Podcast: Riding with MeVa Regional Bus Regulars and Driver Larry Corcoran

Bus Driver Larry Corcoran asked WHAV’s reporter to take a selfie after an interview.

(Additional photograph below.) The sky is still dark when Larry Corcoran, a bus driver for Merrimack Valley Transit, starts his route outbound from Haverhill at six a.m. For the few who ride this early in the morning, the transportation is essential.

When MeVa leaders went before state lawmakers to request more money early this month, Chief Communications Officer Niorka Mendez said, for some of the people they serve, “This is the only way to get to food access, to get to medical care—even in the social aspect of visiting friends. On the bus, as a bus driver, I used to talk to them, and maybe we are the only people they talk to during the whole day. They don’t have a family member to talk to or vent [to].”

Corcoran, the most senior MeVa driver, said his job requires multitasking. He has to be “an expert motor vehicle operator, and also a personality. Truck drivers wouldn’t have to deal with passengers. They would just drive the truck, and maybe they’d listen to a radio and just concentrate on the controls of the truck.”

“Everybody on legs and everybody on wheels around you, you have to know where they are, what they’re going to do, and you have to be prepared to just deal with it, avoid a collision,” he added.

Jonathan Kay, a machinist, said he takes the bus to work every day.

He said, “I’ve always relied on the bus for transportation. I don’t have a vehicle, so it’s the best way to get around. It being free is an amazing help. If you have the time, you can get from Lawrence to Salisbury beach.”

On the podcast, hear more of Staff Writer Jacob Posner’s conversations with Corcoran and the people who rely on buses like his.

Besides WHAV.net, WHAV’s “Merrimack Valley Newsmakers” podcasts are available via Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, iHeart, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Alexa.

Larry Corcoran, MeVa Transit’s most experienced bus driver, has been on the job since 1984. (WHAV News photograph.)

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