March 28, 2010 — MARLBOROUGH — The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority’s (MWRTA) revamped bus service set its wheels in motion yesterday, offering residents a free ride every two hours from Framingham to Marlborough’s Solomon Pond Mall, with stops along the way in Southborough and Marlborough.
The day of free rides to commemorate the new Saturday service began with a brief celebration as state Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough, boarded a bus driven by MWRTA Administrator Ed Carr.
“I’d say Mayor (Nancy) Stevens deserves a lot of credit for this,” Carr said after he pulled an MWRTA bus up alongside the city hall steps. “What we’re using is federal funds to do this, matched with state funds.”
Carr added that the service will be increased to once every hour after ridership increases.
“It opens things up for folks in Marlborough,” he said. “The big news is that the next step should happen this summer when we implement another service that will serve eastern Marlborough on Rte. 20, as well as the hospital.”
During a series of short speeches to commemorate the opening day of Saturday service, Gregoire said people in the community deserved a bus service that wasn’t limited to weekdays.
“Saturday is a day for play but it’s also a day to get errands done,” she said. “We need to get people where they need to go, not just Monday through Friday.
“The more people we can move the better off we’re going to be as we try to make this effort to support public transportation.”
Gregoire also thanked Carr for his help seeking federal grant money. Funding for the added service comes from a Suburban Mobility Grant. MWRTA staff is already in place to oversee Saturday service in Framingham and Natick, so no additional staffing is needed, Gregoire legislative aide Karen Kisty has told the Daily News.
After comments by Gregoire and Carr, both joined other town officials for a closer look at one of the buses.
“This day’s been a long time coming,” said Gregoire.
(Evan Lips can be reached at 508-490-7461 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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