SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– For most of western Massachusetts, there is no snow on the ground yet this winter, which means there are likely no problems getting on or off at your local bus stop. That was, however, a much different situation just last winter.
That was when 22News showed you PVTA bus stops in Springfield clogged with snow. In many places, there was so much snow, and people had to wait for the bus out on the street. It was especially challenging for people with disabilities to get on and off the bus.
This was also when 22News uncovered that Springfield has no regulations designating who is supposed to do the shoveling at those bus stops.
Now, the PVTA says they will take on some of the work. “We have hired a contractor to shovel out the stops that have been identified as stops where mobility impaired persons want to get on the bus,” Mary MacInnes, Pioneer Valley Transit Authority’s Administrator, told 22News.
The PVTA told 22News that notices will soon start going up at certain bus stops, letting riders know what phone number to call to add their bus stop to the list.
McInnes told 22New they will also shovel out all the covered bus stops in Springfield.
Springfield City Councilor Bud Williams told 22News that the plan brings the issue closer to resolution, but argues more still needs to be done.
“Have legislation in place so that people know and understand what’s expected of them when there’s a snow storm,” Williams said.
Williams said a city ordinance is needed to decide who’s responsible to shovel out the rest of the stops, just like the ordinance in place designating when and where property owners are responsible for shoveling out fire hydrants and sidewalks. He said he has scheduled a City Council meeting next Tuesday to discuss that option.