Groups looking to create a transportation management authority will soon turn their eye towards getting private sector involvement.
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Transportation Program Planner Clete Kus said the plans are aimed to improve transportation in the rural area. In briefing the Metropolitan Planning Organization, Kus said the idea is to create a membership-based organization aimed to shuttle people in the rural areas, helping them get to jobs.
The BRTA is prepping for increasing fares and reducing service.
Berkshire Regional Transit Authority Administrator Robert Malnati said the state's funding for the organization is flat in the governor's budget.
The BRTA, the main public transportation unit serving the Berkshires, is facing an operational budget deficit of $378,400 for the upcoming fiscal year. Transit officials statewide say $88 million is needed to properly fund RTAs after four years of nearly level funding.
Robert Malnati, administrator of the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority, sent a brief notification late Friday that he had been told the tentative agreement settled on Wednesday had been voted by the paratransit union membership.
A scheduled strike at the BRTA has been delayed.
BRTA Administrator Robert Malnati issued a notice on Monday saying the paratransit operators have delayed the scheduled strike on Feb. 19. A federal mediator will be meeting with BRTA on Feb. 21 to further discuss the situation.
Members of International Teamsters Local 404 have reportedly voted down the best and final offer during contract negotiations with Paratransit Management of the Berkshires as well as called for a strike.