PVTA routes affected by state budget

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – If you ride the PVTA regularly you may soon see some changes to your route.

In some cases, routes will be discontinued. PVTA is changing as many as 20 routes due to budget shortfalls, and those changes could impact Pioneer Valley routes from south Deerfield down to Agawam.

The last of multiple public hearings was held in Chicopee Monday night, for residents to express their concerns for the proposed cuts.

“From what I understand they’re going to be changing some of the routes and changing the times and stuff like that,” John Pierce of Chicopee said. “I would rather them not change my particular route that I need and some of the routes people in the surrounding area that I know of might need.”

The PVTA said state budget cuts and reduced aid have left them with a $1.2 million deficit.

“We receive funding from different sources and this year because of different increases in labor, increase in health insurance, and fuel that has affected our bottom line and we need to address that,” said Sandra Sheehan, administrator at PVTA.

According to PVTA, the routes up for elimination are ones where very few people ride the bus. The PVTA is expected to make a decision about the cuts by July 19.