As Westport’s Board of Finance and RTM engage in their annual debates over the fate of theWheels2U service — and the Westport Transit District in general — it’s time for another look back at the minnybus.
Back in the day, they were Westport’s cutting-edge (yet diesel-belching) transportation technology. Driving fixed routes (with Jesup Green as the hub), they ferried people — mostly pre-teens and teenagers — around town. At least one parent was known to park kids on a Minnybus for a round-trip or two, using it as a vehicular babysitter.
At least 10,000 youngsters used it as a place to escape home, smoke cigarettes, and/or make out.
Kids still ride all over town. Today, Uber delivers them from Point A to B much more quickly (and expensively).
But — no matter how entertaining your Uber driver — it’s nowhere near as much fun.
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loved that mini bus!
Bring it back.
Bring back the Minny Bus!!! Or at least enhance Wheels2U so that the entire town is accessible! How is it that so many years later we are still fighting for bus service throughout our town? If economies of scale can be achieved by regionalizing service, let’s move in that direction, but reducing service before regionalization comes to fruition is not the answer. Indeed, many want and need more service with access to the entire town, just like in the days of the Minny Bus!
Diane – good points, interesting article. Lovely bus!
It also took commuters to and from the train station and was supplemented with a great shared ride taxi service that ran late at night.
Thanks Dan – and my mom might see this column so I’m glad you mentioned that I didn’t do those nefarious things back then…she’s one of the few who would believe that.
Great memories and we are always grateful for your wonderful nostalgia and terrific writing!
OH, the minnybus was THE BEST! It was such a magnificent freedom for all us little kids to be able to find our own ways all over town. And, of course, great for the parents, too.
I am amazed there was no mention of it’s signature sound…that wonderful bubbly put-put coming up over the hill; unmistakable! I still have 2 of my passes, one from ’77 and one from ’79.
Never used it. Considered it socialism. Walked, rode a bike or hitchhiked.
I’m all for bringing back the MB and forgoing private cars. Electrify the MB fleet and live life as God intended.
Want to alleviate traffic in town? Reduce inequity of students who want to participate in after school activity but don’t have parents to drive them? Want to provide opportunities for disabled folks to get around town, to jobs, doctor’s appointments, socialize? For our senior community to also have access to appointments, groceries, a meet friends at the beach? Want to help the environment by taking cars for the roads? Then bring back the Minibus!!! At the very least don’t cut Wheels 2 You!