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PVTA Approves 20 Percent Fare Hike, Service Cuts Could Follow

PVTA buses at Union Station in Springfield

    Fares are going up later this year for passengers of the largest regional transit authority in western Massachusetts. 

        The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority Advisory Board Monday approved a 20 percent fare hike effective July 1st

               The cost of a bus trip will go up a quarter to $1.50.  A monthly pass will increase from $45 to $54.  

       Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz, who chairs the 24-member board, said it is the first fare increase in ten years.

        " I believe it is a reasonable increase," said Narkewicz who added that PVTA's fares will still be among the lowest of any public transit system in the state.

        The PVTA had looked at a 25 percent fare increase, but lowered it after reviewing comments from a series of public hearings.

     The PVTA is also planning to cut service on 36 of its 42 bus routes starting in September unless the agency gets $3 million more from the next state budget.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.