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On the Trans Blog
MassDOT Community Forums Continue

MassDOT Community Forums continue in April as part of the You Move Massachusetts Civic Engagement Initiative.

Fore River Bridge Public Meeting

A Public Information Meeting for the Fore River Bridge Replacement Project is scheduled for Monday, April 12th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

MassDOT Plans Green Line Extension Work Group

MassDOT is forming a work group to assist in the Green Line Extension project's Preliminary Engineering phase. Project managers will bring together MBTA officials, municipal representatives, business representatives and local citizens to form the GLX Design Working Group.

MassDOT Dorchester Avenue Project Update

MassDOT is keeping residents and businesses informed with a website www.mass.gov/massdot/dotave about the progress of the $15.6 million Dorchester Avenue stimulus project.

The Road to Reform

MassDOT Responds to Second March Flood

MassDOT crews this week responded across the Commonwealth as a second round of torrential rain set precipitation records for the month of March. One emergency situation closed Route 119 in Littleton for the entire week, as a culvert collapsed under the roadway. The culvert drains Spectacle Pond, and the collapse blocked water flow from the Pond, causing the water to rise. MassDOT crews, contractors, and local authorities have worked 24/7 all week. Beginning Monday, seven pumps were brought in to alleviate flooding conditions and prevent the road from being undermined. The pumps are moving 45,000 gallons per minute to alleviate the flooding, as crews worked to replace the culvert. Administrator Luisa Paiewonsky was on-site Monday morning meeting with town emergency officials to assess the situation and check on the hard work ongoing by MassDOT crews. The work continues into early next week.

MassDOT crews also responded with emergency roadway and pothole repairs as two bouts of heavy rain just two weeks apart undermined pavement from Route 128 in Peabody to I-93 North along with numerous other locations. Congratulations to all MassDOT workers who kept roads passable to the extent possible given the historic rains.

MassDOT also kept drivers and transit riders informed several times daily during the peak of the road closures with the latest road closing information via the Transportation Blog, http://transportation.blog.state.ma.us/blog/ and on Twitter, http://twitter.com/massdot. To view MassDOT's photos from the storm and recent flooding visit our Flickr page at www.flickr.com/massdot.


MassDOT Partnership to Expand 511 Travel Information

MassDOT announced a new partnership with Marlborough-based Sendza to provide the next generation of 511 traveler information service at no cost to the Commonwealth.

For the first time ever beginning in May, the 511 service will be expanded statewide and drivers will have the opportunity to automatically receive personalized travel information alerts via email, text or telephone. Previous 511 service only covered communities in eastern Massachusetts.

This innovative public-private partnership with Sendza, a communications software company in Massachusetts, will come at no cost to the state, resulting in $4.1 million in one-time savings and $1.2 million in annual savings for MassDOT.

"These new 511 services will save Massachusetts millions while providing a higher level of service," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan. "Sendza's capabilities and business model are raising the bar for 511 services nationwide. By providing more information with less phone interaction, as well as a connection to advertisers for consumers who want it, travelers and taxpayers gain tangible benefits."

The current 511 system handles approximately 500,000 calls per month. The Sendza-based Mass511 system is capable of not only maintaining this volume of calls, but also allows room for significant growth as the system's user base expands. Sendza's software-as-a-service (SaaS) message platform provides Mass511 message services to residents in Massachusetts and also packages marketing programs for sponsors.

The new Mass511 system will go live in May. Check back on the MassDOT 511 web page. Learn more about Sendza here.


MBTA iPhone App Gets National Attention

IPhone TV Ad

Cambridge-based Sparkfish Creative has received national exposure after its MassTransit iPhone application was featured in an Apple TV advertisement. The app, which helps users navigate the MBTA, was made possible through the Patrick Administration's transformative efforts to release MBTA data in September 2009. The MassTransit app was the winner of the first MassDOT Developers Challenge award in November. The creators, Atticus Gifford and Lara Allard, received a "Golden CharlieCard", good for one year of free rides on the MBTA.

View the Apple ad here. Learn more about the MassTransit app here.

The app is based on the MBTA's GTFS file, which was first shared with developers last fall and is available on the MassDOT Developers Page. By sharing this data with third-parties, MassDOT and the MBTA have unleashed innovative and entrepreneurial efforts that result in applications like the one created by Sparkfish. These apps are created at no cost to the MBTA. Learn more about the MassDOT Developers Initiative and on the blog here and here.


MassDOT Premiers Spanish RMV Driver's Manual

MassDOT has announced that the RMV Driver's Manual has been translated into Spanish and posted online for customers to download and print.

Spanish is the second most popular Class D leaner's permit exam behind English, and is available at automated testing stations (ATS) located in full service RMV branches. Translations for the Spanish ATS questions are also being updated.

Paper Class D learner's permit exams are also offered in 25 different foreign languages: Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Czech, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.

The new Spanish driver's manual, posted online, was translated by Baystate Translators Inc. Volunteers are now translating the driver's manual into Korean, to be posted online when completed.


MassDOT Lanza el Primer Manual de Conductor en Español

Como parte de la agenda de la reforma del transporte de la administración de Patrick-Murray para mejorar el servicio al cliente, el Departamento de Massachusetts del Transporte (MassDOT) ha anunciado hoy que el manual del conductor de RMV se ha traducido a Español y se ha puesto en el Internet para que los clientes descarguen e impriman.

"Éste es otro paso adelante en nuestros esfuerzos de alcanzar a todos nuestros clientes y entender mejor su necesidades individuales," dijo Rachel Kaprielian, Administradora de esta división de MassDOT. "Deseamos asegurar que todos los conductores de Massachusetts entiendan la lengua universal de seguridad en nuestras carreteras."

El Español es el segundo examen más popular del permiso de la clase D detrás del Inglés, y están disponibles en las estaciones de pruebas automatizadas (ATS) en oficinas del RMV que ofrecen servicios completos. Las traducciones para las preguntas en Español del ATS también están siendo actualizadas.

Los exámenes del permiso del principiante de papel de la clase D también se ofrecen en 25 diversos idiomas extranjeros: Albanés, Arabe, Armenio, Chino, Checo, Farsi, Finlandés, Francés, Alemán, Griego, Hebreo, Hindi, Italiano, Japonés, Khmer, Coreano, Lao, Pulimento, Portugués, Rumano, Ruso, Español, Turco, Urdu y Vietnames.


MassDOT Board April Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next public business meeting on Wednesday, April 7, in Springfield. During 2010, meetings will be held in Springfield, Lowell, and Brockton, along with Boston. All meetings are open to the public.

The meeting schedule is available on the MassDOT website.