Letter: Recent Article on BRTA Cuts

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To the Editor:

This past BRTA meeting was my first as a returning board member and it is very hard to see BRTA contending with the same basic problems there were when I left the board three years ago: lack of funding to cover its service area to meet the demand for more routes, evening and weekend service.

So much money from Berkshire County goes to fund eastern Massachusetts transportation and so little comes to BRTA, even after our Berkshire delegation has secured increased funding.

What we need to focus on now is making sure Berkshire County and Western Mass. have strong representation on the RTA Performance and Funding Task Force and that our unique transportation needs and challenges are taken into account. Let's not let this Task Force be eastern Mass. focused, as many state task forces seem to be. Hopefully, our Berkshire delegation will lobby the governor to make sure Western Mass., and especially Berkshire County, are well represented.



In the meantime, what wasn't reported was that BRTA didn't get a portion of another $2 million included in the RTA transportation money because its operations don't require a remedial plan — only those RTA operations that do share in that pot of money. No bonus dollars for those being run well.

The board is also committed to making sure any new pilot routes or adjusted route times provide more service to the largest number of riders possible.

Rene C. Wood
Sheffield, Mass.

 


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The Ninth Walk A Mile In Her Shoes Hits North Street

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Local and state representatives join the march. See more photos here.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hundreds of men stepped into their high heels to participate in the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes march on Thursday night. Although it was not the most graceful of miles, it raised some big money to support the Elizabeth Freeman Center.
 
"It takes a community to make change and we are that community and for the past nine years, we have been gathering here," Elizabeth Freeman Center Executive Director Janis Broderick said before the march on North Street during Third Thursday. "We are increasing awareness, developing new partnerships, and we are creating new partnerships to reach people better and sooner."
 
The nonprofit center provides counseling, shelter, and legal advocacy for victims of domestic and sexual violence. It has offices in Pittsfield, North Adams, and Great Barrington.
 
Broderick said this year so far they have raised at least $75,000. She said there is still money to be counted.
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