Friday, May 29, 2015

2nd DART bus covering Doylestown area again

State funds helped pay for the second bus, which should cut waiting time in half and double the ridership, organizers say.

2nd DART bus covering Doylestown area again

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The fare for a ride on a DART bus is $1, and the route has 19 stops. (Bucks County Transport)

The Doylestown area now has two buses to help residents get to and from shops, restaurants and attractions.       

A second Doylestown DART bus went into service Monday, cutting the waiting time in half, said Lou White, chairman of the DART bus committee and a former borough councilman.

“With one bus, we got about 40 riders a day. With two buses, we’re expecting that to at least double,” White said. “They’re not just for senior citizens; students at Delaware Valley College can use them to get around, too.”

The one-hour, 15-minute routes connect Neshaminy Manor, the county’s long-term nursing home on Easton Road, and the Cross Keys Shopping Center at Routes 611 and 313. The 17 stops in between are the Weis, Acme, and Barn shopping centers; Center Square; Wesley Enhanced Living and Grundy Senior Living centers; the Central Bucks Family YMCA; Doylestown Hospital; Del Val College; the Michener Art Museum; the Mercer Museum; the Bucks County Free Library; the county Courthouse; the SEPTA train station; Lenape Valley Foundation; Doylestown Meadows apartments, and the Central Bucks Senior Center.

All that for $1 a ride, with tokens available from the drivers.  The buses run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., seven days a week, operated by the non-profit Bucks County Transport corporation.

Two DART buses covered the routes until last year, when funding  dried up, White said. SEPTA, PennDOT and the county kept one bus running, and $200,000 in state funds lined up by state Sen. Chuck McIlhinny helped bring back the second bus, White said.

Doylestown Township and Borough and the Doylestown Business and Community Alliance also support the DART buses.

The area also was served by a free Cultural Loop Shuttle for six weekends in September and October,

connecting the downtown and County Theater with the Michener Art Museum, Mercer Museum, Fonthill and Civil War Museum.

About 50 riders uses that shuttle on Saturdays, and about 20 on Sundays, White said. That service will be evaluated and possibly resumed in the spring, he said, with consideration of Friday night and Saturday service.

For schedules and information about the DART buses, go to www.bctransport.org.

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About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at cpalmer@phillynews.com, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at bfinley@phillynews.com, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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