The Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) announced on April 8 that Amtrak passenger rail service and inter-city bus service in Vermont will resume effective July 19, 2021.
“We are very pleased to announce the restart of these vital transportation services for Vermonters and those who wish to travel to and from Vermont by train or bus,” said Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn. “With the Governor’s announcement this week of the Vermont Forward Plan to re-open Vermont fully during the next few months, we now have a target date for when we will be able to safely resume Amtrak and transit services in July.”
Amtrak service in Vermont was suspended on March 26, 2020, due to the COVID State of Emergency. Governor Phil Scott’s phased reopening plan is based on the state’s projected vaccination rate. Current projections indicate that 60%-70% of all Vermonters will be vaccinated by early June, making a full re-opening possible by July 4 if the vaccination rate continues as expected.
Amtrak requires at least 90-day notice from the State to resume its passenger rail service. Amtrak personnel must complete route certification to prepare for the resumption of service.
Two Amtrak lines serve Vermont. The Vermonter originates in Washington, DC, travels through Connecticut and Massachusetts, and has Vermont stops in Brattleboro, Bellows Falls, Windsor, White River Junction, Randolph, Montpelier, Waterbury, Essex Junction, and St. Albans. The Ethan Allen Express originates in New York City and makes stops in Castleton and Rutland. The agency is working to extend the service to Burlington beginning in 2022 and including stops in Middlebury and Vergennes.
Agency-supported inter-city transit is provided by two bus lines. VT Translines serves areas from Colchester, Vermont, to Albany, New York, including U.S. Route 7 communities in between, and also provides the Amtrak Vermont Shires Connector bus service from Manchester through Bennington to Albany, New York. Greyhound normally runs from Montreal to Springfield, Massachusetts. As long as the Canadian border remains closed, Greyhound’s northerly service termination destination will be Burlington.