November 4 2020

Burlington Community Transportation Pilot Program

By: Tad Stephanak

For three years, town officials have worked towards a solution to the B-Line’s deteriorating ridership and efficiency. With the service’s grim economic reality Town Meeting voted to not renew the B-Line and approved a ride service pilot program proposed by Council On Aging Director Marge McDonald and DPW Director John Sanchez. The town received a $75,000 grant from MassDOT for the program.  

Now in effect the program uses the ride service Lyft and GoGo Grandparent. GoGo Grandparent is a concierge service that can be called for Lyft service by those not adept at using smartphone apps or people without a smartphone. McDonald talked about the program's sluggish launch.  

“We had a slow start because we began at the beginning of the pandemic and I think people thought the B-Line would be saved,” McDonald said.

The program is for Burlington residents 60 years and older, residents with a proven medical disability or those at a certain amount below the poverty level. You only need to meet one of these criteria to qualify.

Participants pay the first dollar and the town will cover the next $10 of the ride. Participants will cover any cost beyond $10 and rides must begin or end in Burlington. McDonlad talked about recent uptick in use of the program.

“With the demise of the B-Line looming interest has picked up in the past couple weeks. For the seniors themselves the fact that winter is around the corner and with that comes snow, this is a fantastic and easy alternative to driving during bad weather,” said McDonlad. 

Lyft fares will vary throughout times of the day with the demand for rides. If you add or change destinations mid-ride, you may see a higher charge on your receipt as well. Click Here for more on the Burlington Community Transportation Pilot Program.

 

 
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