A new Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus route will give passengers a free ride around downtown Springfield. Officials say the the route will be funded by MGM Springfield.
The PVTA is calling the new route "The Loop," and will connect hotels near the MGM casino with landmarks like the Springfield Armory and the Springfield Museums.
This announcement comes as the PVTA -- facing a budget deficit -- prepares to raise fares and reduce service on some other bus routes.
But PVTA marketing director Brandy Pelletier insisted that MGM is picking up all costs for the new route.
“That also includes the printing of the schedules, the signs, the designing of the wrap -- all of that is a cost incurred by MGM,” Pelletier said in an interview Friday. “That’s why PVTA is able to do this."
Pelletier said the new route is a one-year pilot program. It's scheduled to begin August 24, the same day as the planned opening for the casino.