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Tate Coleman, at left, presenting the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority route upgrades to the Great Barrington Selectboard.

Great Barrington public transit advisory committee releases proposal calling for added service

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By Tuesday, Apr 9, 2019 News

Great Barrington — The town’s newly formed Public Transportation Advisory Committee conducted the South County Public Bus Service Survey in February and March, and received more than 400 responses.

Now the committee is collecting public input on the resulting proposal, which increases service in denser corridors, decreases travel times between towns and increases service area and frequency. You can view the full proposal and presentation by clicking here.

A Berkshire Regional Transit Authority bus making a stop at the Rite Aid in Great Barrington. Contributed

Click here to view the Route Optimization Initiative Draft Report with survey findings. Below are the committee’s proposed Berkshire Regional Transportation Authority’s service changes for Southern Berkshire County and the finalized public input session dates.

 

The committee is chaired by Great Barrington resident and Simon’s Rock student Tate Coleman, 15, and a self-described transportation advocate who has been working with Great Barrington selectman Bill Cooke on transportation issues of concern to residents of southern Berkshire County.

Last year, Gov. Charlie Baker proposed cuts in regional transportation authority funding that would have left BRTA with an operating deficit of $378,400, on a little more than $2.5 million in funding from the state.

Even if funding had stayed flat, the only short-term cures would have been cuts in service, increases in fares or some combination of the two. In the end the authority saw a small increase after strong lobbying from the Berkshire legislative delegation. But that still necessitated cuts in routes, including some in South County.

Great Barrington Public Transportation Advisory Committee

Public Input and Outreach Sessions For Proposed BRTA Bus Service Changes/Improvements in South County

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Saturday, April 6 12:15PM – 1:15PM, Berkshire Earth Expo, 16 Melville St, Pittsfield

Tuesday, April 9 4PM – 5PM, Berkshire Community College 343 Main St, Great Barrington

Tuesday, April 16 4:30PM – 5:15PM Simon’s Rock College, Daniel Arts Center 84 Alford Road, Great Barrington

Friday, April 19 4PM – 5PM, Great Barrington Fire Station 37 State Rd, Great Barrington

Monday, April 22 5:30PM – 6:30PM, Sheffield Town Hall, 21 Depot Square, Sheffield

Friday, April 26 4PM – 5PM, ITC 2nd Floor, 1 Columbus Ave. Pittsfield

Tate Coleman contributed to this story.


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