FRTA service to Athol ends July 1

GREENFIELD — Beginning July 1, Franklin Regional Transit Authority will no longer provide service to Athol.

The town voted in April to withdraw from the FRTA and its transit services and switch to have Gardner-based Montachusett Regional Transit Authority provide transportation in Athol. So FRTA will travel only as far as Hannaford supermarket on Route 2A in Orange, and passengers will transfer to a Montachusett bus there, which will take them to downtown Athol and points east.

Tina Cote, FRTA administrator, said all services previously provided by FRTA will now be provided by MRTA.

Cote said FRTA times and schedules will remain the same to Hannaford, and a transfer will be given to passengers so that they do not have to pay an additional fare from Hannaford to Athol.

She said even though times will be the same on the FRTA route to Hannaford, there will be a difference in the timing of getting to Athol from there.

“If people need to arrive in Athol earlier than the new times, which will be posted on buses, passengers will have to call MRTA and deal with the company directly.”

FRTA will no longer process applications or provide Demand-Response or Med-Ride transportation for Athol seniors.

The authority will no longer process ADA application for Athol residents and will not process applications or issue statewide Access Passes for Athol residents.

The FRTA will no longer process applications, issue identification cards or accept FRTA-issued identification cards for Athol veterans, and the authority’s Route 32 fixed routes will no longer travel to stops in Athol.

Cote said she is currently working with MRTA on a transition plan for Athol residents affected by the changes. She said FRTA will be holding public hearings this month within the North Quabbin area to provide the public with more detailed information on the changes.

For more information, call the Town of Athol at 978-249-4551.

The new schedule is as follows for Hannaford to Athol:

Hannaford: 6:08 a.m., 8:08 a.m., 10:08 a.m., 1:08 p.m., 4:08 p.m., 6:08 p.m.

Ocean State Job Lot in Athol: 6:12 a.m., 8:12 a.m., 10:12 a.m., 1:12 p.m., 4:12 p.m., 6:12 p.m.

YMCA in Athol: 6:14 a.m., 8:14 a.m., 10:14 a.m., 1:14 p.m., 4:14 p.m., 6:14 p.m.

Athol Town Common: 6:16 a.m., 8:16 a.m., 10:16 a.m., 1:16 p.m., 4:16 p.m., 6:16 p.m.

Athol Memorial Hospital: 6:19 a.m., 8:19 a.m., 10:19 a.m., 1:19 p.m., 4:19 p.m., 6:19 p.m.

The new schedule is as follows for Athol to Hannaford:

Athol Memorial Hospital: 5:36 a.m., 7:32 a.m., 9:32 a.m., 12:32 p.m., 3:32 p.m., 5:32 p.m.

Athol Town Common: 5:39 a.m., 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m., 12:35 p.m., 3:35 p.m., 5:35 p.m.

YMCA in Athol: 5:41 a.m., 7:37 a.m., 9:37 a.m., 12:37 p.m., 3:37 p.m., 5:37 p.m.

Ocean State Job Lot in Athol: 5:43 a.m., 7:39 a.m., 9:39 a.m., 12:39 p.m., 3:39 p.m., 5:39 p.m.

Hannaford: 5:47 a.m., 7:43 a.m., 9:43 a.m., 12:43 p.m., 3:43 p.m., 5:45 p.m.

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