The Times West Virginian

Local News

July 2, 2014

I-RIDE 79 makes maiden voyage

Offers travelers bus ride from Charleston to Morgantown with stops; free until July 7

FAIRMONT — I-RIDE 79 embarked on its maiden voyage Tuesday.

The new bus service, created by Barons Bus Rides in Cleveland, Ohio, and the West Virginia Department of Transportation, offers travelers a ride from Charleston to Morgantown and also makes daily stops in Clendenin, Flatwoods, Weston, Bridgeport and Fairmont.

The program is part of a nationwide effort to connect rural areas to larger cities, said John Goebel, vice president of Barons Bus Lines.

“We are working with the state of West Virginia to expand to rural areas throughout the state,” he said.

The service is free until July 7, and bus fare is between $3 and $15 after that, depending on the route.

A passenger can get from Charleston to Morgantown or Fairmont for $15, from Charleston to Bridgeport for $10, from Bridgeport to Fairmont or from Fairmont to Morgantown for $3, and from Bridgeport to Morgantown for $5, or vice versa.

Fares are one way, and the same rates apply for return travel.

The buses are ADA accessible and offer Wi-Fi, power outlets, reclining seats, seat belts and restrooms, which make for a comfortable trip, Goebel said.

The service will also provide links to Greyhound buses in Charleston and Morgantown so passengers can travel to Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and beyond.

“We offer an interlining service with Greyhound lines to take passengers all throughout the country,” said Goebel. “People from any of the locations listed can go to over 3,800 destinations.”

The bus starts the day at 10:15 a.m. at the Greyhound Terminal on Reynolds Street in Charleston and departs at 5:15 p.m. from Mountaineer Station on Van Voorhis Road in Morgantown.

It also stops at the top shelter of the Gateway Shelters in the roundabout in Fairmont and at Wendy’s on West Main Street in Bridgeport.

“I think it’s going to make travel within not just West Virginia, but if you’re going beyond, extremely more economical,” Goebel said. “The price of gas continues to go up. All prices continue to escalate. This should make travel more efficient and hopefully offer good travel options for people without cars and without other means of transportation to get from Charleston to Morgantown and any of the points in between, including Fairmont.”

Passengers can buy tickets online or they can pay in cash when boarding.

The bus schedule and more information can be found at www.baronsbus.com/i-ride-79-service.

Email Chelsi Baker at cbaker@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @cbakerTWV.

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