JOSEPH SCELSI INTERMODAL TRANSPORTATION CENTER
The Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center, or ITC, named after the former State Representative who was a strong advocate for transportation in the Berkshires, was officially opened on November 22, 2004 as the nexus of public transportation services in the Berkshires. In a cooperative effort between Berkshire Community College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, two classrooms have been created on the second floor of the ITC. During the first year of this coordinated effort, over 1000 students passed through the ITC on their way to earning higher education degrees. The ITC provides connectivity between local BRTA bus service, local taxi service, intercity rail service, and intercity bus service, all with direct pedestrian access to the central business district in downtown Pittsfield.
The ITC had been a project discussed and envisioned for literally decades, with initial planning and concepts dating back to the early 1980's. Dianne Smith, BRTA Administrator from 1993 until 1999, became an active catalyst to advance a program that would bring the vision to a reality. Her work led to Congressman John Olver appropriating funds for a feasibility study. The study, completed in January 1998, provided a technical analysis of the economic development and cost benefit from investment in such a project. It recommended financing the project and projected costs, recommended eight locations in priority, and provided concepts for preliminary. Based upon these findings, Congressman Olver was subsequently successful in appropriating additional earmarks in Federal Fiscal Years 1999 and 2000 to support design and construction of the project. These funds would provide 80% of costs and require a 20% local match which was provided by the State.