With State Funding Expected, PVTA Pushed to Reconsider Fare Hikes

With an infusion of more than $900,000 expected to pass the Massachusetts senate as part of a bailout plan for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority is being pushed to reconsider fare hikes originally set to begin July 1st.

Earlier this year PVTA officials proposed fare hikes to help cover a budget gap. Adult fares would increase by a quarter, to a dollar and fifty cents. That doesn’t sit well with Pearl Kilpatrick, a passenger from Northampton, who says the hikes would hit hardest for those whose primary source of transportation is the PVTA.

“By raising the fare, they’re making a very clear statement that there’s no negotiating about it, and it’s not really there for the people who actually need it.”

Rider advocates are calling on the pvta to drop the fare hikes, now that the legislature is on its way to stopgap funding. BUT  PVTA Administrator Mary MacInnes, says the $900,000 addition will not go far enough. 

“Many months ago we had projected a $1.8 million deficit for next fiscal year, so that certainly does help.”

MacInnes says the fare hikes and their start date will be determined by the PVTA advisory board at its next meeting on June 27th. A coalition of community organizations called United for Transit Equity plans a rally at Springfield’s bus terminal at 1 PM on Tuesday.