| G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) has received a $10,000 grant for new benches at selected bus stops in Springfield.
PVTA officials announced last week the transit authority was one of 129 awardees nationally for grants from the AARP 2018 Community Challenge grant program.
“Pioneer Valley Transit Authority is very thankful to our partners in this grant application; The Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts and the city of Springfield. PVTA plans to begin work on this project immediately to ensure the public can enjoy the new bus stop amenities as soon as possible” Brandy Pelletier, PVTA Media Relations, said.
Pelletier explained to The Reminder the $10,000 will pay for the assembly and installation of the benches, as well as “a public input process for choosing bench locations and the style of bench.”
She added, “We are planning to install at least ten benches, depending on the final costs for the benches (we will install more if possible).”
The benches must be installed by November.
Pelletier added benches have been a recurring subject at public hearing and meetings. “This is especially problematic for seniors and people with disabilities who are in particular need of places to rest while waiting for the next bus. This grant award responds directly to this desire expressed by the public,” she said.
“The public process, in close coordination with the city of Springfield staff, will determine the locations of the benches. These are still being determined,” Pelletier added.
According to AARP, a total of $1.3 million is to be distributed to fund 129 projects across the country. Nearly 1,600 applications were received from non-profits and government entities for the program, now in its second year.