Patricia Vinchesi after the first of the year to work out details.

In the meantime, in a letter to the town, Gay said the benefits are numerous.

The bus service wouldn’t cost the town anything, as the town already pays $113,000 a year to the MBTA as an assessment fee. That money can be put toward GATRA services, Gay said.

Additionally, the town could chose to use its own regional bus service to expand into Marshfield’s fixed route.

“The town only pays for services that are provided within the town and does not pay for any other community-elated services,” Gay wrote to Vinchesi. “GATRA can devise a mass transit program working with the town that would be beneficial for town residents in meeting their local public transportation needs.”

Currently, Scituate has no similar service. If people under the age of 60 wish to seek public transportation, they have to call a cab, Choate said. If those individuals have handicaps, they are pretty much out of luck.

GATRA would help in this area as they are fully handicapped-accessible, Choate said.

“We run one transportation program and costs are going up,” Choate said about the Council on Aging. “I’ve been working on this for two years. I’m hoping of course to see it come to fruition.”

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