News

Brendan Fitzpatrick

October 24, 2023

MWRTA Announces Planned Service Expansions, Employee Pay Bumps

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FRAMINGHAM - The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority’s (MWRTA) Advisory Board has approved plans to expand public transportation services and to increase employee wages.

Administrator for the MWRTA Jim Nee made the announcement earlier this month. The organization has worked towards revising their operating budget for the 2024 fiscal year.

“We are very excited that the MWRTA Board unanimously approved changes which will allow us to better serve the people of MetroWest, and to support those frontline employees who are providing the service,” Nee said in a statement.

With those bumps in pay, the MWRTA is aiming to leverage state funding for an expansion of its transit services over the next two years. Their goal is to provide additional and faster rides, including on nights and weekends, in an attempt to become comparable to other transit authorities across Massachusetts.

MWRTA officials said recruiting additional drivers and purchasing more vehicles are paramount for the expansions, which are slated to be carried out in increments.

The decision to increase recruitment and retention efforts comes as the organization looks to move beyond a period of lower pay scales marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, high inflation, and slower supply chains, according to transportation officials. In-house MWRTA staff members are set to receive adjustments to their pay rates, while a deal has been struck in principle with the international contractor National Express to provide drivers, dispatch personnel, and supporting staff with a $2 raise per hour.

“It is essential that we support our drivers, mechanics, and call center staff, so that they can in turn support our communities,” Deputy Administrator Eva Willens stated.

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