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Berkshire Regional Transit Authority announces temporary service adjustments and increased hiring incentive to improve transit service reliability

Despite continued hiring and training efforts, the unfortunate reality is that we just don’t have enough operators. Therefore, we need to adjust our services to a level where we can provide the greatest reliability possible,” said BRTA Administrator Robert Malnati.

Berkshire County — The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA) is announcing temporary service reductions on select bus routes and an increased employee-hiring incentive, aimed at improving the reliability of the public transit system. Due to many factors facing most employers in today’s labor market, including a continued lack of available bus operators, BRTA is temporarily reducing service on selected bus routes to match current staffing levels. These service changes will be effective starting Monday, May 20, 2024.

“Our Operations and Maintenance staff are the backbone of our agency. They work tirelessly to provide the transit services that our customers deserve. Despite continued hiring and training efforts, the unfortunate reality is that we just don’t have enough operators. Therefore, we need to adjust our services to a level where we can provide the greatest reliability possible,” said BRTA Administrator Robert Malnati. “BRTA continues to coordinate employment services with our community partners, including Berkshire Community College and MassHire, on innovative ways to increase our staffing.” An increased hiring incentive of $1,000 is hopeful to generate additional interest in working for the BRTA. “We hope to restore these reduced bus services as soon as we are able to increase our staffing. In the meantime, we want to maintain the service reliability that our customers need and deserve.”

The temporary service changes impact a few fixed-route bus schedules but will not affect the ADA and Non-ADA paratransit services. The Route 921 Express will also increase trips during this timeframe to supplement the scheduled service.

Service changes include:

Weekdays:

  • Route 14: Pittsfield Southeast Loop
    • Suspended 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
    • Will ONLY operate 6:30 p.m. – 9:50 p.m.
  • Route 21: Lee-Stockbridge-Great Barrington
    • Will run every 120 minutes on weekdays.
    • Suspend Lee Premium Outlets trips departing on odd hours (5:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.).
    • Suspend Great Barrington Fairgrounds Plaza trips departing on even hours (6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.).
  • Route 921: Pittsfield-Great Barrington Express
    • Will operate consistently every 120 minutes on weekdays.
    • Increased Pittsfield ITC departures 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.
    • Increased Great Barrington Fairgrounds Plaza departures 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.
    • Will run as a local route with flag service available.
    • Will pick up/drop off at Berkshire South Community Center as requested.

Saturdays:

  • Route 21: Lee-Stockbridge-Great Barrington
    • Will operate every run every 120 minutes on Saturdays.
    • Suspended Lee Premium Outlets trips departing on odd hours (9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.).
    • Suspended Great Barrington Fairgrounds Plaza trips departing on even hours (8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.).
  • Route 921: Pittsfield- Great Barrington Express
    • Suspend trip departing Pittsfield ITC at 7:30 a.m.
    • Will run as a local route with flag service available.
    • Will pick up/drop off at Berkshire South Community Center as requested.

Revised bus schedules will be posted on BRTA’s website on Friday, May 17, 2024.

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