Five College Consortium urging state leaders to increase PVTA budget

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The Five College consortium is urging state leaders to increase its public transportation budget.

PVTA is facing a $3.1 million budget deficit. Riders told 22News, the transit authority and the state needs to take the well being of riders into consideration and not cut service.

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The Five College Consortium has sent a letter to Governor Charlie Baker and other state leaders urging them to increase the state’s regional transportation systems budget. By doing so, Baker’s proposed budget would level-fund the RTA budget for a fourth straight year.

Ilona Murrey of Easthampton, told 22News, “If they eliminate the both of those the Nashawannuck and PVTA bus there would be no opportunity for us to get to Northampton for our volunteer jobs.”

PVTA service changes and fare hikes nearing, customers still against it

“And it would also make it harder to do any five college classes,” Olivia Kipling-Brownlow of South Hadley added. “Cuts would make it a lot harder to go to any of those classes.”

Some current bus routes could be reduced from nine trips per day down to four trips. Other changes could include having buses come every 80 minutes, rather than every 40 minutes.

PVTA is considering system-wide service cuts and fare increases, which riders could see go into effect as soon as July 1.

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