12: Chilmark In-Town Route

August 4, 2022

Is it Chilmark In-Town Route or Menemsha Sunset Bus? The VTA seems confused as well. Another RTA started here, just expanding coverage on this blog of different agencies. Well this is certainly one of the most interesting routes I've looked at. Easily top 5. Why? This is a shuttle service in a town with a population of 1,212. Keep in mind that this is Martha's Vineyard, a major tourist destination in Massachusetts, so this is likely geared to tourists.

The route is a shuttle service between a municipal parking lot in Chilmark to Menemsha Beach, and it only runs at night. Yes, this is probably geared to tourists looking to see the sunset from not-quite-the-western end of the island. It fits this purpose just right. For the 2022 season, the route departs every 20 minutes from each end between 5:35 pm and 30 minutes after sunset (so easily 3 hours or more of service during each day during the summer). It's ten minutes from end to end, so I assume that this is being operated by just one bus.

Well, with the entire VTA having their Eliot Deviation Indexes calculated, the 12 is techincally ineligible for an EDI (due to there only being two stops), but the calculator officially spit out 0.99 (wait, what? That's a whole extra blog post actually). Realistically, following the roads travelled, it can't be more than 1.1 if one uses road distance (not the official EDI though).

Final thoughts - This is perfect for its purpose. A shuttle for sunset / late evening visits to the beach, where parking is limited due to spacial and geographical limitations. The town has put a park-and-ride lot to handle any expected crowds in a convienient spot. Yes, yes, yes, this does begin the who-knows-when-it-will-end saga of me covering the VTA. Chilmark, I'm not done!

Posted: Aug 4, 2022 22:28


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