PVTA to offer free rides during the holiday season

PVTA to offer free rides during the holiday season
PVTA to offer free rides during the holiday season
Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 12:17 AM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -Starting next Friday, you can ride PVTA busses for no charge until New Year’s Eve. Starting November 25, the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, or PVTA, is offering free rides for everyone on all their routes. No pass required.

Sandra Sheehan is an administrator for PVTA. She explained this is the program’s first year. It’s possible thanks to the state.

“There was an allocation of $2.5 million dollars by the Massachusetts Legislation for low income for fare free pilot program,” Sheehan said.

The initiative, called Try Transit, is to entice riders to give public transportation a try.

“It’s an opportunity for people that don’t use the system to try the system, hop on a bus, go shopping, go dining, and for people to use our services to get a break,” Sheehan said.

It will help people save money on gas and bus fares.

To break down the potential savings, with each ride costing $1.50 for riders 13 years and up and the program running for 37 days, this could save $55.50 if a person were to take one ride a day $110 if they take two.

Sheehan told Western Mass News they’re preparing for a big boost in riders.

“It could be up to 30 percent increase in ridership,” she said.

Western Mass News stopped by Springfield’s union station for reaction to the free rides.

“People are poor…It just benefits like homeless people and like that everyone can ride the bus now,” said Veronica Ruell of Springfield.

Officials tell western mass news that they hope travelers will use the money they save this holiday season to support local businesses or check out a holiday event.