Out in Franklin or Berkshire counties, on the wide-open roads of rural Massachusetts, you probably picture cars, pickup trucks, and more cars. Just not your traditional city bus.
Figuring out how to run mass transit over large, sparsely populated areas has long been a challenge. But state and local officials, and some transit activists, are trying to get the issue more attention.
Improving transit in rural areas is one of the many recommendations in a sweeping report about transportation in Massachusetts, submitted to Governor Charlie Baker just before the holidays. But the report noted the difficulty of the task.
“Rural Massachusetts is served minimally, or not at all, by any passenger transportation mode other than personally owned vehicles. This disadvantages those people and families who suffer economic hardships, or have limitations on their ability to drive,” the report said. “Many rural towns have no or minimal bus service, train service, or access” to Uber and Lyft, “partly because low population density makes these options economically unattractive.” (read more)
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