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Governor Charlie Baker

MassDOT November
Board Meeting

November 21
Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza
Second Floor Board Room
Boston, MA 02150
Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

State Rail Plan Public Meeting: November 21
State Rail Plan Public Meeting: November 21

MassDOT has scheduled a public meeting to review and receive public comment on the DRAFT 2016 State Rail Plan Update as follows:

Monday, November 21, 6:30 pm

Attleboro Public Library
74 No Main Street
Attleboro, MA

MassDOT will review the current state of the rail system, identify planned improvements and outline the Commonwealth’s four-year plan and 20-year vision for the statewide rail system.

View the entire I-91 Viaduct Rehabilitation Public Meeting blog post.

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November 18, 2016

MBTA: Red Line, Orange Line Infrastructure Upgrade Contract

MBTA Logo

The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board this week awarded a $17.9 million construction contract to J.F. White Contracting Co. to fund infrastructure improvements on the Red Line and Orange Line.

The contract with J.F. White, who was the low bidder, will cover improved and expanded infrastructure at the T’s Wellington maintenance and storage yard in Medford. Workers will replace train tracks, modify track turnouts and improve traction power and signal infrastructure. The work is being done to handle the delivery of new Orange and Red Line cars that are to be built in Springfield.

The track work will provide additional vehicle storage to support the expanded fleet of Orange and Red Line vehicles.

The work at Wellington includes:

  • Replacement and new construction of storage tracks
  • Modifications to track turnouts
  • Traction power and signal infrastructure improvements for tracks

The new Orange and Red Line vehicles are needed to replace the MBTA's 32-year-old Orange Line cars, and 44-year-old Red Line cars. A new factory under construction in Springfield will deliver a total of 284 subway cars: 132 for the Red Line and 152 for the Orange Line. The first cars are scheduled to be delivered in March 2018.

These additional vehicles will increase line capacity and decrease passenger wait times, cutting the intervals between trains from 5-6 minutes to 4 minutes during rush hours.

The T's new vehicle procurement program is part of a wider effort that includes infrastructure improvements, signal upgrades and continued state of good repair projects. The MBTA is also continuing efforts to accelerate the pace of MBTA spending on state of good repair and other capital projects to improve the safety, reliability and performance of the system.


Baker-Polito Administration: RMV to Provide "Veteran's Indicator" Status

The Baker-Polito Administration's Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) announced that effective immediately duplicate license/ID cards with specific "Veteran's Indicator" status would be available upon request to eligible veterans at no cost. The "Veteran's Indicator" is a physical symbol that appears on the credential and can be used to obtain identified services for veterans.

RMV logo

"Our administration is pleased to offer this service free of charge to support the courageous men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces," said Governor Charlie Baker. "It is our hope that Veterans across the Commonwealth will choose to have a veteran's indicator added to their Registry credentials to receive the recognition and support they duly deserve."

Eligible veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who were honorably discharged can choose to have the word "Veteran" printed on their driver's license/ID card. If a veteran's license/ID card is not eligible for renewal, the individual can obtain a duplicate license/ID card for no fee with the "Veteran's Indicator". The RMV is changing its current policy, and will no longer charge a $25 fee for an eligible veteran who adds this indicator as part of a duplicate transaction.

"The Registry of Motor Vehicles thanks veterans for their dedication, time and service," said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney. "The new no cost transaction for veterans gives us an opportunity to show our support in a meaningful way."

Requests for this new transaction can only be processed in person at an RMV Service Center or designated AAA locations. Veterans will need to present a completed Class D, M, or D/M License and ID Card Application and one of the following documents to prove eligibility:

  • ADD-214 that indicates "Honorable" in the Character of Service box or Character of Separation box. Only the long form (full page) DD-214 is acceptable; the short form (half page) cannot be accepted.
  • ADD-215 that indicates honorable discharge.
  • An Honorable Discharge form. This form was used during WWII and the Korean War and does not display a Character of Service box or a Character of Separation box.

One of the documents listed above must be presented even if the customer has Veterans' Plates.

According to the Massachusetts Veteran Services, there are over 365,000 veterans living in Massachusetts. As of October 31, 2016, there were approximately 43,493 customers with active licenses that have the indicator already.

Veterans will have to pay the normal renewal fees if they add the indicator when they renew the driver's license or Identification Card, as they would have to pay those fees otherwise.


MBTA Survey to Measure Demand for Regional Overnight Bus Service

The MBTA is conducting a month-long survey designed to gather data on overnight travel needs for the public in Boston and surrounding communities.

MBTA logo

The survey, available at www.mbta.com/nightbus was issued today in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. The same survey will soon also be available in Chinese, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole and Cape Verdean Creole. MBTA partners will also make the survey available on paper.

TransitMatters, a Boston-based non-profit organization, last April proposed a seven-day a week, bus service operating from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board, which voted to end weekend bus service in March 2016, authorized staff to work with TransitMatters to further develop their concept. At its September 26, 2016 meeting, the FMCB authorized this survey to help gauge public overnight travel needs. The results will be reported to the FMCB in January 2017.

The MBTA has also received an unsolicited bid proposal from the ride-sharing company Bridj for late night service. Bridj has designed an on-demand late night service model. When customers request a trip, they are matched to a computer generated pick up point, where they’ll board a bus with up to ten other customers headed to a similar destination. Under the model, the MBTA would pay Bridj on a basis of $85 per vehicle hour, about 35 percent less than the MBTA’s internal cost of $132/hour. The Bridj cost would be similar to the T’s current cost for contracted services with a private carrier which operates Winthrop routes for the MBTA.

A fare for the proposed late night service has not yet been proposed.

The City of Boston and City of Cambridge are partnering with the MBTA and TransitMatters to better understand the needs of those traveling overnight in and around Boston. The Massachusetts Restaurant Association is also joining this effort to better understand the transportation needs of service industry workers.

The survey will be available online through December 16. For more information visit www.mbta.com/nightbus.


Green Line Extension Public Meeting Set

The Green Line Extension (GLX) Project Interim Program Management Team will host a public meeting as follows:

Wednesday, December 7, 6:00 to 8:00 PM, Somerville High School Auditorium, 81 Highland Avenue

The purpose of the meeting will be to present a general update:

  • Status of the GLX Project
    • Work of the Interim Project Management Team
    • Introduction of the New Program Manager, John Dalton
    • FTA requirements on the Funding Agreement
    • Upcoming Environmental Review
  • Design/Build Contractor Selection Process and timeline
  • Latest project schedule
  • Next Steps/Milestones

There will be a sign-in sheet at the reception desk for those wishing to make public comment. Due to the limited time allotted for public comment, we ask that your comments be focused on topics covered in the meeting and kept to less than two minutes. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at info@glxinfo.com.

Check the Green Line Extension website for the latest updates on the project.

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