PVTA hearing addresses proposed route elimination

LONGMEADOW – The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) may eliminate the G-5 bus line along Longmeadow Street to help close a $1.7 million budget gap.

Selectman Mark Gold recently reported that the PVTA will host two public hearings to discuss the proposed changes on June 22 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., in Wright Hall at Bay Path University. Gold said the Longmeadow Street route is just one of 22 routes that would be cut as a response to a reduction in funding.

The current bus stop is located in front of 471 Longmeadow Street, across from the Bay Path University campus.

“The stop was originally designed to be at Bay Path because Bay Path students were perceived to be the main users of the bus,” said Gold. “But they won’t even be there for this hearing because school is not in session.

“My fear is that if no one goes (to the hearing), they’ll say, ‘See, we told you we don’t need the bus there,’” Gold added. “But this is the only bus in Longmeadow other than the one on Converse Street that goes to the Jewish nursing home.”

To ensure the community is heard, Gold encouraged residents to attend the hearing on June 22 to make sure their feelings are known before the routes are eliminated.

Andrea Chason, of 236 Crestview Circle, said she was unaware of the PVTA hearing before Gold made the announcement at the June 5 Select Board meeting.

“I’m going to try and get to the hearing because I actually know a lot of people who use that bus to come into Longmeadow,” she said.

– Article by Sarah Leete Tsitso