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On the Trans Blog
MassDOT PWED Grant Boosts Abington

Governor Deval Patrick joined local leaders in Abington to highlight a $1.67 million MassDOT Public Works Economic Development (PWED) grant helping to revitalize the North Abington business district.

Now under construction, the funds support the redevelopment of the district through roadway resurfacing, sidewalk improvements and streetscape enhancements. The project includes installation of a traffic signal at Routes 58 and 139, and construction of a 34-space parking lot for nearby Arnold Park. The project is moving forward with new parking already in place and with work continuing through this fall.

"This project is making real improvements to the Abington business district and creating even more private investment as a result," said Governor Patrick. "This is how we strengthen this economy and continue to outperform other states."

MassDOT provides PWED funding awards to municipalities for transportation infrastructure improvements that will spur economic development, job creation, smart growth and better pedestrian access. Since 2000, nearly 100 projects in 66 municipalities have been awarded approximately $100 million. The grant funding has leveraged hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment and helped create thousands of local jobs -- both permanent and temporary construction jobs.

New MBTA Fairmount Line Station Announced

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan announced the groundbreaking for the $17.7 million Four Corners/Geneva Commuter Rail station project. As part of the Fairmount Commuter Rail Line Rehabilitation Project, the Four Corners/Geneva station, seen in the drawing at left, is one of four new commuter rail stations to be built along the corridor.

Work on the Four Corners/Geneva station will include the construction of new high-level platforms with detectable warning strips, new canopies, access ramps, passenger shelters, electronic message signs and pedestrian-friendly walkways.

The Road to Reform

RMV/AAA Partnership Opens Branch in Framingham

MassDOT officials opened the third of three RMV branches in AAA Southern New England offices with this week's opening in Framingham. Branches at AAA offices opened earlier this month in Worcester and Plymouth. The initiative to offer basic licensing and registration services to AAA members followed a successful year-long pilot program with MassDOT's RMV Division.

Registrar Rachel Kaprielian and AAA Southern New England President & CEO Mark A. Shaw launched the new service at AAA in Framingham. All three offices will offer their members the opportunity to renew their licenses and vehicle registrations during regular business hours which include Saturdays from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.

"This unique partnership with AAA heralds a new way to deliver basic transportation services to the customers we share with AAA," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "Nearly half of the states 4.6 million drivers belong to the motor club so it only made sense to offer them registry services at their offices in Worcester, Plymouth and now Framingham."

AAA has successfully provided RMV services in Rhode Island and Connecticut for several years and the start of the permanent program in Massachusetts is expected to be a popular benefit for AAA members.

Registration and driver license renewals will be available at the three AAA locations during regular business hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. AAA Worcester is located at 25 Mountain Street East, AAA Plymouth at 29 Home Depot Drive and AAA Framingham at 653 Worcester Road (Route 9).

In the past two years, MassDOT RMV has made the online branch the busiest by adding more than a dozen new transactions to the website which resulted in 40% more customer traffic. Recently, the RMV unveiled its latest online transaction, giving permit holders the ability to schedule road tests online. Last month, the RMV added another feature that allows drivers to cancel their license plates online rather than turning them in at a branch.

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MBTA: Faster, Easier Parking

The MBTA as of today, July 23, initiated a simpler system for parking lot payments that will allow everyone from daily commuters to visitors to use their mobile phones and an online account to pay for parking at MBTA lots. Customers parking in MBTA-owned and operated lots with existing cash honor boxes will be able to pay for parking online or via phone while in their cars or once they board a train, bus, or commuter boat.

As part of a new partnership with Parkmobile USA, customers can visit www.parkmobile.com and enroll in the new program for free, and have access to their on-line accounts 24 hours a day/7 days a week. T riders can also download a mobile app.

Once registered, customers can use the mobile app, the internet, a text message or a phone call to pay for parking. TTY service is also available. The phone number will be displayed on signs at MBTA parking facilities.

The new service will be available for 23,733 parking spaces at nearly 70 MBTA-owned lots with existing cash honor boxes. In the weeks and months to follow, the T will work to expand the new system to lots that are not operated by the MBTA. Only two U.S. transit systems offer more parking spaces than the MBTA. Informational signs will be posted over the next few weeks to inform T customers about the change in service. For MBTA news and updates visit MBTA on the web.


Worcester Project Boosts Public Safety

Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray this week announced that the first phase of infrastructure improvements to Worcester's Emergency Operations Center and the Leary Regional Training Facility is moving forward. The improvements will include enhanced pedestrian and emergency vehicle access at the site, which is also home to the Worcester Fire Department's Headquarters and the Grove Street Fire Station. The first of its kind facility currently serves more than 65 communities and provides year-round fire department training while serving as the command post for the City's Emergency Operations Center.

Today's groundbreaking begins Phase 1 of the project, which will construct the first of three additional access points that will allow safety officials to maintain a larger capacity of public safety vehicles.

"Public safety is a top MassDOT priority. The Grove Street transportation infrastructure investment will provide an important upgrade for a key Worcester fire and emergency facility," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeff Mullan.

The 2008 Transportation Bond Bill provided funding for the project, with design and construction to be overseen by the City of Worcester. The entire project is scheduled to be completed in 2012.

MassDOT transportation infrastructure investments, including road and bridge projects, are part of the more than $4 billion infrastructure investments being made through the Administration's Massachusetts Works initiative to put nearly 20,000 people to work across the state this construction season.

The Commonwealth's investment in roads and bridges has grown from $515 million in fiscal year 2007 to a projected $1.085 billion in fiscal year 2010.The road and bridge construction program will support more than 10,000 jobs on 385 separate projects across the Commonwealth.

Learn more about Massachusetts Works.


Weekend Farmers Markets

MassDOT's annual Farmer’s Market Program continues through fall 2010.





This weekend’s Farmers Markets include:

Lee East on Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 9:30 PM - 5:30 PM.
Charlton West on Friday, Saturday & Sunday 9 AM - 4 PM.
Charlton East on Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 9 AM - 4 PM.
Ludlow West on Friday & Saturday from 9 AM - 4 PM.
Framingham on Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 10 AM - 4 PM.

Local farmers or customers who want more information are asked to contact program coordinator Dave Fenton at dave.fenton@state.ma.us or 413 572 3171.


MassDOT Board August Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next public business meeting on Wednesday, August 11, 1:00pm, in the MBTA Board Room, Suite 3910, State Transportation Building, Boston. The MBTA Board will meet first at 1pm, followed by the MassDOT Board. All meetings are open to the public.

The meeting schedule is available on the MassDOT website.