System Alert: COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) UPDATES. Learn more.

Welcome Aboard!

The Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA) is your public transportation service. The MVRTA serves the northeast corner of Massachusetts with over 1 million miles of scheduled bus routes, and elderly and disabled transportation.

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Transit Alerts

Route 13

Will no service the Haverhill Medical Center (Primrose St.).  The routing will be as follows:

  • OB: From Main St. – Right onto Marsh Ave. straight onto North Ave. to current regular routing
  • IB: Stay on Main St. to current regular routing.

The following time points will be different:

  • OB: North gas Co. Rd. & Walmart.
  • IB: Market Basket, Stateline Plaza, Monument Sq. & Washington Square Transit Station.

Route 15 

Will no longer utilize Essex St./Locust St. The routing will be as follows:

  • OB: From Washington Square Transit Station – Right onto Washington St., left onto Emerson St., left on Winter St. to current regular routing.
  • IB: From Winter St. – Right onto Emerson St., right onto Washington St. to Washington Square Transit Station.

 Route 32 

Will no longer service Andover Commons or the MBTA Station.  The routing will be as follows:

  • OB: Stay on N. Main St, right onto Central St., left onto School St. to current regular routing.
  • IB: same as current routing.

Route 34 

The routing will be as follows:

  • OB: same as current routing.
  • IB: From E. Haverhill St., right onto Ferry St. to current regular routing.

Route 39A 

Will no longer enter Plaza 114, it will be service it from S. Union St.  The routing will be as follows:

  • OB: Stay on S. Union St. to current regular routing.
  • IB: Stay S. Union St. to current regular routing.

Route 39B 

Will service Plaza 114 in every trip.

Route 54 

Will no longer service James Steam Mill.  The routing will be as follows:

  • OB & IB: same as current routing as when James Steam Mill is not serviced.

Route 99 

Will utilize the shoulder lane from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on I-93 southbound and 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. on I-93 northbound when motor vehicle travel in lanes is below 35 m.p.h.

Our Boston Commuter buses will be using the shoulder lane, starting January 3, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on I-93 southbound and 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. on I-93 northbound when motor vehicle travel in lanes is below 35 m.p.h., as part of a two-year Bus-on-Shoulder service pilot.

The Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA) board voted unanimously to go fare-free for all local fixed routes and EZ Trans paratransit services starting March 1, 2022 for at least 2 years.  Fares will still be collected on the Boston Commuter bus.

Effective Saturday, October 2, 2021, both Buckley and the Haverhill Transit Center will be open from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturdays.

The buses will continue to operate on a Saturday schedule, from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Due to a severe bus driver shortage, that is impacting transit agencies across the country, the MVRTA will TEMPORARILY suspend service on Sundays beginning Sunday, September 19, 2021.  We have elected to make this change in order to be able to provide a reliable service, Monday through Saturday.  Sunday service will resume later in the Fall.

We appreciate your patience as we work very hard to resolve this issue and apologize for the inconvenience this may cause.

For any questions or suggestions, call us at 978-469-6878.

We will resume our Boston Commuter Service from Andover, Lawrence and Methuen on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. The schedule is as follows:

B2:

Park & Ride @ 6:15AM

Methuen Center @ 6:18

McGovern @ 6:30AM

Broadway & Bowdoin @ 6:37AM

Broadway & Mt. Vernon @ 6:40AM

Shawsheen Sq. @ 6:45AM

Andover Center @ 6:50AM

Faith Lutheran @ 7:00AM

Arr. Govt. Center @ 7:50AM

 

B6:

State Street @ 4:25PM

State Transp. Bldg. @ 4:35PM

South Station @ 4:45PM

**We will no longer service the following stops in Boston: Park St. (MBTA Station), Park Place South or Bedford St.**

 

What you need to know to ride

Effective February 1, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control will enforce guidance requiring that all “persons” riding on or operating public transit and at transit stations must wear a mask.

To effectively comply with this Order, MVRTA will implement the following policy system-wide effective February 11, 2021.

  1. All “persons[1]” (including MVRTA employees) who are onboard a vehicle or at a transit station are required to wear a mask
  2. MVRTA will continue to enforce the requirement to wear masks while waiting at bus stops, shelters, or in public areas in any MVRTA facility.

As defined in the Order, a mask must;

  • Completely cover the nose and mouth
  • Fit snugly
  • Be secured to the head either with ties or ear loops
  • Should be a solid piece of material without slits, exhalation valves, or punctures

The following are not acceptable under CDC guidelines, and riders and others may not be allowed on vehicles or in facilities if they are using a mask composed of the following: Scarves, ski masks, balaclavas, neck gaiters, or bandannas; Shirt or sweater collars pulled up over the mouth and nose. Masks made from loosely woven fabric or that are knitted, i.e., fabrics that let light pass through, Masks made from materials that are hard to breathe through (such as vinyl, plastic, or leather), masks containing slits, exhalation valves, or punctures or masks that do not fit properly.

The Order also requires operators to “use best efforts” to ensure compliance at all times, including boarding, disembarking, and at all times onboard the vehicle or in transit stations.  To ensure compliance, operators and employees must;

  • Refuse to board passengers who are not wearing a mask.
    • If the unmasked person is waiting for a bus, the operator should stop and inform the passenger that a mask must be worn before boarding.
    • If the passenger refuses to comply, the trip may be denied.
    • A passenger with a known history of non-compliance who is not wearing a mask may be bypassed.
  • Ensure compliance when onboard
    • Passengers who remove their masks once onboard must be reminded to wear the mask properly. If they refuse, the operator must require them to disembark as soon as it is practical to do so. If the passenger refuses, a supervisor must be consulted for guidance.   The Supervisor will decide if law enforcement assistance is needed.
    • Service should not be delayed due to concerns regarding a passenger without a mask. However, if non-compliance with the mask policy creates an unsafe situation, service may be delayed, and a supervisor must be notified immediately.
    • While the operator is ultimately responsible for ensuring compliance on board, it is equally important to ensure safe vehicle operation; the operator is not expected to monitor compliance at the expanse of safely operating the vehicle.
    • Repeated incidents of non-compliance may result in the person’s suspension of riding privileges.

Facility specific:

  • No person may be allowed entry to any MVRTA facility without wearing an appropriate mask as outlined above.
  • Persons who remove a mask or cease to wear it appropriately once in a MVRTA facility must be asked to wear the mask properly or leave.

Masks may be removed in the following situations

  • While taking medication
  • While communicating with a person who is hearing impaired when the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication
  • In a medical emergency
  • To verify one’s identity

Exemptions:

This Order provides limited exemptions;

  1. The Order exempts children 2 and under from the requirement
  2. A person with a disability who cannot wear a mask “because of the disability.
  • Supervisors may impose requirements, or conditions for carriage, on persons requesting an exemption from the requirement to wear a mask, including medical consultation by third party, medical documentation by licensed medical provider.

[1] The order defines “persons” to include travelers (including passengers and crew), “conveyance operators and any workers of service providers “

Mask Exemption Card

Customers who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition that prevents them from wearing it, need to have proof of that condition and should obtain an exemption card from the MVRTA.

Customers interested in getting an exemption card need to:

  • Bring proper medical documentation by licensed medical provider to one of our Transit Centers (Buckley, Lawrence or Washington Square, Haverhill)
  • Bring and ID

Customers will be required to show the exemption card to the driver when boarding.

Please know that we take our responsibility to keep Massachusetts safe very seriously.  Be assured we have taken the following steps to comply with state mandatory safety standard for workplaces

  • Workers are wearing face coverings and we’ve put social distancing measures in place.
  • We provide hand washing capabilities and we are regularly sanitizing high-touch areas.
  • Our staff has received training regarding social distancing and hygiene protocols.
  • We have established thorough cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

We ask you to do your part as well by wearing your face mask and maintaining social distance.

Main Office at 85 Railroad Ave hours

Main office is open from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday.

We are following the procedures and guidelines recommended to all agencies from the US DOT and the CDC

  • The MVRTA Maintenance Team is sanitizing all vehicles each night.
  • Operators and supervisors have all been provided training on how to protect themselves from the virus. The training was mandatory.
  • New and updated memos from the CDC continue to be posted on how everyone can protect themselves. These memos and updates will be posted at MVRTA transit centers, Buckley, McGovern, Washington Sq. Haverhill and Amesbury.
  • MVRTA’s Operations team has developed procedures should staff become infected; how to protect themselves and others from spreading infection.
  • All bus and van drivers carry pocket size hand sanitizer since soap and water is not available on the road. Sanitizer products are available to all staff.
  • Hand sanitizer stations are located in the MVRTA administration office lobby and transit centers. These are available to the public.
  • Finally use common sense, wash your hands frequently, stay home if you are sick, seek medical attention if your symptoms become severe.

If you are sick and have a cough, cold, fever, or having symptoms of Covid-19, do not take MVRTA transit service.  If urgent medical care is needed, use a personal vehicle or call an ambulance to get to the provider’s location.

Latest News

Regional Transit Authority, Logan Express, and MBTA buses allowed to use shoulder from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on I-93 southbound and 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. on I-93 northbound when motor vehicle travel in lanes is below 35 m.p.h.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing a two-year Bus-on-Shoulder service pilot. This pilot is a collaborative effort between MassDOT, Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA), the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA), Massport, Massachusetts State Police (MSP) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). During the pilot, authorized bus drivers using I-93, between I-95 in Woburn and the HOV lane entrance in Somerville, may drive on highway shoulders in specific conditions. The buses may use the shoulder from 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on I-93 southbound and 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on I-93 northbound when motor vehicle traffic speeds in regular lanes are below 35 m.p.h. It’s believed this pilot will make Massachusetts the first state in New England to implement Bus-on-Shoulder service.

This two-year pilot will evaluate effectiveness of how the Bus-on-Shoulder service can reduce travel times for bus passengers, increase reliability of service and schedule adherence and increase transit ridership. The bus on shoulder travel area is 7 miles long in each direction and the MBTA estimates the MBTA Route 354 bus currently gets in traffic congestion for 15 to 20 minutes on I-93. The bus-on-shoulder route allows buses to bypass this congestion. No motor vehicle travel is permitted in breakdown lanes with the exception of buses involved in the pilot.

MassDOT and the MBTA have been increasingly taking steps to improve the efficiency of traveling on buses. For example, this past June, MassDOT and the Cities of Medford and Somerville announced the implementation of a municipal dedicated bus lane pilot between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Mystic Avenue. In summer 2020, the Cities of Medford and Somerville were awarded a grant from the Baker-Polito Administration’s Shared Streets and Spaces Program to implement a “quick-build” morning peak hour inbound dedicated bus lane, as a trial, on Mystic Avenue.

Other steps taken by MassDOT and the MBTA include the installation of a dedicated bus lane on the Tobin Bridge for southbound buses and a partnership with the City of Boston and the MBTA to open a center-running bus lane on Columbus Avenue from Jackson Square to Walnut Avenue, and dedicated bus lanes on major routes including a section of Washington Street in Roslindale.

Dedicated bus lanes are effective in increasing the efficiency and reliability of public transportation, decreasing delays, and improving access to regional jobs and other essential services.

Haverhill, MA The Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA) board voted unanimously yesterday to go fare-free for all local fixed route and EZ Trans paratransit services starting March 1, 2022 for at least a 2-year pilot. Fares will still be collected on the Boston Commuter bus.  

This pilot is an expansion of the City of Lawrence-funded initiative that has covered fares on three local routes in Lawrence since September, 2019.  The MVRTA will be using federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the pilot.

One local champion of the free-fare pilot is Congresswoman Lori Trahan, MA-3, who called “the decision to waive fares for Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority riders a game-changer for folks across the region who rely on public transit for their commutes.” She noted that she was particularly gratified to see the work she is doing in Washington benefit transit riders back home.  “I was proud to vote for the CARES Act last year and applaud the Board for putting funding from the relief package to use helping Merrimack Valley residents and small businesses working to recover from the pandemic,” she said.

Some of the many advantages of a fare free transit system include winning back riders who stopped riding during the COVID-19 pandemic, returning dollars back to the local economy, increased access for people having a hard time affording transportation, faster and more efficient trips, and reduced conflicts between drivers and passengers.  In addition, another factor supporting the budget-conscious board’s decision to go fare free is the high cost and inefficiency of collecting fares. As MVRTA Administrator Noah Berger noted, “for every dollar we collect in fares, we only see less than 24 cents when the fully allocated costs of collecting fares are factored in.”

“I am really excited about this pilot,” said MVRTA spokesperson Niorka Mendez, adding that “going fare-free will attract new riders, increase patronage of our local businesses, offer economic relief to families that rely on our service, and connect people to jobs and other economic opportunities.”

Read Meeting Agenda

Read Meeting Agenda