MORGANTOWN — Mountain Line General Manager Dave Bruffy said customers and transit employees are still adjusting to the Aug. 6 move out of the longtime bus depot on Garrett Street to the transit authority’s Westover hub.
As previously reported, Mountain Line was told it needed to move out of the riverfront depot in Morgantown late last year, ahead of a $4 million overhaul to that riverfront area.
Bruffy previously said such a dramatic change typically takes about 18 months. Mountain Line did it in six, including major changes to 18 bus routes.
Given the short turnaround and the fact that the move occurred a week before the return of WVU students, Bruffy said the location change has gone pretty well, all things considered.
“It’s been a challenge, but we expected it would be. We moved and the next week WVU students started returning. Then you start school full swing in the third week, and we all know what traffic is like and all the congestion,” Bruffy said. “It’s put parts of routes behind, and that in combination with learning new routes, it’s been challenging for our customers.”
Mountain Line has seven bus shelters on order at $7,500 each, or $52,500, to replace the temporary shelters at the new depot location. Bruffy said shelters will also go in near the Sabraton Goodwill and Fort Pierpont.
He went on to say the transit authority is awaiting word from the city on any assistance it could provide in placing bus shelters downtown.
A number of Mountain Line passengers have made things easier by helping one another figure out optimal routes. When customer frustrations have boiled over, drivers and other front-line employees have handled themselves well, Bruffy said.
“It’s hard for the drivers and staff, because they know this change was not of our initiative,” Bruffy said. “But it’s those front-line people who take a lot of the heat from passengers who become frustrated.”
Anyone having trouble with their bus service should contact Mountain Line at 304-291-7433 to discuss one-on-one trip planning.