Barbara Coish, volunteer manager for Windham Seniors, supported the decision at the selectmen’s meeting.
“Absolutely, because it makes much more financial sense to do it this way,” Coish said yesterday.
Tom Case is a member of CART’s board of directors. He successfully petitioned the town to start its own van service more than a decade ago over opposition from selectmen. He, too, agreed with the decision.
“If we didn’t have the van, CART would be good,” Case said. “It’s not economically feasible to do it.”
Windham riders pay $6 for round-trip CART service in town, $8 for round-trips outside town.
Case said there were about 260 one-way trips last year, or about 130 times people used the service.
“That’s like $100 a trip,” considering the town’s $13,000 expense, he said.
At the CART meeting, Bogle said Windham’s ridership for CART had declined by nearly half year over year.
“I think it has been a concern for Windham that their ridership has declined,” Bogle said.
Case could not reassure directors that Windham might reverse its decision. He cited the town’s concerns over costs and fares, as well as the town’s own service.
In addition to Windham, towns served by CART included Salem, Derry, Londonderry, Hampstead and Chester.
Salem officials considered withdrawing last year, but selectmen restored funding when pressured by senior advocates.
Plaistow, meanwhile, is exploring whether to return to CART, which it left five years ago.
“We certainly are looking at CART very carefully,” Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said.
Plaistow’s Elder Affairs Committee is reviewing the issue and Fitzgerald is expected to report soon to selectmen on the issue.
A concern for Plaistow is making sure seniors have access to medical offices and shopping.
Fitzgerald said a regional strategy may provide the best chance for financial sustainability of such a transit service for seniors.