Students and commuters who need to get around Pittsfield at night might be in luck:

The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority has approved a pilot evening service beginning at the end of this month.

The Berkshire Eagle  reports from Tuesday to May 24, the 11N, "Berkshire Community College Night Loop," will travel between the Intermodal Transportation Center, BCC, Tyler Street and East Street, making other stops along the way, before ending at the downtown station on Columbus Avenue.

The one-hour loop will run from 5:50 to 9:55 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to BRTA Administrator Robert Malnati, who presented the project at the BRTA meeting Thursday. Members were unanimous in their support of the plan.

The move represents a significant step by the authority to address gaps in service, including evenings, across the rural Berkshires. Transportation was the No. 1 concern among those who attended a poverty forum at Williams College this month, Malnati said Thursday.

While the pilot program is due to end by the end of the school year, the BRTA has submitted an application with the state Department of Transportation requesting $360,000 to expand this service, as well as service to North Adams and Great Barrington, Malnati said.

In a second pending application, the BRTA has requested $150,000 to partner with Peter Pan Bus Lines. If successful, the BRTA might begin transporting riders from Williamstown to meet their Peter Pan bus in Great Barrington. Peter Pan will then take them to New York, Malnati said.

The meeting was the first since a two-week bus driver strike in December.

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