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The People Will Be Served: A History of the Vermont Transit Bus Company Paperback – April 23, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 146 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456541900
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456541903
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,740,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sylvia Nichols Allen was born and raised in Enosburg Falls, Vermont and rode Vermont Transit buses regularly as a college student. She is a retired librarian with a love of Vermont history. This book is her tribute to the dedicated men and women of the Vermont Transit family. Sylvia and her husband, Michel, live in Essex Junction, Vermont.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William H. Schubart on July 3, 2012
As an author, I had the pleasure of meeting Sylvia when she was in the early stages of her book and was deeply impressed, not only by her commitment to scholarship and fine writing, but also her intuitive understanding of why this book should matter and why the story of this one company and its founder and workers should be preserved as part of our cultural history.

Mrs. Allen deftly makes clear in her book that the soul of the company is reflective of an earlier business ethos that was essential to the success of any business serving a coherent community. In an age when most businesses have scaled well beyond the communities they serve and, for the most part, have lost their connection to the customers that was essential to the success of Vermont Transit and also ensured the lifelong allegiance of their workers to the company, this story of a small Vermont company shines like a constellation.

Although it is about a bygone era in which allegiance to community, customers and employees was fundamental, we have much to learn from it today and I am grateful that Mrs. Allen persevered and completed this durable and signal work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Yamalotz on January 4, 2013
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The printer really messed this one up. All the even numbered pages are very (VERY) light, so much so it becomes almost unreadable. All photos are muddy, but the ones on the even numbered pages are worthless, as are the maps. Sorry to be so hard, but the author worked hard to produce a nice local history item, only to have it ruined by a printers error.
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By James R. Michaud on January 11, 2014
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I've worked with VT over the past several years and enjoyed the detailed story of how it started all the way until the name was dropped after Greyhound took over. VT was always a first class operation and I knew several of the key players over the past 40 years.

Spike Michaud
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For the many of us who once counted on green-and-white, stainless-steel-sided, often ice-caked Vermont Transit buses lumbering through the night to get us to college or Boston or home, this little book is the only company history we're likely to get, so we mustn't complain too much. Though it's slightly scattered and incomplete, there's plenty to appreciate.

Author Sylvia Allen, a career Vermont librarian, dwells on the familial aspects of the Vermont Transit business, which for half a century represented a corporate culture of high mutual responsibility -- between managers and workers, and to customers -- that seems quaint today. The book traces VTC's decline in the hands of Greyhound, which acquired the company in the mid-1970s (with the unenforceable and ultimately hollow vow that VTC would be operated independently) and soon began gutting it, finally snuffing out the Vermont Transit name completely in 2008. By then most of the country-road lines with village flag stops where Vermont Transit made its reputation had been cut anyway. Greyhound emerges as the evil Voldemort of the story -- a dumb and cruel conglomerate with a succession of managers who, oddly, didn't like or understand the bus business and inflicted enormous damage. (Ironically, with Vermont Transit now gone and Greyhound keeping only a handful of the old routes, Megabus has now entered the Vermont market and proved anew the viability of intercity bus service there, though not with VTC's small-town focus.)

The book is long on personality sketches of businessmen but somewhat devoid of poetry. Running a reliable, profitable bus line through northern New England's forbidding, sparsely-settled terrain and terrible weather was a romantic, vital, often perilous endeavor.
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A great story about early transportation in rural New England. I loved the "little" stories of of an era gone by. This little company seemed to be a community in and of itself - its employees and the passengers they served.
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