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Boonsboro receptive to transit system proposal

July 16, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

BOONSBORO -- Plans by a consulting company to increase efficiency in the county's public transportation system received a warm welcome in Boonsboro Thursday night.

Besides increasing the efficiency of the County Commuter bus system, plans also look at introducing bus service to Boonsboro, Hancock, Sharpsburg and Fort Ritchie in Cascade.

"I am most encouraged," said Boonsboro Mayor Charles F. "Skip" Kauffman Jr., who said he has been talking to the Washington County Commissioners for years about increased public transportation to the area.

Kauffman said the increased population growth in the Boonsboro area demands public transportation.

Kauffman was at the Boonsboro Library branch at a second public meeting to gather input on the plans proposed by LSC Transportation Consultants Inc.

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The first public meeting was Wednesday night at the Commission on Aging offices on West Franklin Street in Hagerstown and attracted about 20 people.

The proposals for the County Commuter system would overhaul the existing routes to reduce duplication, cut down on transfers and decrease the time between buses during peak hours, among other considerations. The plans also propose allowing riders to call in a request for special pickups, which drew the support of Carvel Wright of Boonsboro.

"That's a beautiful thing," said Wright, who also is vice chairman of Boonsboro's planning commission.

Allowing riders to request bus service is important in rural areas where users are more spread out, Wright said.

Boonsboro Town Councilwoman Barbara Wetzel said bus service for the area is "just essential" for energy conservation and to give people transportation options.

LSC staff will present options and the public's feedback to a technical group that will further study the issue.

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