Our Opinion: A welcome new loop for the BRTA

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Usually, when Berkshire County's beleaguered mass transit system makes the news it involves the difficult pursuit of increased or at least stable funding. However, the regional transit authority now has something to crow about: the introduction of a pilot limited night service program that, sensibly, employs scarce resources where they are needed most. (Eagle, Feb. 5).

An evening loop connecting Berkshire Community College to the downtown Intermodal Transportation Center, the 11N — established two weeks ago to accommodate students and staff — will now add Berkshire Crossing, the retail behemoth at Hubbard Avenue and Dalton Road. The sheer numbers of shoppers and workers concentrated in one place will quickly determine if such a plan sinks or swims, and intermediate stops along Merrill Road and Allendale Plaza may add to the roster of grateful passengers.

If this trial proves successful, its demonstrated need may add heft to the BRTA's request to the state for an additional $360,000 to expand night service to North Adams and Great Barrington. With ridership and resources, Berkshire County may someday enjoy the nighttime and weekend bus service it deserves.


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