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Brockton Mayor Robert F. Sullivan and Brockton Area Transit (BAT) Administrator Michael Lambert announced today that from November 25th through December 31st BAT’s bus and paratransit services would be free thanks, in part, to a grant included in the state budget and awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The program is designed to encourage new customers to “Try Transit” by offering no cost trips to shop or dine at local businesses, visit with friends and family, and commute to work during the holiday season.

“We are extremely proud to partner with the Department of Transportation and BAT to provide free holiday service so that our City of Champions will be more accessible to all,” Mayor Robert F. Sullivan said. “We have had great success with free and reduced public transit, including discounted commuter rail fares for Brockton residents, free weekend bus service and discounts for the Cape Flyer to Cape Cod this summer. Increasing public transit use is a top priority as we seek to reduce carbon emissions, improve accessibility, and make it more affordable for residents, businesses, workers and visitors to travel to and from Brockton.”

The “Try Transit” initiative will be supported by the state grant that was awarded to all fifteen of the Commonwealth’s Regional Transit Authorities who worked together to submit a joint application and plan for implementation. In BAT’s service area, all fixed route and ADA paratransit services will be offered at no cost to customers. Exceptions include the planned Rockland microtransit service, Rockland Flex, and local Councils on Aging.

“Challenging times, whether due to increased costs or the pandemic, call for creative responses,” said BAT Administrator Michael Lambert. “BAT offers sincere thanks to its state legislative delegation and board of directors for their consistent support over the past three years. I am also personally grateful to my regional transit colleagues across the state for their partnership on this project.”

“MassDOT is pleased to have worked closely with the Commonwealth’s 15 Regional Transit Authorities to utilize the funding awarded in the FY23 state budget for the “Try Transit”program. This initiative is another example of the many efforts where MassDOT and the RTAs collaborate to improve mobility options for Massachusetts transit customers,” added MassDOT Rail & Transit Administrator Meredith Slesinger.

Although primarily designed to attract new customers by easing access to services, “Try Transit” will of course also offer a financial reprieve to current riders during these times of high inflation. It is expected that the savings and increased mobility offered by BAT’s services will translate into increased spending at local shops and restaurants.

“It’s wonderful to have this holiday season gift in the form of free bus fare via Brockton Area Transit,” added Chris Cooney, CEO of the Metro South Chamber of Commerce. “This service will help workers, employers, and shoppers while they celebrate the holidays working and shopping throughout the region. Thank you BAT for this important gift.”

The ‘Try Transit’ initiative is expected to be particularly effective in downtown Brockton with its high concentration of small businesses and transit amenities.

“With an influx of residents and new businesses in the downtown area and along Main Street, the ‘Try Transit’ initiative will be a great resource for our commercial centers, including Campello, Montello, and Westgate, as well as the rest of Brockton and the entire BAT service area. The Brockton Holiday Parade is on Saturday November 26th and taking BAT would be an ideal way to travel to downtown for the celebration, pictures with Santa, food trucks, and of course, the parade itself,” concluded Mary Waldron, Executive Director of the Old Colony Planning Council.

Questions regarding the “Try Transit” program should be directed to Brockton Area Transit at 508.588.2240 or info@ridebat.com.  Happy Holidays!