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

The Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA) board voted unanimously 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.

The route 37 will not run at 4:30PM and 5:30PM on Monday, December 6, 2021.  We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause.


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:


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



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.**


Due to low ridership, the MVRTA will TEMPORARILY suspend this service beginning Friday, October 29, 2021 until further notice.


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


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.

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.


For additional information call 978-469-6878

Latest News

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

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.

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 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.