Peter Gold is director of the Westport Transit District, and has lived in Westport for 40 years. He is an RTM member from District 5, and former chair of the RTM Transit Committee — but he is not writing this “Opinion” piece in his RTM capacity.
Wheels2U, Westport’s on-demand shuttle service, launched last October. Riders can download the Wheels2U app. With just a few clicks, they’ll get a ride between almost anywhere in town and Westport’s two train stations.
The Wheels2U shuttles provide a cost-effective, environmentally friendly way for Westport commuters, reverse commuters and others to link their homes, their Westport employers, and downtown to the train stations.
But now Wheels2U is in danger of being shut down before the end of the year. The Board of Finance recently voted to cut the shuttle’s budget by more than half.
However, Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) meets May 3 to vote on restoring funding to keep the shuttle running for another year.
Many Westport residents already use Wheels2U as part of their commute. Now that commuting is picking up as the world reopens, demand for this excellent service is growing. And there are many opportunities to leverage Wheels2U’s flexibility to address other Westport transportation needs.
Retaining an accessible, efficient and convenient shuttle between almost anywhere in town and the train stations, and allowing it to grow to serve other town needs, makes good sense, and is more important than ever.
It takes a vote of 70% of the RTM members present and voting at a meeting to override the Board of Finance and restore the funding for Wheels2U. If you believe supporting Wheels2U and public transportation in Westport is important, please email the RTM to urge it to restore the funding on May 3. Emails can be sent to the RTM at RTMMailingList@Westportct.gov.
Information about Wheels2U, including hours of operation, service area and how to download the Wheels2U app can be found at Wheels2UWestport.com. Information on the benefits Wheels2U currently provides to users and the town as a whole, and what Wheels2U could become if it is allowed to continue and grow, can be found by clicking this link.