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Official Tweeting from Mass. Dept of Transportation (MassDOT). Tweets ending in JM from MassDOT Secretary/CEO Jeffrey Mullan

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On the Trans Blog
MBTA Bus Routes Real-Time Data Major Expansion

The MBTA has taken 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.

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:

Catch the Bus for iPhone and Android

MassTransit for iPhone

BostonBusMap for Android

AnyStop for Android

myTransit for iPhone

SMS service Just Hop On

Many other applications can be found by searching "MBTA" in your phone's app store.

If you are a software developer interested in building an app with the data please visit our Developers Webpage.

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.

The Road to Reform

South Station Expansion Targeted

The Patrick-Murray Administration has submitted formal application for federal High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail funds for the design phase of the Boston South Station Expansion Project.

The $32.5 million grant application if approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration would fund the environmental permitting and design phase of the expansion project, which includes relocating the United State Postal Service facility and constructing seven new tracks at South Station. The expansion will support a significant increase in Amtrak Acela Express High Speed Rail service to Boston along with planned MBTA commuter rail service expansion.

The South Station High Speed Rail Project will:

  • Construct seven new station tracks, expanding South Station capacity from 13 to 20 tracks
  • Relocate the United States Postal Service facility to facilitate the expansion
  • Reconfigure three critical track interlockings.

In the long term, the project will provide for excess capacity to allow further service expansion beyond those currently planned for Amtrak and commuter rail. The project has received strong support from Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service.

The South Station Project application is part of the latest round of applications under the High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program and follows earlier successful grant applications by Massachusetts and other New England states.

In January 2010, the Patrick-Murray Administration announced the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $70 million in High Speed Rail federal stimulus funds for final design and construction of the “Knowledge Corridor” along the Connecticut River rail line in western Massachusetts. The $70 million grant award was part of $485 million in stimulus funds invested to improve rail lines in the Northeast Corridor.


MassDOT Speeds Hanover-Hanson Bridge Replacement

MassDOT contractors are moving well ahead of schedule in replacing the Broadway Street Bridge over Indian Head River in Hanover-Hanson. The $1.4 million project begun last winter was originally scheduled for completion in spring 2012. During value engineering, MassDOT contractors initiated an innovative plan to use precast segments in replacing the bridge, which is closed during this accelerated work.

Significant progress has been made in the past few weeks, and the bridge is now scheduled to reopen in November 2010, more than one year ahead of schedule.

MassDOT continues to complete more road and bridge projects on time and on budget. The number of projects completed on time this year is up 53%. We have slashed the average time for advertising a project to the Notice to proceed to construction from 422 days in 2007 to just 124 days this year.

Learn more about MassDOT road and bridge projects across the Commonwealth.


MBTA Lease Boosts Peabody Rail Trail

The MassDOT Board approved a a 99-year lease with the City of Peabody for a 2.7 mile segment of the former Newburyport Branch line. The City plans to build a multi-use trail along the unused rail corridor.

The lease agreement transfers maintenance of the property to Peabody, which will also dispose of the existing rail and ties. The MBTA reserves the right to reclaim the corridor should it be needed for a future transportation use.

The T has entered into 26 similar agreements with local cities and towns, resulting in nearly 100 miles of trails. The agreements enhance local environmental and recreational benefits while preserving rights of way for the Commonwealth’s future transportation needs.


MassDOT Outreach on Twitter

As part of MassDOT's focus on customer service, MassDOT on Twitter in less than 18 months has gained more than 3,000 followers, checking our Tweets for information about MassDOT initiatives, public meetings, traffic alerts, and more.

Secretary Jeff Mullan uses Twitter personally to provide pictures such as Governor Patrick's visit to Abington, left, and updates as he travels the Commonwealth meeting with state and local leaders and checking on the status of transportation projects ongoing in every corner of the state.

In addition to the success of MassDOT's social media efforts, we are piloting innovative uses of new communication tools in other parts of the organization. The MBTA General Manager recently joined twitter and in less than two months has gained more than 600 followers. Follow him at @mbtagm. The MBTA also launched its first YouTube video on the new pay-by-phone parking solutions launched at commuter rail parking lots.

If you have any ideas for other "behind the scenes" MBTA videos you want to see, let us know in the comments.

The award-winning MassDOT Developers Initiative has more than 900 followers on twitter in addition to more than 250 members of its google groups. In addition to their social media efforts, the initiative has taken an innovative civic engagement approach with MassDOT's first ever "Developers Conference" last year and many regular developers events.


MassDOT Board September Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next public business meeting on Tuesday, September 7, 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.