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PVTA gets $680K federal grant to plan bus improvements

SRPINGFIELD — The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority will receive $680,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation to reduce travel times and create greater access to jobs for rural residents in Western Massachusetts.

The money will fund a transit review and improvement planning study, the Department of Transportation said Wednesday. That would include recommendations for improved transit services and facilities, new routes, modern fare collection systems and integrating low or no-emission buses.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the PVTA was transporting more than 10 million passengers a year on a 2019 budget of $39 million. For several months this year it provided essential trips only, and has slowly returned to running portions of its former service.

PVTA operates in Hampden and Hampshire counties, with major hubs in Springfield’s Union Station, in Holyoke and in and around the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus.

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration announced Wednesday

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