The Union Leader has coverage of a publicity event for the MTA’s Green DASH–green for its environmental benefits and DASH for Downtown Area SHuttle–downtown circulator bus service yesterday. The event was put on by the MTA and the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce to relaunch and promote the free, figure-eight loop service, which runs every 10 minutes during peak times and 20 minutes off-peak through the Millyard and Downtown from 7am-7pm weekdays.
The MTA has photos of the event on their Facebook page.
According to the article, the bus service–originally simply called the Downtown Circulator–reached a high ridership mark of 3,500 monthly boardings in November 2010, but dropped to 1,600 in August 2011, when it was re-branded as the Green DASH. Boardings have rebounded some, reaching 2,200 in December 2011. The event yesterday aimed to boost awareness of the service, and hopefully ridership given its convenience compared to walking from distant points downtown or looking for parking.
The re-branding also included a new wrapper by MESH Interactive Agency of Nashua, replacing the old black-and-white historical images of the city with brighter colors, transparent windows, and elements to highlight the hybrid buses and that the service is free.
If you haven’t used the service, you should really hop on next time you’re downtown. It’s a comfortable, convenient ride; and in this cold winter weather, it will save trekking across downtown or driving around for multiple parking spots. Ideally, the service would be extended–running less frequently–to serve diners and bar-goers downtown, even if only during certain nights of the week or around major downtown events, but as it stands the service is great for downtown workers, residents and daytime visitors.