Winter Weather Travel Guide
Click here to view the Travel Guide in a PDF format. (Opens in a new browser window)
PVTA Winter Weather Travel Guide
When inclement weather is in the forecast, PVTA services are subject to change as conditions demand.
While forecasted temperatures and snow accumulations guide our preparations, the actual intensity of the storm and road conditions will dictate the level of service we can safely provide and/or restore. Passengers should expect delays on scheduled pick up and drop offs during a storm.
Service Interruptions Due to Winter Weather
During a storm, PVTA will post Active Alerts for all PVTA routes and services affected at pvta.com. You can also tune into the local radio and news stations for service modifications.
Please wait at least 10 minutes beyond the scheduled arrival time before calling PVTA to inquire about a late bus. Download our App PVTrAck for real time information on routes and to see the current location of your bus.
Depending on the storm's severity, it may take hours to days for detoured buses to return to their regular routes. Visit pvta.com to find out when regular service will resume.
Please check PVTA’s website for standard detours.
PVTA Service During Storms
PVTA has classified snow storms and winter weather conditions into three categories based on the severity of the storm, conditions of the roadway, and the transit service type. Fixed route bus service and paratransit van service may operate at different severity levels.
Fixed Route - Buses
Paratransit - Vans
Regular bus service. Expect delays. Some routes may have service modifications due to road conditions.
Non-essential van trips cancelled. Medical/school/work related trips are operating.
Service detours, expect delays.
Operating life sustaining van trips only. All other van trips are cancelled.
All PVTA bus service will be cancelled.
All PVTA van service will be cancelled.
Fixed Route Bus Service Severity Levels
Severity Level I
The area is experiencing freezing rain and/or icy road conditions, or a predicted six (6) inches or less of snow is falling.
Severity Level II
Some areas are experiencing severe freezing rain and/or icy road conditions or a predicted six (6) to twelve (12) inches of snow is falling.
Severity Level III
All areas are experiencing severe freezing rain and/or icy road conditions or a predicted twelve (12) or more inches of snow is falling.
Detours expected during Severity Level I conditions:
- G2 Belmont Street detour
- G3, G5, B6 Chestnut Street detour
- 30 Bypass Valley Medical
- 34/35/36 Orchard Hill & Admissions Center detours
- R41 Mountain Road and HCC detour
- R42 VA Hospital/Leeds detours
- R44 Meadowbrook Apartments, Hampshire Plaza/Florence Heights/Fruit Street detours
- Routes entering shopping centers and mall areas throughout the service area will bypass these stops if not plowed
Detours expected during Severity Level II conditions:
- All detours identified for Severity Level I, and:
- G1 Cannon Circle Detour
- G2 Cottage Street / Dwight Road / Stop & Shop Detour
- G3 Springfield Plaza/ King Westford Circle Detour
- B4 Clyde and Sanderson Street Detour
- G5 Central Street Detour
- B6 Pasco Road
- B7 Independence House / Price Rite Parking Lot Detours
- R10 Western Mass Hospital/ East Mountain View Apartments Detour
- P11 Kids Place/ Dwight Street/ Harrison Avenue Detours
- R14 Pheasant Hill Detour
- P20 Tokeneke Road/ K-Mart Plaza Detour
- P21 Meetinghouse Road Detour
- B23 Kids Place/ HCC/ Soldiers Home Detour
- R24 Holyoke Hospital/ St Kobe-Pulaski Heights Detours
- R27 Fernbank Road/ Dipping Hole Road Tinkham Road Detour
- R29 The Notch Detour/Flats Detour
- 31 South Amherst Detour/Boulders
- 33 Bypass Amity St/University Drive
- 38/39 The Notch Detour
- R42 Williamsburg Detour
- B43 Haigis Mall/ One Way Loop/ Amherst College Detours
- R44 High Street/Nonotuck Street Detour
- 45 Bypass Old Amherst Rd and/or Pelham Rd, Heatherstone Rd., Stony Hill Rd., & Gatehouse Rd.
- X90 The Flats Detour
Paratransit Van Service Severity Levels
Severity Level I
The area is experiencing freezing rain, icy road conditions or a predicted three (3) inches or less of snow is falling, subject to volume accumulated over time.
Severity Level II
Some areas are experiencing severe freezing rain/freezing road conditions or a predicted three (3) to six (6) inches of snow is falling, subject to volume accumulated over time.
Severity Level III
All areas are experiencing severe freezing rain/icy road conditions or six (6) or more inches of heavy snow is predicted to hit the area.
Paratransit trip categories are defined as follows:
- Non-essential trips: Trips that are general in nature, such as shopping, hair appointments, etc.
- Medical/School/Job trips: Trips to and from medical appointments, school or work locations.
- Life sustaining trip: Trips to and from dialysis, chemotherapy, radiation, etc.
- We urge all of our riders to take extra care when traveling. Please allow extra time for travel during storms.
- Buses may operate with reduced service, slower speeds, or delays during and after snowstorms.
- PVTA may detour buses on a route-by-route basis if conditions warrant, especially those that operate on narrow streets or hills.
- When boarding a bus during inclement weather, wait until the bus has come to a full and complete stop and the doors have opened before approaching the bus.
- If your desired stop is obstructed by snow/ice, the driver will stop at the nearest safe location. Do not stand in the street or on top of snow banks.
- Give your driver ample notification of your desired stop. When approaching your destination, the driver will stop at the nearest safe location.
Bus Stops and Snow Removal
There are almost 2,000 bus stops within the PVTA system, mostly located on public streets and sidewalks. Depending on the location, the responsibility for clearing snow/ice falls to one of several entities:
- The property owner/tenant
- A University/College
- A municipality
When you notice a stop that is obstructed by snow, it’s important to know who to contact to file a complaint.
Bus Stops PVTA is responsible for clearing
PVTA is responsible for clearing snow at the Westfield Transit Pavilion, the Holyoke Transportation Center and all bus shelters on city property in Springfield. If you notice one of these locations obstructed by snow/ice, please notify PVTA’s Information Center at (877) 779-7882 or (413) 781-7882, or submit an email through our website at Contact PVTA.
All Other Bus Stops
Snow removal at Union Station is the responsibility of Union Station. If you notice this location is obstructed by snow/ice, please notify Union Station at 413-471-3397 or approach a Security Guard to report the conditions.
All other bus stops are addressed by the municipality in which they are located. Most municipalities have delegated this responsibility to the adjacent property owner/tenants. The municipality in which the bus stop is located has the responsibility to enforce snow removal, as defined by local ordinance.