Update: Earthplace, Temple Israel, And The Future Of Westport Transit

An “06880” post earlier today reported that the after-school Westport Transit District bus routes serving Earthplace and Temple Israel would be suspended indefinitely.

“06880” has learned that last-ditch negotiations may provide a solution. But time is running out.

EarthplaceThe reason for the suspension of the routes is cessation of federal funds. Because the route is geared to students traveling from schools to afternoon activities — but not run by a school district — it is out of compliance with government regulations.

If the funds are cut, dozens of Westport parents will have to figure how to get their kids to Earthplace programs, and religious education.

One result, of course, would be more cars on the road.

Temple IsraelBroader issues include: What’s the future of the Westport Transit District? How does it fit in with other area organizations? How do we live and move around in town? Is there any role for mass transportation, suburb-style?

A number of folks are working hard, seeking a resolution. State Representative Jonathan Steinberg, First Selectman Jim Marpe and town operations director Dewey Loselle, the WTD’s Jennifer Johnson and Gene Cederbaum, along with Earthplace and Temple Israel officials, have pulled many levers seeking a stay of execution — or at least a delay.

There are many layers to this onion. Stay tuned as Westport peels them back, one by one.

A Westport Transit District bus.

A Westport Transit District bus.

24 responses to “Update: Earthplace, Temple Israel, And The Future Of Westport Transit

  1. This is a disgrace. Any town or city, especially one as wealthy as Westport (!) should provide pubic transportation for ALL its citizens, including, especially, children attending after-school activities, whether they are directly related to their schools or not. People are not asked, when boarding a bus, what their business is!! They are taken where they wish to go. Bus routes that include important civic and spiritual destinations are certainly as worthy as routes going to shopping areas. However funded, these buses should be restored immediately!!

    • The problem, I believe, is that federal funds preclude routes that ONLY serve after-school populations. I think that elected officials at various levels have tried to solve this bureaucratic problem, to no avail.

  2. Nadine Tanen

    That is very disappointing. We rely on the bus for service to The Conservative Synagogue.

  3. James Holmes

    Why should Federal funds be used to transport kids to Hebrew School??

  4. Carpool, this town needs to carpool more…also, walking to temple Israel from coleytown middle is not a far walk…

  5. Nancy W Hunter

    Why not contract out, pay more taxes, and have convenience practically outside your door?
    From school shuttles to downtown buses equipped with bike racks and wheelchair accessibility, a good transit system is a municipal “must”.
    Pay a few more dollars in taxes and the roads will be cleared quickly in winter to keep the buses rolling.
    Seriously, it won’t break the bank.

    • How much will you kick in? Seriously.

      • Nancy W Hunter

        There you go, Mike, throwing me under the bus again (and again…)

      • Nancy W Hunter

        While I’ve been thinking about your question on my way home on the community bus, I realize that the dollar amount I and/or my community pays for an excellent transit system is irrelevant. It works.
        People in the community who don’t use municipal transit have no problem paying for the service, because it works. Just as people who don’t have kids in the school system are happy to pay school taxes because we live in a community that works. Very simple.

        • The dollar amount is irrelevant? That is hilarious.
          Works for whom? If the system is so great, why don’t those who use it pay for it? Why do you need a subsidy from those who do not ride the bus?
          When you can spend unlimited amounts of OPM on your special interests, the system seems to “work”.

          • Nancy W Hunter

            Our municipal transit tax is about $500/year.
            Regular fare is $2.75 (90 minute limit).
            Concession fare (children 5 to 13, students 14 to 19, seniors 65+) is $1.75.
            Children 4 and under and CNIB pass holders ride for free.
            Discount fares apply weekdays (after 6:30), weekends and holidays.
            Prepaid fare cards and day passes are available for higher savings.

            I’m happy to pay my municipal transit tax, whether I use it or not.

            Why does the U.S. Federal government control Westport’s transit system?

            (Are you the same Mike who also doesn’t understand Canada’s healthcare system?)

            • mike Petrino

              Of course you are happy to pay and you don’t mind paying your taxes, but do others mind paying for your ride? You are riding on other people’s money.

              Your original statement was that the dollar amount is irrelevant. That statement is absurd. Why are you trying to run away from it? If the municipal transit tax were $50,000 per year, would you still maintain that the dollar amount is irrelevant?

              • Nancy W Hunter

                Huh? Mike, you seem to live in a paradox. That, or a very sad “society”.

                • mike Petrino

                  And you seem to be unable to answer a simple question. I do understand why you are running away; logic is an away game for you.

                  • Nancy W Hunter

                    By that, you mean that I am logical, truthful, and empathetic?
                    Just help out by paying an extra few bucks for the after- school buses.

                    (wondering where you believe road improvement/infrastructure money comes from?)

                    p.s. please stop with the “what if” questions and help solve the problem
                    of today.

  6. call me stupid but maybe the designees should pay up?

  7. David J. Loffredo

    In a town full of 10,000 families – a whopping 200 families use the after school bus service.


    I question the “value” of anything that 98% of the residents don’t use – and don’t understand why anyone thinks that Westport needs a mass transportation solution. Didn’t the mini/maxi bus experiment fail? And didn’t this entire commuter service almost shut down about a year ago?

    This looks like a solution in search of a problem – there has to be a better way.

    • Nancy W Hunter

      Maybe Westport, Weston, Norwalk would like to amalgamate?

      • jerrymacdaid

        Huh? What does that have to do with anything? Frankly, I can’t get overly worked up about this particular service either way but did you want an even lower percentage of the population availing themselves of the service putting an exclamation point on David’s comment?

        • Nancy W Hunter

          Pull it together, jerry.
          Let’s learn how to share today.

        • Nothing she posts is relevant. Suggesting that Westport, Weston, and Norwalk “amalgamate” is just her way of showing just how irrelevant she is.

  8. I got to say that I am astounded at the high-handedness of “Let’s learn to share” directed at someone who questions the need for all to subsidize a service used by a very small minority of the population (some of whom are likely to be wealthy, given the profile of this area.) There has to be some standard, some cost-benefit analysis, applied to government subsidies. And what of the environmental issues? Certainly a 20 passenger van carrying 2 or 3 passengers — something I regularly see at the railroad station — has a far worse carbon footprint than a car carrying 1 passenger. How can this be justified?

  9. 今日初顔合わせで、待ち合わせ場所で顔を見て帰られました。ひどすぎる 潔白な人はそんなコメントする発想すらないと思うね。
    童貞&世間知らずが浮かれて「結婚!」ってはしゃいでるのを付き合うのは馬鹿らしい アカの他人である「友人」に1万円もだすのか?

    シャンプー前に染めて30分放置という方法で 自分が結婚式に呼んだ相手の式に呼ばれたら
    てか、結婚する人の自己満足何だし、結婚式何て。 万が一いい人が声かけてくれたりなんてしたらいいななんて、

  10. According to the complaint against them, the Chisholms
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