Committee proposes increased bus routes and decreased travel times

(Hannah Shirley) Tate Coleman presents the proposed bus service.

GREAT BARRINGTON — Of the 425 responses to the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority’s (BRTA) South County ridership survey, 46 percent reported that the main reason they didn’t use the bus system was because they didn’t know anything about it.

Tate Coleman, chairman of the Great Barrington Transportation Committee, is aiming to change that.

The ridership survey was part of a larger effort to understand the public transportation needs in South County as the Great Barrington Transportation Committee finalizes their final report of proposed changes to be submitted to the BRTA May 5. The report is currently in its period of public input.
Coleman said the desire for expanded service is certainly there — he recalled dropping off 30 copies of the survey at the South Egremont Country Store last fall.

“We received a call the next week that they had all been filled out and they needed more,” he said.

If the BRTA accepts the transportation committee’s findings, a number of new pilot programs could be implemented in September, and could include circuits in Great Barrington, Egremont and Sheffield, as well as a rapid service line from Pittsfield to Great Barrington, a mall shuttle and a seasonal cultural loop.

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