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Governor Charlie Baker

MassDOT March
Board Meeting

March 13, 2017
Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza
Second Floor Board Room
Boston, MA 02150
Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

MBTA: $7.9 Million Investment to Upgrade Mattapan Fleet

The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board was briefed Monday on a plan to invest $7.9 million to fully overhaul its existing Presidential Conference Committee (PCC) streetcars with new propulsion, brakes, and power supply systems.

View the entire Mattapan Fleet Upgrade blog post.

This investment over the next two years will maintain the historical significance of the distinctive orange and cream-colored cars, and also includes a study of options for the future of the line. A series of public meetings will also be held in April in Dorchester, Mattapan and Milton.

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March 3, 2017

Governor Baker, MBTA Celebrate Expansion of The Ride’s On-Demand Paratransit Service

Baker at podium

Governor Charlie Baker and MBTA Acting General Manager Brian Shortsleeve celebrated 10,000 rides in the MBTA’s The RIDE On-Demand Paratransit Pilot Program with ride-share companies Uber and Lyft, and announced that effective March 1st, the program will be open to all eligible users of The RIDE.

Launched in September 2016, the first-of-its-kind innovative pilot has expanded options for 400 customers with disabilities, providing improved flexibility and mobility while reducing fares and overall program costs.

"The success of this partnership with ride-share companies is changing lives and improving reliability for the MBTA's paratransit customers who rely on The RIDE for their daily travels," said Governor Charlie Baker. "We are proud the MBTA is expanding this program to all users of The RIDE, and providing individuals with disabilities greater flexibility and convenience that many of us may take for granted."

Governor Baker highlighted the program’s ingenuity in his 2017 State of the Commonwealth Address last month, sharing the story of a pilot user and the benefits and flexibility the program has offered to customers. The on-demand pilot operates in conjunction with traditional RIDE service, offering reduced fares, lower wait times, faster trips without the need to share rides, and same-day booking (compared to The RIDE's day prior notice) for RIDE service areas and hours of operation. The program includes options for wheel-chair accessible vehicles and includes access for MBTA paratransit customers without smartphones.

"The partnership with these two ride-share companies has been a game-changer for our paratransit customers," said Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack. "They have been able to take advantage of transit options which allow them to be spontaneous and travel directly to their destinations. We believe the success of this partnership with Lyft and Uber will serve as a springboard for more performance-driven improvements."

"This is a win-win solution for our Riders and the MBTA," said Acting General Manager Brian Shortsleeve. "It's an example of a way we can partner with best-in-class private companies to drive innovation at the MBTA."

On-demand trips cost customers $2.00, with the MBTA subsidizing the next $13.00 and additional costs being assumed by the customer. The model resulted in an MBTA trip subsidy difference of 71% between traditional RIDE and on-demand trip costs ($9 for on-demand versus $31 using traditional RIDE). The average cost to the customer was found to be $4.38 for a same-day trip (versus $5.25 using traditional RIDE) with customers saving an average of 34 minutes with every pilot trip taken.

From October 2016 to February 2017, traditional RIDE trips reduced by 18% while total trips taken by the MBTA's paratransit users (traditional RIDE and on-demand pilot combined) increased by 28%. The overall cost to the MBTA (traditional RIDE versus a combination of on-demand service and traditional RIDE) decreased by 6%. Expanding the pilot is anticipated to increase savings to the MBTA and allow full-scale testing of key pilot elements.

Customers interested in applying to the expanded pilot can learn more and be directed to sign up on the pilot website for Uber or Lyft accounts. After the MBTA verifies customer eligibility, further instructions and access to the program will be sent via e-mail from Uber or Lyft within 1-2 weeks of sign-up. Once contacted by Uber or Lyft, customers can book trips via a smartphone mobile app. Lyft also has a phone call-in option and a limited number of Uber customers can utilize Uber-provided smartphones for use on a limited basis specifically to book trips.

The pilot is a part of a larger transformation of the RIDE to improve the customer experience and reduce the cost of service. Other initiatives include centralizing its call and dispatch functions and soon offering a revamped taxi subsidy pilot.

Auburn: RMV, AAA Northeast Celebrate New RMV Service Location

registrar at podium

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Registry of Motor Vehicles, in partnership with AAA Northeast (AAA), announced the Auburn AAA Branch, located at 711 Southbridge Street in the Auburn Plaza, now offers select RMV license and registration services to AAA members.

With the addition of Auburn, AAA Registry services are now available at 21 AAA locations across the Commonwealth. AAA Northeast already offers RMV services at branches in Burlington, Fairhaven, Framingham, Franklin, Newburyport, Newton, Peabody, Quincy, Raynham, Rockland, Saugus, Somerset, South Attleboro, South Dennis, Waltham, Westwood, and Worcester. AAA Pioneer Valley offers services in Hadley, Springfield, and West Springfield. Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney and AAA Northeast President and CEO Mark Shaw were joined by local and elected officials to celebrate the newest location in the RMV-AAA partnership.

"The Registry is committed to identifying new ways for our customers to conduct business across the Commonwealth," said Registrar Erin Deveney. "By teaming up with Auburn AAA, we’re offering our shared customers more convenient service options."

AAA Northeast President/CEO Mark Shaw added, "The launch of the Auburn AAA/RMV location marks yet another milestone in enhanced choice and convenience for AAA members and consumers across the Commonwealth. AAA Northeast sincerely values its partnership with the RMV and hopes to expand services into additional AAA offices in 2017."

At designated AAA locations, AAA members can perform select transactions including: driver’s license and ID renewals, duplicate licenses or IDs, registration renewals, duplicate registrations, duplicate titles, and registration transfers. AAA offers its members weekday and Saturday hours. For more information, visit

With a strong commitment to a personalized customer experience, the Registry of Motor Vehicles enables customer mobility and consumer safety across the Commonwealth.

Customers are encouraged to visit to process over 25 transactions.

Bay State Bike Week is Coming! Join us May 13-21

bicyclist riding

Whether you’re an active cyclist, looking to start going on weekend family rides, or want to start biking to work, Bay State Bike Week has something for everyone and is a great time to join the movement and take on your cycling goals. Join us from May 13th to May 21st as the Commonwealth celebrates bicycling as a fun, healthy, and active way to travel.

Bay State Bike Week is a statewide event with single events occurring in communities from Amesbury to Boston, Quincy, to Nantucket, Worcester to the Berkshires, and everywhere in between. Host your own event or join one in your neighborhood. Anyone can organize bike-centric events throughout the Commonwealth to encourage cycling and raise awareness about the many benefits of bicycle transportation. From newbies to seasoned cyclists, Bay State Bike Week has something for all kinds of riders!

Visit to find or host an event in your community. If you don’t see an event in your area, check back regularly because events are added daily. Any and all bike-centric events count. We’ve seen group bike rides, bike film festivals, bike breakfast stops along the way to work, and bike rodeos to teach children how to be safe. The opportunities are endless and events are open to everyone.

Prizes will be given to participants throughout the week. For a chance to win, participants must log their trips in NuRide, Massachusetts’ ridematching and rewards program. Each time you log a bike trip, you will automatically be entered to win a daily raffle prize throughout the week. NuRide is free and easy to use and can be used year-round to get rewards for any green mode of transportation.

Throughout the week, we encourage participants to share the Bay State Bike Week logo and post about events on social media. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter but don’t forget to use #BayStateBikeWk to help keep the message going!

Bay State Bike Week is brought to you by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), MassRIDES, the Commonwealth’s Statewide Travel Options Program, and MassBike, the Massachusetts Bicycle Advocacy Coalition. For more information, visit linked above.

Worcester: Blackstone Gateway Visitor Center Project Advances

artist rendering of area

MassDOT has announced that it is continuing to move forward with the project to construct the Worcester Blackstone Gateway Visitor Center and the adjacent multi-use path in the City of Worcester.

A Notice to Proceed (NTP) was recently awarded for Phase II of this project which will allow the contractor to start construction this spring on a multi-use facility that will house the Blackstone Gateway Visitor Center and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Region Headquarters and mark the completion of the Quinsigamond Bike Spur that connects the facility to the Blackstone Bike Path and the Route 146 pedestrian bridge. The path will also include a historic truss style pedestrian bridge.

"I am very pleased this project is proceeding forward and that construction on the second phase will soon begin," said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. "This project is a nice mix of features which contain cultural and historic value while at the same time having a practical purpose of creating a multi-use path for the public to enjoy on bike or on foot."

"I'd like to thank everyone who collaborated on this important project," said Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin. "This is an example of members of the public and outdoor enthusiasts working together with government officials on a comprehensive construction project which will provide many benefits to people in Worcester County."

The first phase of construction involved early action work including site grading, soil remediation, site cleanup, and canal wall repairs. The second phase of the project that is expected to be completed in July 2018 is estimated to cost $14.9 million and is being funded by federal and state sources.

The Worcester Blackstone Gateway Visitor Center will be a full service, multi-use facility, featuring a welcoming area, historic and cultural exhibits, a theater, restroom facilities, an adjacent lawn, and office, classroom and meeting space.

The multi-use path will accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians and travel through a Heritage Corridor adjacent to the building which includes exhibits as well as observation areas over the water on the new truss style pedestrian bridge crossing the canal. Over the bridge, a pavilion area will double as a photovoltaic array supplementing much of the future site electrical costs.

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