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On the Trans Blog
MBTA: Faster, Easier Parking
The MBTA has initiated a simpler system for parking lot payments that allows everyone from daily commuters to visitors to use their mobile phones and an online account to pay for parking at MBTA lots.
Weekend Farmers Markets
MassDOT's annual Farmer's Market Program continues through fall 2010.
This weekend's Farmers Markets include:
Local farmers or customers who want more information are asked to contact program coordinator Dave Fenton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-572-3171.
The Road to Reform
MBTA Bus Routes Real-Time Data Major Expansion
This week, the MBTA took the next step in helping bus riders answer the question, "where's the bus?" Building on General Manager Richard Davey's commitment to unlock real-time bus information this summer, the MBTA began releasing data for 118 bus routes in addition to the 17 that already have data. Now, real-time data is available for 135 of the MBTA's 185 bus routes. The full list of routes with real-time data is after the break.
This release will allow bus riders on these routes to access real-time information on bus locations and arrival predictions for all bus stops. Data will be accessible through 3rd party applications. Popular applications include:
Many other applications can be found by searching "MBTA" in your phone's app store.
This release builds on MassDOT and the MBTA's strategy of releasing data to software developers and other 3rd parties who might interested in building applications with T data. Within just one hour of releasing data on five pilot bus routes last November, a developer had already found a way to build an application. Within two months more than one dozen applications had been created including websites, smartphone applications, SMS text message services, 617-phone numbers and even an LED sign. All of these applications were created at no cost to the MBTA.
In June, MBTA General Manager Richard Davey announced that data would be available for all routes by the end of this summer. Bus routes with real-time data have been announced in stages with the remaining routes being rolled out in the coming weeks.
If you are a software developer interested in building an app with the data please visit www.mass.gov/massdot/developers.
Billerica Bridge Naming Honors Highway Leader
Governor Deval Patrick has signed a bill into law designating the Nashua Road Bridge on Route 4 over the Concord River in Billerica as the John F. Leary Bridge.
The designation honors Leary, a Billerica resident who served for nearly 47 years as legal counsel for the Massachusetts Highway Department. Leary joined the Highway Department in 1958 and passed away in 2005. Leary's work included legal and right of way issues related to construction and expansion of such major transportation projects as I-95, Route 128, and I-495. He is credited with drafting a significant portion of the state's transportation laws, many of which exist to this day.
"John Leary was a hard worker who devoted his life to public service," said Governor Patrick. "This designation pays fitting tribute to his life and his legacy."
"John Leary's work is stamped on transportation law and important projects all across the Commonwealth," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeff Mullan. "I had the privilege of working with and learning from John as a young lawyer. In dedicating 47 years of his life to public service, he was a role model for hundreds of co-workers while leaving a fabulous legacy. It is a tribute to the many contributions he left us and to the person he was that we honor him in this permanent way."
MassDOT will post a marker and sign on the Route 4 Bridge noting the designation as the John F. LearyBridge.
MBTA Accessibility Leader Marks ADA Anniversary
Monday marked the 20th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act to improve public access for people with disabilities and protect them from discrimination.
And it was a special day for Gary Talbot, MBTA's Assistant General Manager for Systemwide Accessibility, and not just because of the ADA anniversary. Gary was invited to the White House for today's celebration of the anniversary.
Before heading to Washington, D.C., Talbot joined people on Boston Common today for the local celebration. T ambassadors answered questions about accessibility, and were also available at Park Street, Chinatown, Boylston, Arlington, South Station, North Station and Back Bay Stations.
Talbot later joined the ADA celebration at the White House, seen in the yellow shirt near the President.
Talbot says significant improvements to accessibility have been made at the MBTA in the past three years, including:
According to Talbot, "management support for accessibility initiatives has never been stronger and we will have every opportunity to build on our recent successes and achieve our goal of becoming the global benchmark for accessible and inclusive public transportation."
Learn more about the MBTA commitment to system-wide accessibility.
MassDOT Supports Trooper Safety, Safe Roads Initiatives
MassDOT Highway Administrator Luisa Paiewonsky and Registrar Rachel Kaprielian joined Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray and Massachusetts State Police Colonel Marian J. McGovern as Colonel McGovern announced steps to improve traffic safety and keep state troopers safe. Five troopers have been hit, one fatally, by motor vehicles while in the line of duty.
Among the steps: increased enforcement with added patrols on weekend nights for the duration of the summer, an initiative called "Operation Lightning," that in the past two weekends already led to 24 drunk driving arrests along with more than 250 driving-related citations.
Colonel McGovern noted that preliminary statistics show that there have been 145 deaths on Massachusetts roads in 2010, compared to 184 roadway deaths in the state last year, a positive trend.
MassDOT joins the State Police in making traffic safety a top priority. Any injury or loss of life on a roadway caused by impairment, aggression, speeding, negligence or distraction is unacceptable, and any driver who engages in these unsafe behaviors will be targeted by police.
MassDOT also reminds drivers of the "Move Over" law, which took effect in March 2009, meant to help protect police, firefighters, paramedics, tow truck drivers, and all roadside emergency and maintenance workers. The law requires all drivers approaching a stationary emergency or maintenance vehicle with flashing lights to move to the next adjacent lane if it is safe to do so, and, barring that, to reduce their speed. Violating the Move Over Law could result in a fine of up to $100.
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.
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