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MassDOT December Board Meeting

Wednesday
December 11
MBTA Board Room
Suite 3830
10 Park Plaza, Boston
Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

Engineering a New South Station Rail System

At the turn of the last century, South Station included 28 tracks, as seen in this view of the tracks and original train shed in 1904 (photo courtesy Detroit Publishing Company).

18 of the original tracks were demolished during the construction of the Post Office in the 1960s. By 1972, only eight tracks were still in use. After the station was renovated in the 1980s, the number of tracks rose to 11. Two more were added for the restoration of the Old Colony lines in 1992.

Looking to the future, planners estimate that 553 trains a day will move in and out of South Station by the year 2035, representing an increase of 20 percent over today. MassDOT must redesign the station to smoothly manage that anticipated traffic.

View the entire Engineering a New South Station Rail System blog post.

12/06/2013

Governor Patrick Announces Late Night MBTA Service

Governor Deval Patrick this week announced that the MBTA will launch late-night bus, subway and light rail service beginning next spring.

"A vibrant economy demands a public transit system that caters to the residents, students and tourists it serves," said Governor Patrick. "Extending service on weekend evenings will allow the public to enjoy the many attractions and restaurants the region has to offer and give workers a more cost-effective option for getting home late at night."

The one-year pilot program is in response to feedback received from members of the public and the business community encouraging the MBTA to offer late-night service as a way to boost the region’s economy and provide affordable transportation options to employees working late evening shifts.

Beginning next year, service on all subway lines, light rail and the 15 key bus routes will run until 3 am on Friday and Saturdays. Service will not be extended on the commuter rail or ferry. "Our customers are clamoring for more service and this is one thing we can do to help meet that demand," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. "My hope is that this will be a popular option for enough customers that we can institute it permanently in the future. This is another example of the Governor’s commitment to growing our economy." "Late-night service is an idea whose time has come," said MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott. "As Boston continues to grow and develop into an even more vibrant city, we are pleased to announce this pilot program that will help us address Boston’s evolving transportation needs."

Late-night service will be subsidized by financial sponsorships from The Boston Globe and other business groups to be named in the coming weeks. Service is expected to cost an estimated $20 million annually (not accounting for offsetting fares or sponsorships). During the pilot program, fares will remain at the same level as those during regular service. In the future, it may be possible to adjust fare prices during the later hours.

As the first Platinum Sponsor of the service, the Globe will contribute $500,000 in cash and in-kind contributions. Exact date of service will be released early next year.


RMV Restores License Renewal Mail Reminders

MassDOT Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian has announced birthday postcards will begin appearing in mailboxes across the Commonwealth to reminder drivers whose licenses expire in the month of December to renew online or head to a branch for a new picture. "The Registry ended the license reminder service 5 years ago in a fiscal crunch; over time we have had to get creative and more cost effective in all aspects of our business," said Registrar Kaprielian. "Today, supported by advertising dollars, we are proud to once again offer this service to our customers."

The birthday postcard is personalized in order to provide the customer with the most efficient service possible by relaying one of two messages. The postcards will indicate if the driver is eligible to renew online at MassRMV.com or if it they must visit a branch.

A Massachusetts license is valid for five years and there are 4.75 million active licensed drivers in the Commonwealth today. Based on renewal rates, the RMV will send out between 87,000 and 92,000 postcard reminders monthly. Every 10 years license holders need to visit one of 30 RMV branches across Massachusetts, or one of the RMV’s partner AAA offices, to have a new license photo taken as part of their credential renewal. Drivers age 75 and older at the time of renewal are required to have the renewal transaction completed in a branch or AAA office.

The end of the year is a busy time for the Registry; don’t wait until the last minute to renew. Drivers are encouraged to renew their license at least seven days prior to their birthday/license expiration to ensure that they have their new license in hand before the old license expires.

Moved recently? To guarantee the renewal postcard is sent to your correct address you will need to update the address you have on file with the Registry. You can update your address online; it is a free service at MassRMV.com.


MBTA October Ridership Jumps

MBTA ridership for October 2013 increased by nearly 3% over October 2012, and totaled 36.228 million passenger trips.

According to MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott, "Our October numbers represent the highest monthly ridership recorded since the beginning of the MBTA."

Average daily ridership for October increased by 4.3% over the same month last year, and totaled 1.382 million passenger trips per weekday. As with the month overall, this is the highest weekday ridership recorded since the MBTA was created in 1964.

"This is the closest we've ever come to an average daily ridership of 1.4 million passenger trips," said General Manager Scott. "Ridership on almost all modes increased, with particularly big jumps on the subway and buses." In October, the Red, Orange, and Blue Lines carried an average of 35,500 more riders a day than the previous October. Buses provided a daily average of 22,100 more passenger trips than October 2012.

"Whether it's commuting to work or traveling to a Sox game, more and more people are relying on the MBTA," said General Manager Scott. "This is why investing in public transportation is a critically important part of growing the economy."

Visit MBTA.com to check schedules and buy tickets.

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