Project: BRTA Vehicle Replacement
ARRA Award Amount: $500,000
Program: Urbanized Area Formula Program
FTA has invested $550,000 in Recovery Act funds for the replacement of five Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA) buses, initiating the BRTA’s multiyear plan to systematically replace its aging fleet, with smaller, more fuel efficient minibuses, which allows for greater flexibility and route deviation. All five 25’, 20-passenger minibuses purchased with ARRA funds have now been received at the BRTA maintenance facility in Pittsfield, MA, and have been inspected by BRTA technicians. The vehicles being replaced under this program are four 1992 RTS 35' 44 passenger buses and one 2002 Opus 30' 27 passenger bus purchased in 2002. All five of these vehicles have so far exceeded their useful lives by age and miles traveled.
The BRTA serves 23 communities in Massachusetts’ Berkshire County in the far western end of the state. Outside of the city Pittsfield, the BRTA operates in a nontraditional service area for fixed-route transit, connecting small villages and geographically remote destinations via often winding, narrow streets and hilly terrain. As a result, planning efforts in the region have demonstrated that the BRTA’s fleet of traditional, large, fixed-route buses lack the flexibility to adequately and efficiently serve the area. As a result, BRTA has initiated a plan to replace its fleet with smaller, more appropriately-sized vehicles, and this ARRA-funded procurement is the first step in that initiative. Not only will the new vehicles allow the BRTA to improve the level of service it provides its customers, theses smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles are facilitating the reduction in emissions and the carbon footprint of the BRTA’s fleet.