Issues including safety and planning that can help improve bus ridership

The photos (on the left) attached show two buses right behind each other.  Apparently, they do so because there are too many people at those particular times for one bus.  Unfortunately, there won't be another bus for half an hour.  Why not have one every 15 minutes so people don't clamor to the half hour one? I'm not sure how Google Maps gets it's info about WRTA schedules and stops, but it is very important that is kept up to date to try to find stops and schedules. If you have to wait 20 minutes to start [...]

By |2023-03-27T14:40:17+00:00March 27, 2023|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Issues including safety and planning that can help improve bus ridership


At the WRTA Board meeting on July 21, Dr. Heather-Lyn Haley took her seat as the riders' representative. By statute, this is a position that must be filled every twelve months by a bus rider from a different municipality than the one before. That's not long enough, but we'll talk about that another day. Dr Haley is a life-long rider of the Worcester buses She was introduced to bus riding by her grandmother, who worked at City Hall, and was the first female paralegal in Massachusetts.   When she was a little older, she rode the bus to and from [...]

By |2022-07-30T16:59:21+00:00July 30, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on A NEW RIDERS’ REPRESENTATIVE ON THE WRTA ADVISORY BOARD

Why Zero Fare?

Why Zero Fare? By Adam Thielker Massachusetts is a state with one intense urban core, cocooned in suburbs, inside a rural landscape dotted with patches of rust, framed by various vacationlands. This letter will show how the Cities, State, and Federal governments can take steps to provide effective public transportation across all the areas served by its Regional Transportation Authorities. I will be focusing on the Worcester RTA, which is charged with providing bus service to Southern Worcester County. Worcester is a microcosm of the challenges faced across the state: An up-and-coming urban core, pleasant suburbs, rural fields and [...]

By |2022-07-21T01:22:47+00:00July 21, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Why Zero Fare?

Let’s face it: our bus stops fail us in the summer

As Massachusetts enters what is projected to be the hottest summer on record, many folks are retreating into the comfort of air conditioned cars. For those of us who opt for the bus, we once again are experiencing the extreme weather of our state in an all-too-familiar location: the bus stop. Like many bus dependent folks, I’ve waited at a stop in almost every weather condition possible. From windchills below zero to heat indices above 100, bus riders in Worcester are forced to battle with some of the most extreme temperature variation in North America while waiting for our ride [...]

By |2022-06-23T21:52:39+00:00June 23, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Let’s face it: our bus stops fail us in the summer

What is Possible with Buses: The Case of Colombia

While planners and urbanists often look towards Western Europe for inspiration on transportation, there are many lessons to be learned from an unsuspecting champion of the bus: Latin America.    Stretching from Mexico to Argentina, Latin America is wide, vast and diverse, but on the whole it is urbanized at a similar rate to North America, and the cities bear some of the same car-centric industrial scars that we do in North America. Because of this, urbanists in the United States often assume that American problems with car-centrism are unique, despite the many similarities to our neighbors in the South. [...]

By |2022-05-07T20:28:17+00:00May 7, 2022|RideAlong! Blog, Transportation Legislation|Comments Off on What is Possible with Buses: The Case of Colombia

New Report Released Ahead of WRTA November Meeting

WRTA Board meeting on November 18, 8:30 am, to decide the fate of Zero Fare. Get your comments in to the Board by the 15th at the latest! Go to and let them know how you feel. Meanwhile here's an overview of what's at stake. Just remember, research is never neutral. The Future Of Fares At WRTA

By |2021-10-26T14:23:22+00:00October 26, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on New Report Released Ahead of WRTA November Meeting

Letter to the WRTA Advisory Board

October 7, 2021 Members of the WRTA Advisory Board, We are grateful for your decision to suspend fare collection during the pandemic. It has made a great difference to residents in our communities and for the rebounding of the local economy. We ask that you continue to support essential workers during one of the worst public health crises in the nation’s history and vote again to use federal pandemic relief and recovery funds to extend the suspension of fares until the end of 2022. The WRTA Advisory Board and Administrator have maintained that, if financial resources become available, they will [...]

By |2021-10-22T19:12:58+00:00October 22, 2021|RideAlong! Blog, WRTA and Pandemic, Zero Fare|Comments Off on Letter to the WRTA Advisory Board

New PVTA Intercity to Amherst!

On September 30, a Thursday, I rode the PVTA's new intercity express from Worcester to Amherst, passing through Leicester, Spencer, the Brookfields, Ware, the Town of Belchertown, Pelham, and stopping in Amherst at the Common. From there, the bus went on to UMass without me.    While I was waiting in Worcester, by the Union Station garage at the intersection of Harding and Franklin streets, I ran into one of my acquaintances from the WRTA, who told me that this new intercity line was funded by a grant from MassDOT which had been available since 2014. These things take time, I [...]

By |2021-10-05T23:49:10+00:00October 5, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on New PVTA Intercity to Amherst!

Sept. 23rd WRTA Board Meeting!

**** MEETING ALERT **** The WRTA Advisory Board is meeting to discuss, among other things, updates on fare collection on the WRTA system. This THURSDAY September 23rd At 8:30 AM The meeting will be held on zoom. Click here for link. **** MEETING ALERT **** Following the Governor’s June 16th extension of many pandemic era policies, public meetings for all sectors of government in the Commonwealth have continued to be hosted online. With online meetings comes the possibility for new levels of public engagement; leaving a zoom webinar running on your laptop while you make breakfast is all it takes to [...]

By |2021-09-22T20:29:07+00:00September 22, 2021|RideAlong! Blog, Zero Fare|Comments Off on Sept. 23rd WRTA Board Meeting!
Load More Posts
Go to Top