City of Salem Completes Shuttle Feasibility Study

The Friends of the Salem Council on Aging, the City of Salem and its consultant, TransAction Associates, have completed a feasibility study of an intra-city shuttle. The concept of a shuttle is an important action step in the implementation of the City’s landmark Salem For All Ages Action Plan. The study was funded by a Tufts Health Plan Foundation grant that was awarded to the Friends of the Salem Council on Aging. A working group of over twenty stakeholders helped guide the study.

The feasibility study evaluates existing services in Salem, best practices from successful transit services elsewhere in Massachusetts, as well as one national model in California, and analyzes input collected from public meetings and a city-wide transportation survey.

The study concludes that an intra-city shuttle is feasible and could be implemented as either circular loops or a demand-response service. Conceptual routes are shown based on community input in consultation with the Council on Aging and the working group. In addition, conceptual level costs to implement both the fixed-loop and demand-response routes are outlined with a list of possible funding sources, including public-private partnerships. The City will next explore funding and operational considerations for a possible pilot program of some of the concepts outlined in the report.

“This careful study of the challenges and opportunities that would arise from a potential City shuttle service is the first important step toward possibly implementing this concept here in Salem,” said Mayor Kim Driscoll. “Not only would a shuttle help reduce congestion by eliminating the number of private passenger vehicle trips, it could help better connect Salem seniors and others who may lack the ability to get places on their own. This would not only address issues of social isolation and participation, it can help boost economic and civic activity throughout our community. I’m excited by the prospects presented from the feasibility study and am very grateful to the many stakeholders who spent so much time helping our staff and consultants put this in-depth study together.”

The feasibility study report can be found at https://www.salem.com/planning-and-community-development/files/shuttle-bus-feasibility-study and supporting materials can be found at https://www.salem.com/planning-and-community-development/files/shuttle-bus-feasibility-study-appendices.

(Content credit from www.salem.com)

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