Smith Responds to New Round of Proposed PVTA Cuts

Smith College, alongside the other members of the Five College Consortium, is again seeking community support in responding to proposed cuts to essential Pioneer Valley Transit Authority Five College bus routes.

Several proposed changes will directly affect bus service between Smith and the Five Colleges.

Route 39, serving Smith, Hampshire and Mount Holyoke

  • No direct service to Mount Holyoke College on weekday evening and weekends; riders would connect at Hampshire to Route 38 for service to Mount Holyoke
  • Weekday evening and weekend reduction to Smith College
  • Elimination of Sunday service during “reduced service” periods

Route 43, serving Smith, UMass and Amherst

  • 50 percent reduction of Saturday service
  • Reduction of Sunday night service
  • Elimination of two express trips

Approximately one million passengers each academic year ride the Five College bus routes—riders who otherwise might not have affordable transportation to classes, health care or supermarkets. In return, each of the Five College campuses funds a portion of their city’s PVTA assessment—in Smith’s case, the annual payment is more than $70,000. The Student Government Association (SGA) also pays the PVTA almost $36,000 per year to subsidize night and weekend Five College routes.

Over the next six weeks, the PVTA will hold a number of hearings and information sessions to gather input on a plan that will be voted on by the PVTA Board and implemented in summer 2018.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to voice concerns.  There are two ways you can make your voice heard:

  • Fill out a survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3PQFXNM
  • Attend the PVTA hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 4 p.m. or 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 212 Main Street, Northampton. If you are interested in speaking at the hearing, please contact Sam Masinter, associate vice president for college relations, smasinte@smith.edu.