EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

July 24, 2013

Bus service to Salisbury Beach going strong


Ridership on Salisbury’s daily MVRTA route, the 51/54 bus, has climbed since late June of 2011 when it expanded its route to Salisbury. According to Salisbury Planning Director Lisa Pearson, the latest figures indicate ridership has increased about 100 percent in less than two years.

Running every 70 minutes, this route starts in Haverhill as the 51 bus, Constanzo said, gets to Amesbury, where the number on the bus changes to 54, then proceeds through and stopping in Newburyport, Salisbury and the beach. The cost for a single ride is $1.25, Constanzo said, but most who take the bus daily buy a monthly pass and ride as often as they like.

The ridership gets a bump up in the summer when beachgoers get on board, as the bus visits Salisbury Beach throughout the day. But year ‘round, the bus provides public transport for those heading out to work, shopping, medical or other appointments, or connecting to other public transit systems, like the Newburyport commuter rail.

With the cost of gas and parking going up continually, and for those without reliable personal or carpooling travel options, the 51/54 bus works for many in Salisbury.

“We’ve talked to people on the bus and they’ve said they were happy with the route,” Constanzo said. “The Salisbury, Newburyport, Amesbury to Haverhill route provides a regional commuting possibility now that didn’t exist before. And ridership is growing steadily.”

To get the complete 83 beach bus schedule, visit: http://www.mvrta.com/Our-Services/Fixed-Routes---Schedules/All-Routes-Listed/Salisbury-Beach-Hampton-Beach.aspx.

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