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October 31. 2013 10:10PM

Passenger van service to hit the road on Monday

SALEM — On Nov. 4, commuters will finally have a new way to travel between Manchester, Epping and Portsmouth thanks to the new East West Express passenger van service.

The service, being launched by Salem-based Flight Line Inc. will provide hourly service with 20 round trips per day.

“We’re delighted to offer this affordable service that will allow airport passengers and work commuters to relax and travel in comfort between Portsmouth and Manchester,” said Jamie Dowd, president of Flight Line.

Flight Line made the successful bid on the program that was put out by the state’s Department of Transportation.

Since word about the service has gotten out, Dowd said he has received a tremendous response.

“We’ve had a lot of interest once people found out about this,” said Dowd. “We’ve gotten a lot of phone calls from people.”

Dowd said close to 20 reservations were made on the first day tickets went online on Wednesday.

East West Express received initial funding from the state Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program.

NHDOT Commissioner Chris Clement said the express service will help cut emissions and congestion from commuters and airport travelers.

“It will reduce individuals’ trips and their emissions and fuel use,” Clement said. “It will also make it easier for companies to recruit across a larger portion of New Hampshire.”

The stops are located at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, the Manchester Transportation Center on Canal Street, the Epping Park and Ride on Route 125, and the Portsmouth Transportation Center on Route 33.

Fares are $19 per person between Manchester and Portsmouth, $9 between Epping and Manchester, and $10 between Epping and Portsmouth. East West Express also offers discounts for senior citizens and Medicare recipients, and has a frequent rider program at $10 each way between Manchester and Portsmouth and $5 from Epping. Reservations can be made at www.eastwestnh.com.

Mark Brewer, airport director, said he’s excited for the increased transportation options East West Express will bring to the airport.

“This new service will improve connectivity between the communities of Manchester, Epping and Portsmouth, and will certainly benefit travelers looking for regularly scheduled, cost-effective ground transportation options,” he said.


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