Public/Private Partnership Provides New Buses, Enhanced Private Bus Services
BOSTON - Thursday, September 26, 2013- The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) today 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.”
“We are committed to increasing service in Massachusetts and across New England, and this partnership provides a win for regional transit riders by creating an incentive for private carriers to increase service,” said MassDOT Transit Division Administrator and MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott.
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.
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