News Flash


Posted on: January 31, 2022

Route 51 Change for MVRTA

MVRTA Ribbon Cutting

Beginning Monday, February 14, the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority’s (MVRTA) Route 51 Haverhill-Amesbury bus will be making a slight change in Amesbury that will make all the difference for Amesbury residents. Making public transportation more easily accessible and better utilized is a goal for Mayor Gove and the MVRTA. The route change comes after Mayor Gove met with the MVRTA’s new Administrator, Noah Berger, to make suggestions for improvement.

“The Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority is an important partner for the City," said Mayor Gove. "We have many residents who rely on public transit for their jobs, to meet their basic needs and access grocery stores, and just to get around. This route change, while minor, will have a major impact for folks who live on the route and for others to access the resources along Main Street like Our Neighbors’ Table and the Post Office. I look forward to continuing to work with Noah on future improvements and initiatives.”

In the existing route, the Route 51 bus leaves the Nicholas J. Costello Transportation Center at 68 Elm Street, drives through the center of Amesbury up Friend Street, takes a left on School Street then a right on Sparhawk Street, and a left on Highland Street to get to Route 110.

The new route will have the bus continue straight from School Street to Main Street for easy bus access for Heritage Towers, Our Neighbors’ Table and the Amesbury Post Office, then turn onto Wells Avenue for access to the Amesbury Health Center. The new route passes by key locations in Amesbury to provide better public transportation access to residents who may need it.

MVRTA Administrator Noah Berger said, “we at the MVRTA are super excited about implementing our new downtown routing in Amesbury.  Not only is the new bus route via Main Street more direct and efficient, it also better serves key destinations our riders need to get to. This is exactly the type of service improvement we are seeking to implement across our service area. We are grateful to Mayor Gove and her very talented team for first raising the question of changing the routing with us and then collaborating with us to make sure the infrastructure was in place to make it happen.”

Improving public transit can positively impact everyone in the Amesbury community and has been a topic of discussion for the City’s Age-Friendly Task Force since they started meeting in 2021. A good public transit system improves access to community resources, healthcare, employment, and recreational activities for all ages. Having more residents utilizing public transit means reducing congestion on the roads, as the City continues to address traffic concerns.

The MVRTA is also going fare-free on all local fixed routes and EZ Trans paratransit services starting March 1, 2022 for at least a 2-year period. Fares will still be collected on the Boston Commuter bus and Ring & Ride services. With the fare-free service, the City hopes to see more people utilizing the MVRTA.

The Amesbury Council on Aging (ACOA) recently received a donation of a used Ford E350-2015 van from the MVRTA (pending Council acceptance) which the ACOA will run as the COAVan to help older adults with rides. More information will be shared on this initiative shortly, with the van expected to be on the road at the end of February. 

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