MassDOT October Board Meeting
E-ZPass: October Transponder Sign Ups
The E-ZPass Street Team will be enrolling new customers in the E-ZPass program throughout the region over the next month. E-ZPass is free to join and customers receive a transponder onsite. E-ZPass customers proceed through the dedicated E-ZPass lanes at the toll plaza without stopping or fumbling for cash because the toll is collected electronically through the use of a transponder attached to the windshield
Those E-ZPass customers with an orange Interchange 1-6 transponder, may stop by one of the sign up sessions to exchange that device as it will no longer work after October 15.
Since June, more than 45,000 E-ZPass accounts have been opened and more than 60,000 transponders have been issued.
In addition to the sign up sessions listed below, you may also join E-ZPass online, Mass.gov/EZPassMA or by phone, 877-627-7745. Transponders are also available at Registry of Motor Vehicle branches and from AAA.
Saturday, October 5, 10am-3pm, Big Y, 44 Willimansett St., South Hadley
Wednesday October 9, 10am-3pm, Big Y, 475 East Main St., Westfield
Saturday, October 12, 10am-3pm, Big Y 300 Cooley St., Springfield
Wednesday, October 16, 10am-3pm, Big Y, 1090 St. James Ave., Springfield
Saturday, October 19, 10am-3pm, Big Y 433 Center St., Ludlow
Wednesday, October 23,10am-3pm, Big Y 2035 Boston Rd, Wilbraham
MassDOT Announces Customer Notification System
MassDOT this week announced the launch of a new Customer Notification System to provide timely information by e-mail to customers about upcoming events and service changes for major bridge projects along with Boston area interstate highway planned overnight lane and ramp closures.
Customers can subscribe to receive alerts by email about the projects of interest to them by visiting a new, one-stop notification web page.
"We are committed to improving customer service and providing useful information in a simple to receive and timely manner," said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. "Just as the new MBTA T-Alerts system allows T riders to sign up and receive alerts about service issues, we are moving to provide roadway users and those interested in major projects with the same kinds of options."
As of October 1, customers are able to visit the notification web page, enter a contact e-mail and select from a list of topics for e-mail notification of project service impacts, upcoming meetings, and other important information.
Projects and topics available for e-mail notifications initially will include:
- Longfellow Bridge
- Charles River Basin Bridges
- Whittier Bridge
- Burns Bridge
- Route 79/Braga Bridge
- Fore River Bridge
- Boston area I-90, I-93 weekly list of pre-planned overnight lane and ramp closures
The listing of MassDOT communications available via the new notification system will be expanded in the coming months.
Each person signing up online will automatically receive a welcome message confirming their subscription and reminding them to check back as MassDOT adds new topics as they become available.
Some project websites will include a direct link to sign up for the communications directly related to that project.
Subscribers will receive notifications via email through the MassDOT partnership with GovDelivery, a leader in public digital communication also providing service to more than 500 government organizations, including the MBTA for T-Alerts.
BusPlus+ Program: Boost Regional Transit
MassDOT has announced formation of the new BusPlus+ program to increase intercity and commuter transportation options available across the Commonwealth and all of New England.
BusPlus+ is a public/private partnership in which MassDOT provides new commuter buses to private for-profit bus companies. The companies in return must deliver regional service improvements and will be responsible for all bus maintenance and operating costs. The $18.1 million federally-funded competitive grant award will include replacement of thirty-one buses with state-of-the-art vehicles.
"BusPlus+ helps MassDOT deliver on the promise of improved customer service and expanded regional transportation," said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey, "and it does so while smartly enhancing our partnerships with intercity and commuter transit providers."
The public/private partnership includes coordination among all New England state transportation departments and New York. The regional service improvements provided through the new BusPlus+ service will include the creation of new routes, addition of stops to existing routes, extension of existing routes, and increased route frequency.
The BusPlus+ program will replace regional buses previously purchased through the MassDOT Intercity Bus Capital Assistance Program (IBCAP). The buses are expected to be delivered later this year or early next year.
BusPlus+ is funded by a Federal Transit Administration State of Good Repair grant and will be overseen by MassDOT's Rail & Transit Division.
The initial BusPlus+ regional bus purchase will provide thirty one of the new buses to carriers that currently or previously operated an IBCAP regional bus, including Peter Pan Bus Lines, Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company, DATTCO, The Coach Company, Bloom Bus Lines, and Yankee Line. In addition, MassDOT is proud to welcome Greyhound as its newest private sector partner.
Customers will experience a more comfortable and convenient service, with new buses that include the latest advances in safety and equipped with fully outfitted restrooms, increased leg room, new comfortable seating, Wi-Fi, and 110V power outlets at every seat.
Through the BusPlus+ program, MassDOT will also work toward the goal of providing a universal smart phone ticketing application to all riders.
By creating a stronger and broader regional bus network, BusPlus+ assists MassDOT in meeting Governor Patrick’s ambitious goal of reducing Commonwealth’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by the year 2020. Vehicles represent a large source of these gases, and MassDOT has responded by committing to pursue healthier travel options, including biking, walking or transit.
South Coast Rail: Open Houses Set
South Coast RailMassDOT will host Open Houses in Fall River and Taunton on the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIS/FEIR) for South Coast Rail. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and MassDOT released the combined federal/state document on September 23.
In the document, MassDOT identifies the Stoughton rail alternative as its preferred route for providing the best transportation, environmental and smart growth benefits, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers names the Stoughton alternative as providing the fewest environmental impacts.
As part of the environmental review process, the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act office (MEPA) will accept public comments on the FEIR until October 25, 2013. MassDOT is sponsoring two Open Houses to provide information about the FEIR, which is a lengthy document. Depending on the status of the Continuing Resolution, the U.S. Army Corps will also participate in the Open Houses. The Open Houses are scheduled as follows:
Tuesday, October 8, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Taunton High School Cafeteria, 50 Williams St, Taunton
Thursday, October 17, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center, UMASS Dartmouth, 151 Martine Street, Fall River
The FEIS/FEIR is available at local libraries throughout the South Coast region and by request from MassDOT. There is a link to the electronic version of the full report, an Executive Summary, Guide to the FEIS/FEIR and a project fact sheet at www.mass.gov/southcoastrail. Information on the Open Houses and how to comment on the FEIR is also posted on the website.