TransIT of Frederick County will add a weekly, mid-day shuttle next week.
Frederick, Md (KM). Expanded shuttle bus service is coming to northern Frederick County next week. Beginning on Tuesday, TransIT of Frederick County will operate a mid-day shuttle bus service between Frederick, and Thurmont and Emmitsburg. The bus will leave from the Transit Center on East Street in downtown Frederick, and make seven stops along the way. It will arrive in Thurmont at around 12:45 PM, and in Emmitsburg by 1:40 PM. This service will be provided on a pilot basis.
The county already provides shuttle service between the three municipalities in the mornings and the late afternoons on the weekdays. “It’s our hope that the addition of this mid-day service will make a different to the lives of the citizens by helping them to regain some time and hours in their day, and by making the service more convenient,” says County Executive Jan Gardner. “This pilot program will also allow us to gauge how many riders might take advantage of a mid-day service.”
Gardner says many residents in the northern part of the county are elderly or low income, and they need more transportation options.
She credits citizens and elected officials in that area for pushing hard for an additional mid-day bus trip each Tuesday. Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs, who was present at Thursday’s public information briefing, welcomed the new service. “We have a lot of pressure up there with our population on how to get back and forth to Frederick. It’s our county seat and more and more services are here as opposed to up there. It’s becoming a dilemma,” he said.
Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird, who was also present at the briefing, thanked TransIT and the County for expanding the transportation options. “This is certainly an addition to our community’s availability for transportation that I think will make a big different. And I hope our residents avail themselves of this service,” said Kinnaird.
Gardner said the existing shuttle between Frederick, Thurmont and Emmitsburg costs the county $98,000 annually, but most of that is funded through federal and state grants. She says this additional shuttle will cost $10,000, each year, also with a majority of the funding coming from state and federal grants.
She said the mid-day service will be offered on Tuesdays only for the foreseeable future. It will be evaluated within six to 12-months to determine if it should continue, or be expanded.
County Executive Gardner encouraged Mayors Briggs and Kinnaird to publicize this service to their citizens. “And we’re really counting on you to advertise this. Right now, it’s just one day a week. But it’s really important that we have some ridership so that we can evaluate that, and use that as justification to possibly expand the service,” she said.
For more information on this service, citizens call TransIT of Frederick County at 301-600-2065, or go on line to frederickcountymd.gov/105/TransIT.
By Kevin McManus