Pioneer Valley Transit Authority

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Pioneer Valley Transit Authority
Pvta logo.png
PVTA New Flyer bus.jpg
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus #7813 travels past Smith College on the B43 in Northampton.
Founded 1974
Headquarters 2808 Main Street
Springfield, MA 01107
Locale Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts
Service area Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties.
Service type Local bus transit
Fleet 174 buses, 144 vans
Daily ridership 11.5 million (2012, annual)
Operator See organizational structure below
Chief executive Mary MacInnes (administrator)
Website Pioneer Valley Transit Authority
University of Massachusetts Transit

The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) oversees and coordinates public transportation in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Currently the PVTA offers fixed-route bus service as well as paratransit service for the elderly and disabled. The PVTA was created by Chapter 161B of the Massachusetts General Laws in 1974. It is based in Springfield, Massachusetts and serves Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties.

Organizational structure[edit]

As per Section 25, Chapter 161B of the Massachusetts General Laws, regional transit authorities in Massachusetts are not permitted to directly operate their service, but must instead contract with other entities to operate the buses. As such, the PVTA contracts with two entities to provide fixed-route service in the service area:[1] First Transit and UMass Transit Services. The contractors run semi-autonomous garages that act as vehicle depots for the surrounding areas.[2]

Springfield Area Transit Company[edit]

The Springfield Area Transit Company (SATCo) operates the southern portion of PVTA's service area, servicing Hampden County. The SATCo, located at 2808 Main Street in Springfield, is managed by First Transit. PVTA's headquarters are also housed at this same location. All SATCo fixed-route buses are numbered in the 1000 series, except for the Palmer and Ware shuttle buses, numbered in the 5000 series along with other vans.

UMass Transit Services[edit]

UMass Transit Services operates PVTA's routes through the Five Colleges area in eastern Hampshire County and neighboring towns, with most of the routes centered around UMass Amherst, the largest ridership generator in the service area. UMass Transit Services is a department within the University of Massachusetts Amherst[3] The UMass Transit garage is on the campus at 255 Governors Drive. All UMass Transit fixed-route buses are numbered in the 3000 series.

Valley Area Transit Company[edit]

The Valley Area Transit Company (VATCo) operates the central portion of PVTA's service area. All of its routes originate from Northampton, providing connections to the UMass Transit service areas via Route 9, and to the SATCo service area on the other side of the Mount Tom Range via Routes 5 and 10. VATCo, located at 54 Industrial Drive in Northampton, is managed by First Transit. All VATCo fixed-route buses are numbered in the 7000 series, except Easthampton-Nashawannuck vans, which are numbered in the 5000 series.


ADA paratransit service is provided by Hulmes Transportation for the entire service area, except for the University of Massachusetts, for which UMass Transit Services provides ADA paratransit service for university members. (Non-UMass members are services by Hulmes.) All paratransit vehicles are numbered in the 5000 series.


Hampden County[edit]

These routes are all operated by SATCo.

Route Route Name Notes
Green 1[4] Chicopee / Center Street / Sumner Avenue
Green 1e[5] Sumner Express
Green 2[6] Carew Street / Belmont Avenue
Green 3[7] Springfield Plaza / King St & Springfield College via Walnut St
Blue 4[8] Plainfield Street
Green 5[9] Dickinson Street / Maple/ Longmeadow Connects with CT Transit Hartford's 5E-Enfield Express route.
Blue 6[10] Ludlow
Blue 7[11] Boston Road / Eastfield Mall
Red 10[12] Westfield / Westfield State College
Purple 11[13] Holyoke Community College Express
Blue 12[14] Stonybrook Express (Hampden County
Correctional Facility at Stonybrook)
Red 14[15] Feeding Hills / Agawam Industrial Park
Blue 17[16] B17 Eastfield Mall via Worthington St & Wilbraham Rd
B15 Oak Grove via Pearl St.
Purple 20[17] Holyoke via Riverdale / Holyoke Mall (also Holyoke Mall via I-91 Express)
Purple 21[18] Holyoke via Chicopee Center / Holyoke via I-391 Express
Blue 23[19] Holyoke / Westfield via Holyoke Community College
Red 24[20] Holyoke Shuttle
- Red 27[21] Wilbraham / Eastfield Mall
BTS[22] Ware Shuttle Connects to Palmer Village van
PV[23] Palmer Village Connects to B7 and B17 routes
OWL[24] Westfield State College Shuttle Connects to R10

Route Red 10 Shuttle: Westfield Center & Westfield State University:

X 90 A & B Inner City Crosstown. Route Serves Downtown Holyoke, New Ludlow Road, Memorial Drive, Grattan Street, Willimansett, Springfield Plaza, Armory Street, Walnut Street, and Biy Y in East Longmeadow. Route replaces the Green 19 and Red 22.

X92 Mid-City Crosstown: Route serves Island Pond Rd, East Springfield Memorial Industrial Park, Mill Street, and Independence House. Replaces the former route Green 8:

South Hadley Tiger Shuttle: Formerly the Route Red 25. Bus services South Hadley, Mount Holyoke College, and the Holyoke Transportation Center.

University of Massachusetts[edit]

These routes are operated by UMass Transit Services, except for the daytime 39E, which (E runs only) is operated by VATCo.

Route Route Name Notes
Gold 30[25] North Amherst / Old Belchertown Road
Pink 31[26] Sunderland / South Amherst
Green 32[27] Survival Center via Puffer's Pond /Stop and Shop
Blue 34[28] Southwest via Mullins Center / Orchard Hill via Sylvan: Campus Shuttle (Northbound)
Blue 35[29] Orchard Hill via Butterfield / Mullins Center via Southwest: Campus Shuttle (Southbound)
Green 36: Olympia Drive/Atkin's Farm
Orange 38[30] UMass Hagis Mall / Amherst College / Hampshire College / Mount Holyoke College
Orange 39/39E[31] Smith College / Hampshire College (Evening 39E: Smith/Hampshire/Mount Holyoke)
Green 45[32] UMass/ Belchertown Center via Gatehouse Rd
Green 46[33] UMass / South Deerfield Center


All of these routes are operated by VATCo, and hub around the Academy of Music Theatre in downtown Northampton. VATCo only operates the daytime E runs on the O39 route; all other O39 trips are operated by UMass Transit.

Route Route Name Notes
Orange 39E[34] Smith College / Mount Holyoke College Includes 39E Express van service M-F from Smith to Mt. Molyoke
Maroon 40[35] Minuteman Express via Rte. 9 and 116(Northampton/UMASS)
Red 41[36] Northampton / Holyoke Community College & Holyoke Mall via Easthampton Additional service to Easthampton available on the NE van.
Red 42[37] Northampton / Williamsburg
Blue 43[38] Northampton / Hadley / Amherst
Red 44[39] Florence Heights/Northampton/Hampshire Plaza/
Hampshire County Correctional Facility
Blue 48[40] Northampton / Veterans Park / Holyoke Mall (Holyoke Mall via transfer to P20) Connects with FRTA bus to Greenfield.
NE[41] Easthampton Nashawannuck Express

X98 Crosstown Route services Downtown Northampton, Hampshire Plaza and River valley Market.


PVTA offers connections to the following regional transportation agencies, weekdays only:


One way[edit]

One-way fixed-route fares are noted below. NOTE: UMass Amherst buses (3000-series) do not have fareboxes and operate via a proof-of-payment system (see UMass Transit buses below).

Adults 13 and older Children 6 to 12 Children under 6 Seniors 60 and older Transfer
$1.25 $0.75 Free $0.60 $0.25


All passes are good through the end of the service day.

  • 1-Day passes are sold only on PVTA Springfield and Northampton buses at the fareboxes.
  • 7- and 31-day passes are sold at Big Y supermarkets in the service area, at the Springfield customer service center, at the Holyoke Transportation Center, and by the Western New England University's bursar office.
  • The 31-day pass is also sold on the PVTA website.
1-Day Pass 7-Day Pass 31 Day Pass
$3.00 $12.50 $45.00
($43 with Big Y card at Big Y stores)

UMass Transit Routes[edit]

PVTA buses operated by UMass Transit operate via a proof-of-payment system. See here for more details.

Ridership Increase[edit]

Ridership is up 12% in September 2014 and 9% in October [1]. Springfield mayor Dominick Sarno brags now that people who choose to live without a car in city centre in market rate housing can step out and get transit virtually everywhere in New England now.

Accounting Errors Investigation[edit]

An audit in 2005 revealed that the PVTA made approximately $10 million in accounting errors on a transportation development project at Springfield's Union Station. Initial reports said PVTA could owe the federal government as much as $4 million.[42] That amount was reduced in 2009 to less than $1 million.[43] A federal probe in 2006 also targeted some PVTA employees. Subsequently, Administrator Gary Shepard resigned in 2006 after being put on leave by the Advisory Board, but he was never charged with any offense.[44][45]

Holiday / School Break Service[edit]

  • Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day: All service suspended.
  • New Year's Day, Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day: Only SATCo routes operate, on a Sunday schedule.
  • Columbus Day and Veterans' Day: SATCo routes operate on a Saturday schedule. VATCo routes operate on a Sunday schedule. UMass Transit routes and the B43 operate on a special schedule, see here.
  • School not in session: Westfield OWL, P11, and M40 service is suspended. UMass Transit and B43: see here.


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