Publication Date

Winter 2024

Committee Members

Camille Barchers Henry Renski


The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA), Massachusetts’ largest regional transit authority (RTA), has partnered with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMass) on a two-year project. The goal of this project is to analyze and redesign the current transit network and service offerings to enhance equity and economic vitality throughout its service area in Hampshire and Hampden counties. The UMass planning project, Valley On Board (VOB), is part of a larger Pioneer Valley Transit Review and Improvement Planning Study (PV-TRIPS project). Funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the US Department of Transportation through a Helping Obtain Prosperity for Everyone (HOPE) grant, the Valley On Board project advances the goal of the Federal HOPE Program, which is to improve public transit in areas of persistent poverty in the U.S. The Fall 2022 UMass Regional Planning Studio proposes an adaptable 20 year vision that includes network, operational, and capital improvements that will increase efficiency, accessibility, and equity of public transit for riders throughout the Pioneer Valley, with a specific focus on those living in areas that meet the Commonwealth’s criteria for Environmental Justice Communities (EJCs). This report summarizes Phase III of the two-year Valley On Board planning project. This process consists of five components: 1. An analysis of the drivers of change in the region and review of the scenario planning conducted in Fall 2021. 2. Development and implementation of an accessible, flexible, and interactive public engagement strategy 3. An analysis of data gathered from engagement events. 4. Route and recommendation development that is consistent with the analysis of the drivers of change and public feedback. 5. Evaluation of recommendations using the metrics of access, equity and efficiency to evaluate priorities of implementation. The drivers of change, public feedback, and transit design and public engagement best practices were used to develop an adaptable 20 year vision for the PVTA.