Bus between Manchester airport, Concord begins
Beginning this morning, there’s a bus between Concord and the airport in Manchester.
For $4, passengers can travel from the bus station on Stickney Avenue to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
The Manchester Transit Authority is offering the route as a five-days-a-week one-year trial run. On weekdays, it will make 12 trips between Concord and the airport, with a stop at the Radisson on Elm Street in Manchester.
The first bus leaves Concord at 3:55 a.m. weekdays, with buses continuing throughout the day. The latest bus leaves the airport just after midnight and arrives in Concord at 12:45 a.m.
Officials have said the schedule was created to correspond with flight times. Tickets will be sold at the Concord Coach Lines bus terminal on Stickney Avenue, and passengers can park for free in the station’s parking lot.
Manchester airport officials are looking forward to the new service because it has been easier to take public transportation between Concord and Boston, said Deputy Airport Director Brian O’Neill.
“Unfortunately too often, the air travelers from the Concord area use Boston Logan (airport) instead of their local airport,” O’Neill said. “So we think the start of the Concord-MHT Express is going to give air travelers in the Concord region another opportunity to use Manchester.”
The Manchester Transit Authority used some federal money to offer the service, and the state Department of Transportation provided matching funds for half of the $160,000 cost.
Efforts to create the bus route began earlier this year when state Sens. David Boutin, a Hooksett Republican, and Sylvia Larsen, a Concord Democrat, asked the state DOT to look at a potential bus route. They learned it could take years to study the route’s feasibility and find funding, but the Manchester Transit Authority offered to begin a temporary service with its available federal grants. Boutin, Larsen and state Rep. Candace Bouchard of Concord then worked to find $80,000 in matching funds, and the Capital Budget Overview Committee approved the bus route in May.
Meanwhile, the central and southern New Hampshire planning commissions will conduct a feasibility study for a long-term bus service in hopes that one will be available for years to come.
“We’re hopeful that it will provide an opportunity for more Concord-area air travelers to use the airport, but it will also allow people who are traveling into the region . . . it will give them high-frequency, convenient, cost-effective access to all that the Concord region has to offer,” O’Neill said.
For more information on the new route or to view the bus schedule, visit mtabus.org.