Monroe to Get Bus Service Along Main Street

A blue GBT bus drives along Monroe Turnpike.
A blue GBT bus drives along Monroe Turnpike.

Blue Greater Bridgeport Transit buses already take passengers to jobs and day trips along Route 111 and on Monday, Feb. 3, the service will be extended along Main Street — from the Trumbull shopping mall to Clock Tower Square in Monroe.

Greater Bridgeport Transit (GBT) announced the extended bus line on Tuesday. The service is designed to provide morning and afternoon employment related transportation to the area, according to Doug Holcomb, CEO for the GBT.

"We have known for some time that there is growing demand for service due to increased commercial development in the area," Holcomb said. "We hope that in the future GBT will be able to expand to more frequent service throughout the day."

The service is similar to GBT’s Route 19 Express which already serves Trumbull and Monroe along Route 111. It is known as Route 20.

First Selectman Steve Vavrek lauded the new bus line as "another example of the benefits of regional cooperation in municipal government and the synergies generated by cooperation among Monroe, Bridgeport and Trumbull" inside the framework of the Greater Bridgeport Regional Council.

Bus Route 20 "makes Monroe a more viable destination, giving people more access to jobs while expanding the labor pool for employers, of special significance in these economic times," said Vavrek.

Both the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and the Monroe Economic Development Commission were instrumental in pushing forward this latest transportation initiative, according to the first selectman.

EDC Chairman Roberto Perez said, "The extension of the bus line will give present and future businesses exposure to more customers. It will also give those same businesses a larger base of employees to fill their open positions. New businesses will be more inclined to build, expand or open in our town if they feel they can properly fill all of their positions."

Monroe Chamber of Commerce President Raymond Giovanni could not be reached in time to comment on this story.

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said, "The creation of Bus Route 20 is an excellent example of what can be accomplished with regional cooperation. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of GBT, the city of Bridgeport, the town of Monroe and the Greater Bridgeport Regional Council, we're able to get Bridgeport residents to and from Monroe while also cutting down on the number of vehicles on the road — a priority of Bridgeport's BGreen 2020 sustainability initiative."

Route 20's Schedule

The new GBT Route 20 service will operate between the Westfield Trumbull Mall, in Trumbull and upper Stepney in Monroe, with connections to GBT Routes 3, 4, 6 and 8 at the mall and Route 19 Express at Quality Street in Trumbull.

Stops to be made along Newtown Turnpike (Route 111) include the area of Spring Hill Road and Trefoil Drive. Stops will also be made along Main Street (Route 25) at Victoria Drive, Purdy Hill Road, Judd Road and the area of Clock Tower Square in Monroe.

Trips will be made Monday through Friday, with two morning departures from the Westfield Trumbull Mall, at 7:09 and 8:09 a.m., each arriving in the area of Clock Tower Square at 7:30 and 8:30 a.m.

Afternoon departures from the area of Clock Tower Square will be made at 4 and 5 p.m., arriving at the mall at 4:22 and 5:22 p.m.

GBT's cash fare of $1.75 will apply to this service and all of GBT's regular fare media will be accepted onboard.

GBT offers bus service throughout the Bridgeport Region with 19 routes providing more than 22,000 trips to area residents every day. For details about the new service or any of GBT’s routes or schedules visit gogbt.com 

Crown Royal January 29, 2014 at 02:55 PM
This is great for the region. I drive along Rt25 every morning, and there are always employees walking all the way from Rt111 to their jobs all along Rt25, presumably from the bus stop at the commuter lot.
John January 29, 2014 at 03:45 PM
Walmart, Bus Line and Cell Towers, just the right mix of what our nice, beautiful town does NOT need! Soon we will look like Norwalk, Westport and Fairfield; over populated with non-local people, big box stores and our small businesses, out of business. Thank you Planning and Zoning Committee!
Mike Wallace January 29, 2014 at 03:55 PM
Great news. We need expanded public transportation. This is a good start.
Joe Mancini January 29, 2014 at 05:04 PM
John-That was one of the funniest statements I have seen in a long time. Thank you for the afternoon laugh. I needed some energy and you provided it for me! Mentioning Norwalk in the same sentence as Fairfield and Westport? Classic! Anyway, please check your logistics. You won't find a Walmart in either Fairfield or Westport.....but you'll have one in Monroe soon enough.
Frank Toth January 29, 2014 at 11:55 PM
Walmart gets another perk, cheap labor bused in from Bpt/ trumbull mall at no expense to them...
Vito Moscato January 30, 2014 at 08:00 AM
What are "non-local" people?
John January 30, 2014 at 09:28 AM
"non local" people would be non Monroe / NewTown / Trumbull residence that do not live in our community or have an interest in how our community is impacted.
Steve Smith January 30, 2014 at 11:12 AM
I'm just amazed what big of a deal getting a wal-mart in town is... if you don't like the idea, don't shop there. Plain and simple. It's like people who live near an airport and complain that commercial jets instead of private jets are flying over their house... its 2014, not 1924! Get a grip people..
Joe Mancini January 30, 2014 at 11:21 AM
Steve Smith-Your airport argument is valid for people who choose to build/purchase a home near an existing airport, however, if an airport was approved to be built near your current home, you wouldn't feel the same way. It's the same thing for Walmart. Walmarts bring trash, garbage, pollution and additional crime to towns. This is a fact.
Joe Mancini January 30, 2014 at 11:22 AM
It has nothing to do with "just not shopping there". It has to do with the integrity of a town and the positive/negative effect it has on a town.
QWERTY January 30, 2014 at 12:41 PM
Does anyone know that there is a Wal-Mart in Norwalk right on the Wilton border? Seems like Wilton really has gone to hell because of it, right?!
Vito Moscato January 30, 2014 at 01:08 PM
No different than when Caldor was there.
John January 30, 2014 at 01:45 PM
In addition to what was outlined, "Walmarts bring trash, garbage, pollution and additional crime to towns". Traffic, to our already congested streets can be added to the list
John January 30, 2014 at 01:50 PM
One more item we should not forget, there will be an impact to our local businesses which are already having a hard time in this economic climate. Note, the ACE Hardware store that just closed, no doubt due to Home Depot being right down the road.
Crown Royal January 30, 2014 at 02:00 PM
Actually John, I believe the building owner did not renew their lease. Something new is going in that spot.
Crown Royal January 30, 2014 at 02:02 PM
As was discussed on previous threads, I don't feel the effects on local stores should be too great since Walmart sells different things than the stores we have now. I ask you to please name a few stores that will go out of business as a result of Walmart.
Hawk January 30, 2014 at 03:29 PM
I have to agree with John...I moved to Monroe from Shelton, as I know many other people have as well! Believe me, the move was not because the taxes are lower!!! I was truly glad that there was no Walmart located in this town!!!! I am extremely proud to live here, with it's beautiful country feel and atmosphere. Why would anyone want to ruin that with a Walmart. I do shop at Walmart occasionally, in Shelton, Stratford and even in Milford and/or Danbury, (depends if I need anything & what area I am in). I get totally disgusted with how dirty the stores and the parking lots are, or seeing all the shopping carts at the bus stops, especially in Shelton and Stratford. You can count on seeing the shopping carts left all over Route 25 near the new bus stop. What a beautiful sight that will be for the people who are traveling along Route 25!! While they sit in the new traffic that this store will bring to the Route, especially on weekends and holidays, they can think about how messy this town has become!! Is that what we want non-residents to see of our town?? I also cannot tell you how many times I have seen the police respond to these Walmarts for shoplifters and other various crimes and reasons. We do not have a town atmosphere like that and we should not be opening our arms to that type of scenario!! Also, the people that will be hired by Walmart, I guarantee will not be Monroe, Trumbull or Newtown residents. Sure, there may be a few but the truth is the majority will be bused in. Wake up people, you wanted the bus stop to take you to the mall, but it never happened!!! Now that there is a WALMART coming to town, there has to be a bus stop for it's employees and out of town residents who will be shopping there and let me remind you, they will not spending any money in this town to help the local merchants. The biggest part of people that will benefit from this store, is the store itself!!!! I know this store will benefit a few folks who cannot travel to Shelton or other local Walmarts. If this store is going to be a SUPER WALMART, which I know it will be, then I guess the local supermarkets that we have come to depend on, will now have major competition. Which may lead to store layoffs of our local residents!!! What about the most important merchants, our local farmers!! People will go to the Walmart & pick up their groceries, their garden plants, and even their christmas trees!!! You can believe what you want, and you have every right to feel the way you do!!! My only question is....how will you feel about it a year after this store opens?? Some of you will be happy to save a few bucks in gas and then some of you who can really see things, will notice a major difference that has happened to our beautiful country town, yeah......with a few less small shops & that country beautiful feeling!! What is the real cost here?????? That is my opinion.....everyone has one!!!
QWERTY January 30, 2014 at 03:38 PM
Home Depot offers far more than ACE. What exactly is the complaint here? Where else am I suppose to get lumber and drywall in this town?
John R. January 30, 2014 at 04:09 PM
Well, we won't have to worry about the shopping carts littering Rt 25 as the bus stop is going to be directly adjacent to the Walmart building.
Steve Smith January 30, 2014 at 05:28 PM
I go to WalMart all the time, low prices, and I like their quality. Amazing how people are so biased as to the people who will be hired, what the effects will be in town, etc. Way to show you have faith in humanity.. sarcasm, obviously. Also, I wouldn't mind an airport in my backyard. I travel alot for work, and an airport close to my house verses driving to JFK? I wouldnt hate it, but I wouldnt love it 100%, I could live with it without complaining. So many other things to worry about besides a store coming into town. Monroe is no longer the farming community it once was, and I'm sorry if I think that's a good idea get people from out of town here. I don't mind!
Hawk January 30, 2014 at 07:54 PM
I have never wrote on a blog or commented on-line for anything before, but I feel very passionate about the whole situation. First of all, it is truly upsetting how a company can come in and buy land without allowing the town to know what type of store is being opened. That is just plain WRONG! Town people cannot even put in a house generator without going thru MAJOR RED TAPE!! I have read some of the opinions in the earlier news items when people were still guessing if it was a Walmart that was going to open. I have no problem with new businesses coming into Monroe. That would probably be a good thing, but there has to be a balance that is established and someone has to look out for that balance. I so far do not see any help in that department, because when things go on and no one knows exactly what that is, well that is a problem!! That land should have been advertised as a perfect corporate center. That would have helped to build up a tax base and would bring more companies to this town. Which would mean, much more jobs for the local people and outsiders. This would also mean that local small shops and farmers would have more people to sell to, while people were on their lunch breaks and after work. I got the impression that Monroe was trying to build itself up, I happened to have attended a meeting about a new McDonalds that was going to be opening up on Route 25. I was amazed at how the town board was so concerned about the signs and light fixtures. I thought, WOW, the town is going in the right direction. Allowing a Walmart to open up in our town, to me, is going in the wrong direction. How are our local businesses and new businesses suppose to compete with it? I totally understand that they have lower prices and some good products, but to build up a town around a Walmart, well I just don’t see it! There is no way to make everyone “happy”. And I guess it really doesn’t matter, because it is the Big Chain Retailer that wins in this case & perhaps some people who want the Walmart here! When all is said and done, I will be shopping at this Walmart, even though I won’t like it!
Crown Royal January 31, 2014 at 09:11 AM
Hawk, I agree with some of your points, but other ones not so much, particular about needing to name a business prior to winning approval to build. Plenty of buildings get built long before tenants are found. Think about the building across from Mr. Macs. As far as I know, that never had a tenant. If you went to any of the Walmart meetings, you will know the P&Z did a great job at making sure the Retail building fit the character of the town as best as it could. It was painstaking at times to listen to them talk about the shrubbery and motif of the lighting fixtures.
lmf59 January 31, 2014 at 09:24 AM
Doesn't make a bit of difference how many shrubs they put in front of it. Nothing about a super Walmart fits the character of this town. Hmm. What's that saying about lipstick on a pig? Six months after it opens, you will understand that this will be an epic fail for Monroe. For those of you thinking the bus line will bring in actual revenue for the town, think again. It will bring in revenue for Walmart, period.
Joe Mancini January 31, 2014 at 09:39 AM
Steve Smith-You wouldn't mind having an airport in your backyard? Really?
Crown Royal January 31, 2014 at 11:24 AM
The character of the 'town' was destroyed long ago. Think about the giant yellow Monro Muffler in the center of Stepney, or the ugly boxy IBEW building up the street, the rundown Stevenson lumber, the gargantuan post office or Pella window warehouse. How about the monstrous Creative Mailing Solutions on Pepper, or the building across from Mr. Macs that has been empty and vacant for 25 damn years! The small town rustic charm that you all are loathing for died long ago. If you would like to live somewhere like that, Easton and Oxford are right next door.
lmf59 January 31, 2014 at 11:56 AM
Crown Royal: you continue to have that same, tired argument . You are right about one thing. The town I moved to and loved 30 years ago is no longer, solely due to incompetence, poor insight, and extremely poor planning. But your mindset seems to be that it has gone downhill this far, let's just keep the momentum going and degrade it to the point that we rival Derby or Shelton. If your house was burning, would you say "oh well, it's not as nice as it used to be, I'll just throw some more gas on it and stand here and watch it burn"? I, for one, would not like to see my property devalued any more than it already has. And if you think your property taxes will EVER be reduced to rival Shelton's and Derby's, think again. Have they dropped a single dollar since all those horrific eyesores you mention have come to town? NO! Don't get the foolish idea that by inviting trash into town in the form of Walmart will do a darned thing to lower your taxes.
Crown Royal January 31, 2014 at 02:48 PM
lmf, that wasn't quite my point. My point was that all of these businesses moved into town and and nobody batted an eyelash. Now all the sudden everyone is getting up in arms because of this retail building? Nobody would care if it was a Whole Foods, Lowe's, or any other retail store by Walmart.
Hawk January 31, 2014 at 02:50 PM
Glad to see that I am not the only one who feels that Walmart is the wrong choice for Monroe!! For those who disagree, have you ever heard of "Beware of what you wish for"!!! All I know is I have lived in many towns, and this one is the first one that I actually care about & feel like it is a community, not just a town...I hate to see that taken away because of big business!! And Steve, trust me.....I spent some time living on Long Island, 15 minutes from JFK...it was a real treat when those planes flew over and your dinner plates starting to break out in a rattling tune!! And I was one of the lucky ones, the runway route at that time was only Tuesdays, Sundays and whenever there were storms and low-ceiling clouds!! We also got to experience what the SST sounds like from a 10-15 minute distance on every Tuesday!! Those jet engines ROARED!!! So once again..."Beware of what you wish for!!" :>)
lmf59 January 31, 2014 at 03:21 PM
Crown, I am not sure what your point is, nor how you have any idea if "nobody batted an eyelash". As one example, when the tin can building (Scholastic Books, originally. Pella Windows, currently) went in , there was a huge uproar. As far as I am concerned, allowing that monstrosity was the beginning of the downfall of Monroe's P&Z practices. However, unlike Walmart, the problem with that business is the aesthetics of the building, not the impact it has/had on the town. When it was Scholastic Books, it was actually a benefit to the town...it offered a valuable service (great books at great prices) while adding to the tax base but not creating a traffic nightmare or inviting an undesirable element into town. Even as Pella Windows, there is no negative impact other than the God-awful design of the building. P&Z could have easily laid restrictions on the type and style of that building, but for an undisclosed reason (ie shortcuts and pocket-lining no doubt) they allowed that eyesore to be built before the townsfolk even had an opportunity to comment. Contrast that with when McDonalds went in across from Village Square and had to be constructed of brick, complimenting the Square and Monroe El. And FYI, I would be thrilled if instead of Walmart, a Whole Foods came to Monroe, providing the traffic flow would be handled. I will take the clientele of Whole Foods in my town over Walmart in a split second. Whole Foods is a town's dream, with it's high standards, high quality products, and responsible environmental and employment practices. The town of Monroe has been, and continues to be affected drastically by poor insight and poor planning. It needs to stop. I reiterate, if your house is burning, you don't throw more gas on it.
QWERTY January 31, 2014 at 04:43 PM
What's depressing is seeing all the "for sale/lease" signs on 111 in front of run-down residential homes! Further depressing is crossing over into Trumbull and seeing a vibrant corporate park/ commerce section.


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