the following is a press release from the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority submitted to SOURCE media.
FRAMINGHAM – MWRTA has launched a new public transit pilot service in the town of Wellesley, called CATCH Connect.
The service an on-demand, app-based service for the general public within Wellesley.
CATCH Connect will replace the existing Route 8 service which has been operating in Wellesley, which travels from the Natick Community Center to the Woodland T Station. Using CATCH Connect, riders will be able to travel anywhere within the town of Wellesley as well as select, key destinations outside of Wellesley, such as the Natick Community Center and the Woodland T Station.
Rather than the typical 16-passenger cut away bus that riders see on the road, the CATCH Connect service will operate in a 5-passenger Ford Transit Van, with branding that is specific to the new service and easily distinct from the existing Fixed Route or Demand Response services.
Due to COVID related social distancing regulations, only 1 party of up to 3 people will be permitted to ride in the vehicle at a time, and masks are required while on board.
There is currently no option to pre-book on this service, but this option may become available in the future. Riders should wait until they are ready to travel before booking their trip in the app. To ensure that you reach your destination on time, riders may need to plan ahead as it is a first come, first serve service.
MWRTA feels that this service will be a great benefit to Wellesley riders. CATCH Connect provides a significantly larger service area, and flexible schedule options. Rather than waiting an hour for the bus to come, and planning travel around a fixed schedule, riders will be able to pick up their phone and schedule a trip at any time within the service hours.
While the pilot is intended to be an app-based reservation service, if an individual is unable to use the CATCH app on their phone they may call (508) 283-5083 to schedule their trip with a representative.
At this time, the CATCH Connect service is not accepting fares, but will eventually move to a debit system in which riders will pay for their trips through the app and will need to maintain a positive balance before booking their trip.
Visit www.mwrta.com/catch for more information on how to download the app, and for specific details on the new service. MWRTA will hold a Virtual Office Hour on Monday, February 8, 2021 and Monday, February 15, 2021 from 4 – 5 PM to answer any questions riders may have, you may find the link to these meetings at www.mwrta.com.
If you are unable to attend these meetings, questions answered will be posted on the website following the meeting. Riders may also email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (508) 283-5083.