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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

On Saturday, December 3, 2022 Amesbury will hold their Holiday Parade starting @ 3:30 PM.  We will not be able to serve Heritage Towers and we will be utilizing the following detour to serve Costello Transportation Center:

 

OB From Haverhill Rd. / Macy Street /Rte. 110:

  • Left onto Elm Street
  • Left onto Railroad Ave to serve Costello Transportation Center

 

IB Costello Transportation Center:

  • Right onto Elm Street
  • Right onto Rte. 110 / Macy Street / Haverhill Rd.

 

Detours may change depending on traffic and road closures.

The following changes will be implemented on October 31, 2022.

Route 21: 

This bus will run via Haverhill Street, between the YMCA & Turnpike Street – Route 114, once it leaves the YMCA rather than Turnpike Street – Route 114, between Haverhill St. & Waverly Rd., on the inbound.  The routing will be as follows:

 From the YMCA:

    •  Left onto Haverhill Street
    • Right onto Hight Street which turns into Waverly Road
    • Left onto Turnpike (Route 114) to regular routing.

Route 34: 

This bus will run via Ferry Street rather than Marston Street and E. Haverhill St. on the inbound for the 7:00 am and 7:30 am trips ONLY. The routing will be as follows:

  • From Marston Street: left onto Ferry St. to regular routing.

Route 39A: 

This bus will no longer serve Dr’s Park. The routing will be as follows:

  • From Rte. 114: left onto Waverly Rd. and Woodbridge Housing to regular routing.

Route 40: 

This bus will no longer serve Barker St. or Lowell St. (Between May Ct. & Railroad Ave.) on the Outbound.  Neither will it serve Oakland Ave, Union St. or Railroad St. on the Inbound.  It will now serve Pelham and Mystic Streets on the inbound as well as outbound. The routing will be as follows:

  • Outbound from Mystic St: right onto Pelham St, left onto Lowell St. to regular routing.
  • Inbound from Broadway after servicing Village Mall: it will turn right on Hampshire St., right on Pelham, left on Mystic, right on Pelham, left on Lowell St, right on Hampshire, right on Broadway. It will then stay on Broadway and bypass Oakland Ave.

Route 85: 

This bus will no longer serve Manchester St. or Cross Sr, it will stay on Broadway St. instead.

Good News Lawrence!

***NEW 30 MINUTE SERVICE***

Starting Tuesday September 6, 2022, all buses out of Lawrence operate every half hour, with departures out of the Buckley Transportation Center on the hour & half hour,

M-F 5:00AM-7:00PM!!!

Due to changing commuting demand and unsustainable cost increases, MVRTA is permanently cancelling the Boston Commuter bus from Methuen, Lawrence and Andover effective Tuesday, September 6, 2022.

In appreciation of our loyal riders, we will be offering FARE-FREE service on the route starting August 15, 2022 until the last day of service.

Alternative communizing options include:

  • Commuter Rail: MBTA Haverhill Line Commuter Rail, which runs 13 daily round trips between Lawrence, Andover and Boston. See https://www.mbta.com/schedules/CR-Haverhill/timetable or call 617-222-3200 for schedule and fare information.
  • Van Pool: MVRTA is working with current Boston Commuter riders, with support from the Van Pool program at MassDOT, seeking to establish a Van Pool with a donated MVRTA van. See Please contact us at 978-469-6878 if you would like to take part in this van pool program.

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.

Latest News

HAVERHILL — Inspired by the unbridled success of MeVa Transit’s Fare Free initiative, all Regional Transit Authorities in Massachusetts will be fare free during the holiday season from the day after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. The initiative is funded through a $2.5 million grant awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to all 15 RTAs in the state.  The program is designed to encourage new customers to “Try Transit” by offering no cost trips to shop or dine at local businesses, visit with friends and family, and commute to work during the holiday season.  As a result, in addition to MeVa buses, which have been fare free since last March, all public transit in Massachusetts will be fare free through the end of the year except for the MBTA.

“MassDOT is pleased to have worked closely with the Commonwealth’s 15 Regional Transit Authorities to utilize the funding awarded in the FY23 state budget for the “Try Transit” program. “This initiative is another example of the many efforts where MassDOT and the RTAs collaborate to improve mobility options for Massachusetts transit customers,” commented MassDOT Rail & Transit Administrator Meredith Slesinger.

Of course, come January, when other RTAs go back to collecting fares, MeVa service will remain free to all riders. The MeVa Advisory Board authorized all MeVa buses and paratransit service to go fare free last December for at least two years starting in March 2022, when all fareboxes were removed from MeVa buses.  The additional MassDOT funding will allow MeVa to remain fare free for an additional six weeks, or until Patriots Day 2024, before having to make long term revenue determinations.  

The success of MeVa’s fare initiative is unassailable. Since going fare free, MeVa’s ridership has gone up a whopping 121.3% for fixed route service and 50.4% for paratransit service, based on October 2022 data. While the ridership numbers make a tremendous case for the value of going fare free in an of themselves, they only tell part of the story. By removing fares as a barrier to using transit, more riders translates into increased mobility, greater access to jobs, medical appointments, training, social outings, and more spending at local shops and restaurants, which will be even more important during the upcoming holiday season. 

Operationally, by going fare free, buses travel faster as they no longer have to wait for passengers to line up to pay their fares. It has even improved the driver-passenger relationship, as drivers no longer have to police fare collection. Tellingly, even as ridership has gone up significantly, the number of complaints received has gone down 31.4% since MeVa stopped collecting fares.

MeVa’s fare free initiative is part of a larger effort to provide a more welcoming transit experience, with increased service frequencies in Lawrence, more direct routings, a new name, and new, more colorful buses that have been plying the streets of the Merrimack Valley since October to rave reviews. Communications Director Niorka Mendez noted that “MeVa’s fare free initiative has been a boon to the entire Merrimack Valley and we couldn’t be prouder that MassDOT is seeking to emulate our success this holiday season across Massachusetts—we know it will spread the benefits our passengers enjoy to the entire state. Perhaps,” she added with a smile, “brightly colored buses are next!”  Happy Holidays!

Read Meeting Agenda

Lawrence, MA.  A fresh splash of color has hit the Merrimack Valley and, perhaps surprisingly, the source is the local transit authority. The first hints of the rebranding of the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA) as MeVa-Merrimack Valley Transit are the bright new buses, bedazzled in coral, aqua and yellow that can now be spotted along local roadways. MVRTA will officially unveil its new look buses, logo and name at a ribbon cutting event on Thursday, October 20 at the Buckley Transportation Center in Lawrence.

The impetus for the rebranding started over a year ago, when then-newly-appointed MVRTA Administrator Noah Berger and Communications Director Niorka Méndez-Almonte started going to community groups to access where the service was doing well and where it was falling short. Through their conversations, it quickly became clear that MVRTA was invisible to many of their potential riders. As Berger notes, “people who could use our service either didn’t know we were here or thought of us as irrelevant. For many reasons, our vehicles blended into the woodwork—of course it doesn’t help that we have the same color scheme as a mail truck!”

With a goal of increasing visibility and ridership, MVRTA put together a diverse focus group and began asking what the community wanted their buses to look like. Participants originally hailing from the Caribbean and Latin America shared that they were used to colorful, dynamic buses that do a much better job of getting people’s attention. Working with Studio Six Branding, which had been successful rebranding other transit authorities such as the Hop in Boulder Colorado, the focus group, along with additional stakeholders including drivers and riders, settled on a new design and name in May that better reflects the cultural and linguistic richness of the area, with special homage to what makes the Merrimack Valley unique and special. The colors are inspired by housing in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, while subtle ripples and water droplets honor the Merrimack River and abstracted clockfaces mirror the clocks adorning many of the area’s historic mill buildings.

The new name, MeVa, short for Merrimack Valley, was seen as hipper and easier to say than MVRTA. With the tag line “Let’s go/íVamos!” prominently displayed on the buses, the system is especially welcoming to its many Spanish-speaking riders. Méndez-Almonte proudly observed that: “Being Latina, born and raised in the Dominican Republic, I feel connected to the new brand, the cheery and happy colors perfectly reflect the Hispanic culture. I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way.”

The new look is much more than mere cosmetics and supports a dramatic campaign to improve service, including going fare free systemwide back in March, doubling frequencies in Lawrence beginning last month, optimizing routings and adding bus stops. Through September, ridership is up 97.9% since going fare free and growing. Nine of the newly wrapped buses have been plying the streets of the Merrimack Valley since last week and the area has taken notice, as evidenced by posts of sightings on social media as if the new buses were exotic birds. After the initial launch, the authority will continue to work on wrapping the rest of the fleet. MVRTA was established back in 1974 and has had the same look ever since. It is time for a fresh look that reflects and supports a new, responsive and welcoming twenty-first century transit service.

Read Meeting Agenda