Group forms to address VTA issues

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The VTA advisory board unanimously voted to cut winter routes at a meeting in August. — Gabrielle Mannino

A new group focused on improving the Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) has formed.

The group, which is currently a small organizing group, is made up of members of the public, VTA riders, and VTA drivers.

Susanna Sturgis, the secretary for Martha’s Vineyard Democratic Council and a member of the group, told The Times the group is focused on improving VTA service, reducing service cuts, and improving VTA board governance.

VTA administrator Angela Grant could not immediately be reached for comment.

The group is circulating a flyer with reasons behind its formation. The Amalgamated Transit Union’s (ATU) logo is at the bottom of the flyer. Several drivers successfully unionized this summer after a years-long battle with their parent company, Transit Connection Inc.

The flyer also links to a petition demanding the VTA restore service to winter routes. VTA administration drastically cut winter routes due to a $1 million deficit, citing increased wage costs after drivers unionized, rising insurance costs, and rent increases for the VTA office.

The petition can be found at bit.ly/restorereformVTA.