While transit options are limited in the Concord Area, several transit opportunities do exist. Concord Area Transit offers fixed route service throughout the City, and Concord Coach and other bus lines offer inter-city and intra-state travel. Additional services are available to provide transportation in rural areas for seniors, low-income residents, and those with special needs. Passenger rail is available in the seacoast region and may expand into the Salem-Manchester-Concord area.
Transit offers many advantages over driving alone, including reduced traffic, improved air quality, and reduced need for parking infrastructure.
As more users take advantage of transit opportunities, service can expand and improve. One of the major goals of PATH is to change people’s perception in regards to public transportation. Most transit service provided in the area is intended to be on a by need only basis. Numerous transit providers serve unique populations.
Transit also comes in the form of vanpools. Vanpools can be set up at any size employer in any location. Studies that have looked at effective vanpools show that the most effective van model is one that has employees of two to three employers along the same corridor share the vanpool.
PATH aims to set up the region’s first vanpool in 2009 and is looking for a small handful of employers interested in establishing a pilot vanpool program. There is Federal Transit Administration funding available to begin and maintain vanpools.
Benefits to employers include:
- Lowering of overall payroll taxes (Commuter Choice Benefits Program)
- Reduction in tardiness and absenteeism
- Reduces number of cars at the worksite, freeing up valuable parking spaces
- Expansion of labor pool because of increased access to employer facility
Benefits to employees include:
- Reduction in commuting costs by more than half (gas, car repair, auto insurance)
- Tax benefits for employees who pay for parking and transit
- Being more relaxed (don’t have to drive to work every day) and more productive
- Reliable fixed daily schedule
Several vanpool options are available, including:
- Traditional vanpool
o Employees that live/work near one another and share similar schedules
o Van parked at transit station near worksite so participants can take transit and then use van to complete the commute
- Employer shuttle
- Non-emergency medical
- Municipal vanpools
Private employers, non-profits and public agencies can provide transit commuter benefits to employees, tax free. Employees may exclude from income up to $120 per month for transit (including vanpools), which allows employers to give their workers the monthly credit. Employees can also exclude from income up to $230 per month for commuter parking.
If your company is interested in learning more about vanpools and transit tax benefits, contact Craig Tufts, Outreach Coordinator, at 603-226-6020 or PATH@cnhrpc.org.
PATH supports the development of passenger rail facilities as an efficient means of transportation and a key alternative to automobile travel. Viable passenger rail systems can encourage compact development patterns, reduce vehicle trips and emissions, and provide accessible means of transportation for all travelers.
CNHRPC's Executive Director sits on the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority (NHRTA), a statewide body responsible for developing passenger rail in the state. NHRTA's main focus is the establishment of the NH Capital Corridor Commuter Rail Service that would connect Boston, MA to Concord, NH by extending the existing MBTA Commuter Rail line in Lowell, MA. New commuter rail service would create stops in Nashua, Manchester Airport, downtown Manchester, and Concord. NHRTA is in the process of applying for federal stimulus funding to execute the project. Click here to read the June 2009 NH Capital Corridor project status update.