PVTA Route 46 is vital for Franklin County commuters

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority is in the red for a variety of reasons, including a reduction in subsidies from the state. As a result, PVTA proposes to reduce or eliminate entirely several of its routes, including one that affects us in this neck of the woods.

Route 46, which goes to South Deerfield and the Whately Park and Ride is one.

This would inconvenience many, including me, as for the past 10 years I have biked or driven to South Deerfield and hopped on the free bus to get to work at UMass. This bus has been a life-changer for me: I saved gas and parking money, reduced my pollution footprint, reduced the parking pressure on campus, and considerably reduced my level of daily stress. A wonderful bonus has been making friends with the regulars on that bus — friendships that transcend the bus ride and the years.

Some of those friends take the bus by necessity, they either don’t have a car or a driver’s license yet need a reliable way to get to work in Amherst. Several even moved to South Deerfield because of this bus line. There is no alternative for them, except maybe catching an FRTA bus going to Northampton then transferring to PVTA to Amherst — probably a 90-minute commute as opposed to the current 20 minutes.

We need Route 46 and suggest to either reduce the frequency of the buses, at worst keeping only one in the morning and one in the afternoon, or extend Route 31 from Sunderland into South Deerfield and Whately for a couple of buses per day.

Marie-Francoise Hatte