Massachusetts Daily Collegian

PVTA budget deficit leads to eliminated routes and raised prices

Eighteen UMass routes affected

%28Collegian+file+photo%29
(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

By Kathrine Esten, Assistant News Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority has proposed bus service cuts in the University of Massachusetts area, to take effect July 1.

The PVTA, which is based in Springfield, is facing a $3.1 million budget deficit in the 2019 fiscal year, following underfunding from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s budget, as reported previously by the Massachusetts Daily Collegian.

Route cutbacks affecting Amherst include extending “reduced service” periods and decreasing the frequency of buses and eliminating poor-performing routes, as well as decreasing Saturday and holiday service to match Sunday service. 18 proposed route cuts directly affect UMass.

UMass News&Media Relations announced that the “campus community has until March 14 to [make] its voice heard on bus service cuts.”

Campus-connected routes affected include the elimination of Route 46 (South Deerfield / Whately Park & Ride / UMass) and the decrease in Route B43 express trips (Northampton/ Hadley/ Amherst), among other changes.

Additional proposals, including a 25 percent increase in fares and pass prices, do not directly affect Five College students who ride on the majority of routes for free. However, this fee increase will impact students who ride any of the red “R” routes, which provide service to Florence, Springfield and the Holyoke Mall, among others.

At a March 1 hearing, held in the Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center at UMass, Massachusetts legislators discussed the 2019 budget. Outside, dozens of students gathered in protest of the budget proposals.

Mount Holyoke News covered the protest and explained that activists considered “the issue of transportation to go arm in arm with issues of racial justice, social justice and environmental concerns.”

Patrick Burke, of Northampton, told 22News, “PVTA is something people use to get to work, go to medical appointments, pick up their kids to just really live and go about their lives, so this is something that’s going to impact thousands of people.”

Public comments may be submitted until March 14, by mail, email, phone or through the PVTA online comment form before a final decision on the proposals is made in April.

In the case that the Massachusetts Congress allocates more money to public transit, such as the PVTA, prior to their July 1 official budget, PVTA officials have said they have plans to reinstate certain services that an increased budget would allow.

Evan Kuras, a UMass graduate student who relies on the PVTA to get to campus, told the Greenfield Recorder that the proposed cuts would impact people’s ability to live and work in the region.

“I take the bus so I can get my education here and do my research,” Kuras said. “We need transit so people can live and work in the region and come to school here, go to lectures here and involve themselves in the community here. It’s essential.”

Kathrine Esten can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @KathrineEsten.

3 Comments

3 Responses to “PVTA budget deficit leads to eliminated routes and raised prices”

  1. Ed Cutting, Ed.D. on March 7th, 2018 1:48 pm

    It’s time for faculty and staff to start paying their fair share. People with six-figure salaries ought not be riding for free. They should pay something. Same thing with the “park & ride” lot — that’s faculty & staff parking there, and they can afford to pay a few bucks.

    [Reply]

  2. Ed Cutting, Ed.D. on March 7th, 2018 1:59 pm

    Case in point, I know an administrator who uses the “free” bus to commute to Whitmore from Northampton. He made $74,803.50 last year — he can afford to pay! (Median household income in Western Mass is only $54,855…)

    [Reply]

  3. thesis writing service on March 12th, 2018 1:12 pm

    This article is filled with more than enough content, utmost valuable for a newbie in the field like me! Anyways, hearty regards.

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • PVTA budget deficit leads to eliminated routes and raised prices

    Archives

    BabyBerk food truck to serve hundreds of free meals to local children and teens

  • PVTA budget deficit leads to eliminated routes and raised prices

    Archives

    UMass students arraigned in connection with April fire

  • PVTA budget deficit leads to eliminated routes and raised prices

    Archives

    Study shows UMass admissions less competitive for out-of-state students

  • PVTA budget deficit leads to eliminated routes and raised prices

    Archives

    Greg Carvel locked in through 2023 with UMass hockey

  • PVTA budget deficit leads to eliminated routes and raised prices

    Archives

    UMass men’s basketball coach Matt McCall’s contract extended

  • PVTA budget deficit leads to eliminated routes and raised prices

    Archives

    Eight freshmen to join UMass hockey for 2018-19

  • PVTA budget deficit leads to eliminated routes and raised prices

    Archives

    UMass softball falls to Fordham in A-10 championship game

  • PVTA budget deficit leads to eliminated routes and raised prices

    Archives

    UMass softball staves off A-10 elimination with win over Dayton

  • PVTA budget deficit leads to eliminated routes and raised prices

    Archives

    UMass softball blows out Saint Louis to open A-10 tournament

  • PVTA budget deficit leads to eliminated routes and raised prices

    Archives

    UMass baseball takes on Fordham in final homestand