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Agency History

The Franklin Regional Transit Authority (FRTA) was established in 1978 with the provisions of Chapter 161B. The FRTA currently serves 41 communities throughout Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Worcester Counties.

Though not the biggest transit authority in Massachusetts, the FRTA covers the largest (1121.08 square miles) and the most rural geographical area in the State.

The FRTA is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and we are funded by Federal, Local and State governments. Funding for the FRTA comes from federal, state and local governments and farebox and advertising revenues. The towns that are served by the FRTA pay an assessed amount based on the number of miles served in each town.

The Authority is given general responsibilities to develop, finance and contract for the operation of transportation facilities and services within our transit area. The day-to-day affairs of the Authority are managed by the Administrator, appointed by the Advisory Board.

According to the statute, regional transit authorities cannot operate service directly, but instead must contract with private operators for the provision of service. The FRTA contracts with Franklin Transit Management, Inc. for their fixed route and some demand response service. Due to the rural area we serve, the FRTA also contracts with some of our Councils on Aging to provide additional demand response transportation.

Federal funds must be used for capital projects. Capital funds may only be spent on tangible items such as equipment, preventative maintenance of vehicles, facilities and equipment, ADA services, facility improvements and the purchase of vehicles.

Operating expenses must come from grants, state and local funding and farebox revenue. Operating expenses covers salaries, benefits, advertising and marketing expenses and other cash needs.
The Franklin Regional Transit Authority currently has a fleet of 46 vehicles. We operate 8 buses, 32 vans and provide service for 41 participating member communities.

In August 2006, the FRTA assumed the responsibility of providing transportation services for the towns of Greenfield and Montague. Transportation for those two (2) towns were previously operated by the Greenfield Montague Transportation Area (GMTA) under MGL Chapter 161A and included fixed route and demand response service. The FRTA had four (4) original fixed routes prior to the consolidation of services and saw their fixed route service increase to nine (9) routes with services expanding into Greenfield, Montague and Amherst. Previous gaps in demand response service were closed and ADA service was implemented for the consumers in Greenfield and Montague whereas previously the service was being provided under their Demand Response system.

The FRTA contracts with the Department of Medical Assistance (DMA), Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and Department of Public Health (DPH) for human service transportation services.

We can arrange transportation by request for elders and the disabled residents in our 40-town area. We use a network of public and private transportation providers to provide this service. In order to qualify for these services, you must be 60 or older or have a significant mobility or functional impairment. Disabled customers must have valid eligibility through the FRTA.

We also provide services through our Med-Ride program.

To see if you qualify for any of these Special services, please call our office or see the Go-Getting Around section of this website for more information.