By Gloria Dion
Atlantic News, Thursday, June 4, 1996, Vol. 22, No. 21[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News.]
[Atlantic News Photo by Gloria Dion]
Combined efforts of the Hampton Beach area Chamber of Commerce and the Vermont Transit Company have resulted in the start of a extensive bus and shuttle service based at Hampton Beach.
President of Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce Glenn French says residents and tourists will be offered a variety of packages to local attractions and popular vacation resorts at low fares.
Robert Bergesen, a representative of the Vermont Transit Co., based in White River Junction, VT, said the intent is to offer passengers discount process on bus and hotel fares.
The bus routes include trips from Montreal to Hampton Beach, as well as shopping trips to Freeport, ME, from the beach. Service from Hampton Beach to Montreal is also offered at the low fare of $99. round trip. The trip is an express one, taking only seven hours each way. Vermont Transit has contacted hotels in Montreal and Hampton Beach that are offering discount rates to customers of the bus company.
"This is as 'express' a trip as you're going to get," said Bergesen. "This is a new development in transportation where the bus company gets together with the hotels to offer a package deal. Customers will be able to get group rates but can travel on their own."
The bus service will run seven days a week; tickets can be purchased through the Hampton Beach Area Chamber of Commerce or by calling the Vermont Transit Co. office in Portsmouth.
A shuttle service will be running on the beach that will take customers from the North Beach at Kennedy's to the Hampton Beach Piers. It will take many stops along the way at the participating businesses and will pick up anyone who flags it down for $1.00 a ride. Customers of local businesses that advertise with the Trolley Service will be given tickets to ride free of charge. A shuttle service will be offered to take customers of the Vermont Transit Co., to their hotel, free of charge.
Hampton Beach precinct Commissioner Thomas Higgins has coordinated efforts to renew the trolley service. "A group of businesses felt that in the past the service had not been run on schedule," Higgins said.
Higgins said he rode on the trolley last weekend - in heavy traffic - and the round-trip route took approximately 45 minutes.
"By advertising, you become a 'stop'," he added. "I care less about how much it [the trolley] makes, and more about the impact it has. It's important that it is user friendly for people on the beach."
Higgins said the trolley service will be owned by the chamber of Commerce, but he added, "It wouldn't be possible without businesses' participation."
The beach shuttle will run from June 1 through Labor Day. A second shuttle is scheduled to begin running on June 15; this shuttle will run from the beach to town spots, including Shop 'n Save Supermarket, Wal-Mart, Yankee Greyhound Dog Racing Track, and the Hampton Playhouse.
Higgins said a third shuttle may be added that will provide trips for activities at such local attractions as Strawbery Banke (in Portsmouth) and bingo halls.
A complete for the bus and shuttle services will be published in the 'Beach News' on a weekly basis.
For more information, call the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce, 926-8717.