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MassDOT June Board Meeting

Wednesday, June 18

State Transportation Building
MBTA Board Room
Suite 3830
10 Park Plaza

Full Meeting Schedule

On the MassDOT Blog

South Coast Rail Task Force Volunteer Honored

The South Coast Rail Task Force depends on citizens to assist the Commonwealth in planning for smart growth and effective land use as part of the South Coast Rail project. Jim Oliver of Foxborough, an active member since 2008, is being honored for his service as he leaves the Task Force. Jim received a citation from Governor Patrick thanking him for his contributions. Foxborough town officials appointed Oliver to the Task Force, and he served faithfully attending quarterly meetings across the region. The South Coast Rail Task Force thanks Jim for his service and the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority and subsidiary Harrison Global for providing paratransit service to allow Jim to attend meetings and help advance transportation issues on behalf of his hometown.

View the entire Jim Oliver/South Coast Rail blog post.

May 16, 2014

MBTA: Board Approves New Green Line Cars and Buses

The MassDOT Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve the purchase of 40 new buses and to award a contract to build 24 new Green Line cars.

The procurement of 40 new diesel-electric hybrid buses will allow the MBTA to retire buses purchased in 1994 and 1995. The new buses will be manufactured by New Flyer in St. Cloud, Minnesota, with production starting later this summer. All 40 buses will be in service by February 2015. The Board also moved to execute a contract with CAF USA, Inc. to furnish and deliver the ninth generation of Green Line vehicles to support the Green Line Extension project. The procurement of these 24 vehicles will also help to improve service reliability on the entire Green Line system.

“The Board’s approval to purchase 40 new buses and build 24 new Green Line cars underscores the commitment MassDOT and the MBTA have to upgrading its aging fleet,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. “These new buses and cars will provide safer, more comfortable, accessible and environmentally-friendly public transportation to the millions of customers the MBTA serves each day.”

The new Green Line cars will provide a modern and comfortable passenger experience and feature dynamic computer controlled lighting, heating, and cooling technologies for greater passenger comfort, satisfaction, and ride quality.

CAF will utilize two locations to complete this order, using its facility in Spain to manufacture the shells and frames with final assembly and testing to occur at its manufacturing plant located in Elmira, New York in full compliance with Buy America regulations. The cost of the 24 new Green Line vehicles is expected to be $118 million, with approximately half of the funding expected to come from a Federal Transit Authority New Start grant. The new Green Line cars will be delivered between the end of 2017 and the end 2018. Later this year, the Board is expected to award a contract for 74 new Red Line cars and 152 new Orange Line cars.

The order for 40 new buses will allow the MBTA to replace the oldest buses in the revenue fleet, which also require the most maintenance resources; these new buses will improve service availability and reduce maintenance costs. In addition, the hybrid propulsion system will reduce operating costs and vehicle emissions, as well as provide significant savings in fuel consumption.

"Our buses are the 'work horses' of our fleet," said MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly A. Scott. “Acquiring 40 new buses that will provide greater reliability and availability to the almost 400,000 bus customers we serve each day is a great step in improving overall transit access and performance."

The new buses will be purchased through an agreement with the State of Connecticut, utilizing options in a contract they currently have with New Flyer that will enable the MBTA to purchase the vehicles at a lower price. The total cost for this procurement is expected to be $37,891,823, with 80 percent of funding coming from Federal grants.

Governor Patrick Announces Start of Lynn Ferry Service

Governor Deval Patrick this week joined MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey, state and city officials to announce the start of pilot ferry service from Lynn to Boston scheduled to begin on Monday, May 19, 2014. This new ferry service will open up a greater range of economic and play opportunities for residents of the North Shore and Boston.

"Today, I am proud to announce that ferry service will be available from Lynn to Boston, providing greater options for commuters from the North Shore," said Governor Patrick. "We continue to invest in alternative forms of transportation, because we believe it will help to spur economic growth and improve access to opportunity across the state."

The two-year pilot ferry service from Lynn to Boston will depart from the newly constructed Blossom Street Pier in Lynn and will dock at Long Wharf in Boston with three weekday departures to and from Boston every day. The Economic Development & Industrial Corporation of Lynn (EDIC) signed a contract with Boston Harbor Cruises to operate the two-year pilot program beginning Monday, May 19, 2014 through Friday, September 12, 2014. Ferry service will allow up to 250 riders per trip to enjoy a 35 minute ferry ride to get to and from their destination.

Parking at the Blossom Street Extension lot in Lynn will be free. Additionally, for the first week of service, from May 19 through May 23, ferry service will be free. Following that, a one way fare will cost $7, with half price fares available for seniors and children. Round-trip fares will be $14. Zone II Commuter Rail passes will be also accepted.

"By providing alternative transportation service from Lynn to Boston, MassDOT continues to encourage economic growth in and around the region," said Secretary Davey. "MassDOT is committed to enhancing our transportation system in a way that strengthens our economy and quality of life." The ferry project has received $7.65 million, with $5 million coming from the state Seaport Advisory Council, $2 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation and $650,000 from EDIC.

RMV Fee Increase Public Meetings Set

MassDOT Registry of Motor Vehicles Division today announced a series of public meetings on the proposed changes to three RMV fees. The changes will allow MassDOT to close a projected $55 million budget gap in Fiscal Year 2015, make customer improvements, and invest in the Commonwealth’s transportation system.

Transportation finance legislation passed by the Legislature last year required MassDOT to generate its own additional revenue to help fund future budgets. Under a plan approved by the MassDOT Board in March, non-commercial vehicle registration fees for motor vehicles will increase from $50 to $60. There will be no change to commercial registration fees. Annual motor vehicle inspections will increase to $35, up from $29. The road test fee, a one-time fee for the majority of drivers, will increase to $35, up from $20. Portions of the road test revenue will help support improved customer service for first time drivers. The registration fee was last changed in 2009, inspection fees in 1999 and it has been more than 10 years since road test fees were changed.

Interested parties will be given an opportunity to present comments orally or in writing at the followings meetings. All locations are accessible to those with disabilities:

Tuesday, May 20, 6pm-8pm, Central Mass. Regional Planning Commission, 2 Washington Square, 2nd Floor, Worcester

Thursday, May 22, 10am-1pm (Public hearing), State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, 3rd Floor – MBTA Board Room, Boston

Thursday, May 22, 6pm-8pm, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, 2nd Floor Conference Rooms, Boston

Tuesday, May 27, 6pm-8pm, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, 60 Congress Street, Springfield

MassDOT also encourages the public to provide written comments by mail or email during the comment period. Written comments may be mailed to: MassDOT Legal Department, Regulations, RMV, 10 Park Plaza, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02116. Emailed comments may be sent to: The comment period will close on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.

MassDOT anticipates the new fee structure will generate approximately $55 million to $63 million in Fiscal Year 2015. The new fees are scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2014.

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