CART Weighs In On Senior Transportation Needs

The Town of Londonderry will work with CART (The Cooperative Alliance for
Regional Transportation) to make sure every Londonderry senior gets to where
they need to go.
At the request of resident Martin Srugis, the Southern New Hampshire
Planning Commission’s representative to CART, representatives of the
organization appeared in the Jan. 9 Town Council  meeting to discuss what
they can and can’t do for Londonderry.
The Council has made senior transportation one of its issues this year,
consulting with Senior Center Director Kathy Blash and the seniors
themselves. In recent weeks the Council has discussed several options,
including keeping CART at $26,000 per year, dropping CART and starting its
own service, or maintaining both. Councilor Joe Green is an advocate of
“both” and has said he will mount a petitioned warrant article if he can’t
get full Council support for retaining CART and supplementing it with its
own service.
Scott Vogl, acting director of CART, dispelled several misconceptions
floated in previous meetings. Criticisms of CART included that the service
ended at 2 p.m., leaving some seniors stranded at later doctor’s
appointments. Vogl said, “I don’t know where that came from. We have a
‘demand response’ of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.” The demand response is when the
service picks up and drops off the rider at home. The shuttle service, on a
fixed foute, is 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
“We have not received complaints of Londonderry riders being stranded,” Vogl
He confirmed that there was no pick-up for 6 a.m. dialysis sessions. “Our
earliest pick-ups are at 8 a.m.,” Vogl said. He said the service encourages
riders to book dialysis for later in the day.
Vogl also said that the taxi voucher service is suspended at this time. It
has been removed from the Web site but the agency has not reprinted its
brochures, he said, adding that CART wants to restart the taxi voucher
He also responded to complaints that drivers were not leaving the vehicles
to help seniors get up and down the steps. That’s part of their
responsibility, Vogl said, and it will be addressed.
“We expect the driver to assist the passenger,” Vogl said.
Fred Roberge, vice-president of transportation for Easterseals, which
manages the bus service, said that Londonderry has 40 to 50 residents who
use the service on a regular basis.
Green put forth his position, saying, “There is way too much demand for only
one service.”
“We have obviously seen an increase in services, though it falls short on
occasion,” Green said.
Green suggested several ways the town and CART could work together. For
example, he said, “You could concentrate on the ‘demand’ service, we could
provide shuttle to doctors’ offices and Walmart.”
Vogl said he or the future director would be “interested in working with the
town to supplement the unmet needs.” He has extra money in the budget from
revenues from public advertising on the vehicles, he noted.
With 45 to 50 riders, the individual share of CART’s $26,000 comes out to
about $600 per person per year, according to Vogl.
The Council asked CART to come back in the future with options, and Green
said he would proceed with his petition if the Council doesn’t decide to
back it.
“These are the people who built Londonderry,” Green said. “We owe it to

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