NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Bus riders aren’t too happy with the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority’s proposed fare hikes and route cuts.Northampton residents are wondering what to do, if the PVTA goes forward with the proposed service changes.
“I’m quite disgusted at the way the system is working right now,” said Jon Frost of Easthampton. “I’m not going to be able to go to the doctor, go to other appointments, go shopping.”As the PVTA faces a budget deficit of $3.1 million, bus riders might need to start thinking about alternate modes of transportation.The PVTA’s proposing system-wide service cuts, including reduced evening and weekend routes.
It also includes a 25 percent increase in fares. They said the changes would impact their daily lives, as well as their bank account. “I either have to walk a mile and a tenth to catch the 41 in downtown Easthampton, or I have to get a cab,” said Adam Howard of Easthampton. The PVTA advisory board held was in Northampton Wednesday night to get public feedback. Some feel these meetings are pointless. “I’d like to be optimistic but I do much personally question if even these decisions have already been made and this is just a formality,” said one PVTA customer.
The PVTA assured passengers, they are listening, and collecting the information.“We’re going to take all these comments, take them into consideration as we try to revise the proposal we have,” said Sandra Sheehan, administrator of PVTA.The services changes and fare hikes are scheduled to take effect July 1.