MAX Service Has Ended
That’s A Wrap: MAX Regional Bus has suspended service
With heavy heart, immense pride and boundless affection, MAX Regional Bus has suspended all services. We have endeavored to keep operating, but since the cut of all MassDOT state funding in September 2016, we have reached the end of the line. Our last day of operations was Friday, June 30, 2017.
We have spent nearly $50,000 in private funds keeping the lights on and trying to broker alternate match sources against restricted Federal funds without success. Without even a modest commitment of MassDOT funds for any local match against these limited Federal funds, we have no option but to cease operations now while we have resources to conclude business operations with our many local western and central Massachusetts vendors. It’s how we do business with friends.
As a small independent low-profit community-based public transportation service, we tried the impossible – restore regional access to some of the Commonwealth’s most isolated, rural and disconnected communities with a lifeline regional service. With best-in-class service, caring co-workers, reasonable fares, and out-of-the-box thinking, we succeeded in making MAX something very, very special, which will endure far beyond our last day.
Since October 2016, MAX cut its costs by 50%, doubled ridership and tripled revenue – MAX now exceeds MassDOT’s own financial and efficiency standards established for intercity bus performance. Notwithstanding, the regional route MAX operates was never intended to make money and would always require public support, just as roads, rails and the MBTA do. It was established to be part of a cross-subsidized state-wide BusPlus+ program that could draw millions of new public transportation dollars into the system to bolster regional transit programs and restore unprofitable rural regional bus corridors. This investment program, somehow, got sidelined in favor of other initiatives.
We will always celebrate our co-workers, our communities, and our customers during our time together. We take pride in having pushed limits, in serving those less fortunate than ourselves, and in reconnecting western and central Massachusetts communities lost to the national network long ago. While our vision of establishing a vibrant worker transportation collaborative in Franklin County has waned, we continue the enduring spirit of western Massachusetts and its people with our hard work and conviction to a better tomorrow.