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Category: News

New Leadership at the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority

If you see a new face aboard an MVRTA bus, come on over and say ‘hello’—of course if you don’t, he will likely come over to introduce himself to you. Noah S. Berger, the new Administrator for the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority, started on July 31, 2021, and made a public commitment to ride every route in the system. “The best way to understand the mobility needs of people is to talk with them on the bus,” he explains. “Transit systems look much different on a map than they do when you’re on the vehicles, riding in traffic with everybody else.”

Berger succeed long-time Administrator Joe Costanzo, who retired last month after forty-two years at the helm. Berger, who was appointed by the MVRTA Board to the position during its June 22, 2021 meeting, will be only the third Administrator in the history of the MVRTA, which was first established in 1974. The MVRTA serves the northeast corner of Massachusetts with over 1 million miles of scheduled bus routes, as well as demand-response van transportation for seniors and people with disabilities.  

Berger comes to MVRTA with almost thirty years of experience in the transit industry, most recently serving as Deputy Administrator for the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, based in Hyannis, where he garnered a reputation for creative planning, management and funding of innovative transit projects and programs. He spent fifteen years at the Federal Transit Administration, primarily as Director of Planning and Program Development in the Region 1 Office in Cambridge, MA, where he steered the $1.1 billion annual regional transit grant program from concept through award, and has held leadership positions with CTTransit, the Greater Hartford Transit District, the Boston Foundation, the MBTA Advisory Board, Cambridge Systematics, and Vermont’s Enterprise Community Transportation Project. He even worked for the New York Yankees when he was a teenager, although he concedes that he worked as a vendor, not a ballplayer. “Mostly soda, ice cream or peanuts,” he explains, because “only the seniors guys got to sell hot dogs or beer.”  He is originally from New York, where he recalls collecting bus drivers’ autographs from the time he was six years old because, he says, to him “they were superstars.” He is also an exhibited illustrator and oil painter and has Master’s Degrees in City Planning from M.I.T., and Philosophy from the State University of New York.

When asked what the number one thing riders tell him about the service, he is quick to respond that the first thing he hears is how great the service is and how much people appreciate it, immediately followed by a desire for marked bus stops with shelters, like the new MassDOT-funded shelters on River Street near the intersection with Lowell Avenue. MVRTA has historically run as a flag stop system, where riders waive a bus down along the route. “Flag stops work well if you already know the route and know where to get on,” Berger adds, “but can be very intimidating for people who are unfamiliar with the system.”  Berger sees the addition of clearly-marked stops as part of a critical visibility campaign to attract new riders to transit. “After COVID,” he explains, “we need to draw new riders to the system—this means reassuring them that transit is a very safe, convenient, reliable, and even enjoyable way to get around.”

MVRTA Spokesperson Niorka Mendez added that “Noah has been in the MVRTA for only three weeks but it feels like he has been part of this family for a long time. He brings a combination of fresh ideas, experience, knowledge, motivation and positive attitude that makes him a great leader. We are very excited to have him on board and we are looking forward to this new journey.”

In addition to riders, Berger and his team are also meeting with leaders of all sixteen MVRTA cities and towns, as well as local community groups, the business community, and drivers, who Berger notes are on the front lines. Berger says that he has a great crew covering all aspects of operating a bus system, and that everyone at MVRTA looks forward to working with the community to deliver the best, most convenient transit possible.

Recommendations to riders

Starting Monday, April 6, 2020, the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority highly recommends all passengers wear a medical or cloth mask to cover their mouth and nose as recommended by the CDC while on board the MVRTA.  Visit cdc.org for a tutorial on making your own cloth face cover and important information on how to wear a face cover.

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.

Corona Virus Press Release

MVRTA Takes Recommended Precautions against the spread of Corona Virus:

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 in the last two weeks. 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.

FREE RIDES!

Starting Monday, September 9, 2019, thanks to a grant from the taxpayers of the City of Lawrence, the following routes will be FREE OF CHARGE:

  • Route 34 (Prospect Hill)
  • Route 37 (Beacon Street)
  • Route 85 (Lawrence Downtown Shuttle)

You will see the “FREE” sign next to the bus route information on the destination sign, on the front and side of the bus.

***NO TRANSFERS WILL BE GIVEN OUT FROM ANY OF THESE ROUTES***

HIRING NOW !

Job Opportunities

 

The Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority serves the Northeast corridor of Massachusetts with over 1 million miles of city, suburban, interurban, and rural scheduled bus routes. MVRTA’s goal is to provide our passengers with affordable, safe, reliable and convenient transportation services by having well-trained, qualified, and professional staff.

The Merrimack Valley Area Transportation Company (MVATC) and Special Transportation Services, Inc. (STS) are under contract to providepublic transportation services for MVRTA, and both welcome a diverse, talented work force of dedicated and enthusiastic individuals to join our team.

All interested individuals can complete a job application on the premises of our administration building located at:

MVRTA – 85 Railroad Avenue
Haverhill, Massachusetts, 01835

Applications can be obtained Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, excluding holidays.

>>Current Job Openings<<

Equal Employment Opportunity

 

STATEMENT OF POLICY

 

As the operating company for the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA) and as subsidiaries of First Transit Inc., Merrimack Valley Area Transportation Co. (MVATC) and Special Transportation Services, Inc. (STS) are committed to the goals of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employment practices, including recruitment, selection, promotions, terminations, transfers, layoffs, compensation, training, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment. These practices will not discriminate against an employee or applicant for employment on the grounds of age, sex, creed, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, national origin, disability status, and any other characteristic protected under State or Federal law.

All employees and all applicants for employment have the right to file complaints alleging discrimination with MVATC/STS’s EEO Director. EEO complaints are tracked by the EEO Director, and include the date it was filed, the person(s) who filed the complaint, complaint summary, response/how it was corrected, and the date of the response. The Special Projects Manager, Monica Anderson is the EEO Director responsible for ensuring compliance and implementation of MVATC/STS’s EEO program. The EEO Director can be contacted at 978-469-6878, ext. 134 or [email protected].

FY 2019 – 2021 DBE Goal Methodology

Every three years the MVRTA is required to set goals for the participation of certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises for procurements that involve funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  The methodology that was developed and submitted to the FTA is attached.  Comments on this goal setting methodology can be submitted within 30 days via Email to [email protected] or via mail to the following address:

Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority

85 Railroad Avenue

Haverhill, MA  01835-7265

Should the proposed goal change following a review by the FTA, the revised goal submittal / methodology will be posted on this website.  Should the numerical goal not change but the contents change so as to provide the necessary detail supporting the methodology, the new submittal will be posted on this website.

 

Click here for 2019-2021 DBE Goal Methodology