The Smart Way Connector made its maiden voyage Tuesday morning.
The bus line linking Roanoke and Lynchburg may be the ticket to bringing Amtrak commuter rail service back to the Roanoke Valley.
The service was three years in the making. Just in time for Lydia Celin, on her way to New York to visit family. She has taken the train before, but for this trip, the commute will be easier.
"My husband really appreciates this bus so he doesn't have to drive me to Lynchburg," said Celin.
The 27-seat bus was full for its first trip. Veda Barnett boarded an hour early. She'll likely use the service a few times a month, making her travel to Washington D.C. less hectic.
"The pleasure of not getting lost, getting to the Amtrak, and not worrying about having someone to take me or bring me back," said Barnett.
Tuesday morning's trip was free of charge. But Barnett says the usual $4 fare isn't bad for a one-way ride from Roanoke to the Amtrak station in Lynchburg.
"It's almost less than a gallon of gas. So it's perfect. Even if it went up a little bit, it would still be great," said Barnett.
The Smart Way Connector departs out of Roanoke Monday through Thursday. The service route begins in Blacksburg for Friday through Sunday travel. Click here for a link to the Smart Way Connector Schedule.