NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – Northbridge residents may soon be able to catch a bus to the Shoppes of the Blackstone Valley in Millbury or to the commuter rail station in Grafton.
Despite a lack of public transportation, Northbridge has been paying an assessment of $102,000 to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority for many years.
Concerned over paying for services that aren’t provided, the Board of Selectmen asked Town Manager Theodore Kozak to investigate the possibility of public transportation.
Kozak said he has been talking with representatives of the Worcester Regional Transportation Authority and the Central Mass. Regional Planning Commission who attended a meeting Monday with the Board of Selectmen.
“There is money on the table that isn’t being used,’’ WRTA administrator Stephen O’Neil said.
Though bus service is still in the planning stage, O’Neil is looking at 4.5 round trips to Millbury five days a week and service to the Grafton commuter rail station on an unknown schedule.
The towns of Northbridge and Grafton would share the cost of the bus to the commuter rail station, he said.
The estimated cost is $67,000 for the trips to the Shoppes and $19,000 for the Northbridge share of the trips to Grafton.
The WRTA is also talking with the Council on Aging to determine how bus service could help that group’s transportation issues.
Final service schedules will be determined after meetings with focus groups and discussions with residents, O’Neil said.
The first step, he said, is for selectmen to vote to join the WRTA board. That vote will be taken Jan. 28.