Business, News

Bus company to continue Peabody-to-Boston service

PEABODY — Bus service from the James McVann-Louis O’Keefe Memorial Rink to Boston will continue after all. Coach Co. has reversed an earlier decision to end the route after receiving a flood of calls from residents who depend on the lift.

“The phones rang off the hook,” said Robert Ralph, operations manager. “We got quite a bit of feedback from Peabody riders who said they had few options to get to Boston and asked us to reconsider.”

Last month, the 57-year-old family-owned New Hampshire company announced its three daily round trips from the Lowell Street rink to Haymarket Square, Government Center, Park Street, St. James Avenue and Copley Square would end on April 19.

At the time, Benton Smith, the company’s owner, said dwindling ridership has made it tough to make a profit. At its peak, he said, there were as many as 800 riders on the Boston runs, but that number has dwindled by 62 percent.

The new schedule offers commuters two early morning trips from Peabody to Boston.

Critical to making it work, the company said, is increased ridership and fares. Today, a round trip from Peabody to Boston costs $30, with discounts for commuters who buy in bulk. The new rate has not been set.

“We will give it a shot and hopefully it will work out,” Ralph said.


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