About Us

Our Mission
To provide convenient, comfortable, safe, reliable, cost-effective mobility services contributing to the economic vitality of the region.

The Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) is a regional transit system that services the City of Worcester and 36 surrounding communities in Central Massachusetts with a fleet of 54 buses which includes diesel-electric hybrid and clean diesel buses.

The second largest regional transit authority in Massachusetts, WRTA offers reliable, comfortable, and safe transportation for traveling to work, shopping, school, medical appointments, and leisure activities. Paratransit services are also provided to seniors aged 60 and over and individuals with disabilities.

In 1974, the Massachusetts Legislature passed the Regional Transit Authority Act, which aimed to improve public transportation services across the state by creating regional transit authorities. The WRTA was officially established under this legislation, becoming one of the fifteen regional transit authorities in Massachusetts. Currently, WRTA is governed by an Advisory Board consisting of the City Manager of Worcester, the Chair of the Board of Selectmen of each town having such board, or the Town Manager or Town Administrator of each town. Advisory Board members may appoint designees to act on their behalf.

The Central Hub is located at 60 Foster Street adjacent to Union Station in downtown Worcester was constructed in 2013. It is the home of WRTA Administrative offices, a customer service call center and indoor lobby. The adjacent bus bay and waiting area has eight bus slips, seating for passengers, and real-time updates on when buses will arrive. Both the Hub and Union Station provide connections between WRTA fixed route and paratransit service, as well as the various modes of transportation in the area, including MBTA commuter rail, intercity bus, taxi service, and Amtrak. Years later, WRTA’s increased fleet size and adoption of fuel-efficient, low-emission bus technologies lead to the build of a 150,000-square-foot Maintenance and Operations facility leaving behind the Grove Street garage, which was built in 1928 as a trolley barn.

Like many transit agencies, the WRTA has faced tribulations over the years. Funding constraints, aging infrastructure, and fluctuations in ridership, particularly during periods of economic downturn or public health crises proved to be a challenge.

Despite these challenges, WRTA has demonstrated resilience and adaptability, working closely with government partners, advocacy groups, and the public to address transportation needs and maintain essential services for the community. Most notably, WRTA has been recognized as the longest-standing fare-free transit system across the nation as it continues to cover the cost of fares using Federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, as well as State funding from the Fair Share Amendment for Fiscal Year 2024.

WRTA has evolved over the decades to become a critical component of the transportation network in Central Massachusetts. With a commitment to innovation, sustainability, and community engagement, WRTA continues to serve as a lifeline for thousands of riders, supporting the region’s growth and prosperity.

The day-to-day affairs of the Authority are managed by the Administrator, Joshua Rickman. This position is appointed by the WRTA Advisory Board. The Advisory Board consists of: The City Manager of Worcester or Mayor of each city. The Chairman of the Board of Selectmen of each town having such board, or the Town Manager or Town Administrator of each town.

Advisory Board members may appoint designees to act on their behalf.

How We Are Funded
The WRTA is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts funded by federal, state and local monies, as well as farebox and advertising revenue. Our annual operating budget is $34 million, and up to 75% of the net cost of service is provided by the state. Fareboxes cover about 15-20% of the overall operating costs. The cities that are served by the WRTA buses pay an assessed amount, depending on the number of miles served in that city, and increases are capped at 2 1/2% per year. (Paratransit monies are assessed based on the number of trips provided.)