Moving Massachusetts Forward
Follow MassDOT on Twitter Follow MassDOT on Twitter

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

Subscribe to MassDOT Subscribe to MassDOT
On the Trans Blog
Green Line Extension Design Update
by Kate Fichter, Green Line Extension Project Manager

Thanks to everyone who was able to participate in last week's Green Line Extension Design Working Group. Presentation materials from the meeting are now available on the project website under Current Materials/Green Line Extension Design Working Group.

We're also pleased to announce that the boring and field survey work has been completed. We want to thank everyone for your patience and support as we completed this important work.

More information about the Green Line Extension project, including information about upcoming public meetings, can be found at the Green Line Extension website. Should you have any questions, please contact Kate Fichter by email.

Thank you for your interest and participation.

MassDOT Focus: Customer Service
By Christine M. Bond, MBTA Assistant Director of Education & Development

This fall, thirty MassDOT front-line ambassador employees from the MBTA, Registry of Motor Vehicles, Mass Highway and Mass Bay Commuter Rail have worked with a team of expert instructors to design the new customer service training program, "How Can I Help You Today?" Our goal is to assure customer service excellence no matter where a customer is served at MassDOT.

Terri Furlong, the Assistant Manager of Tolls & Tunnels, recently passed along an excellent example. Anne Kathryn Kauffman drove through the Sumner and Callahan tunnel toll plaza each day for three months, and on her last day sent a note of thanks to toll collectors that said in part,

"I will truly miss my daily passage by your toll booths. Thank you so much for bringing me a daily dose of joy. Boston is lucky to have such professional and friendly people at the entrance to the city. I sincerely wish you all the best."

Read the complete customer service article.

The Road to Reform

Transportation Advisory Committee: Cost Savings Report


by Alan Macdonald
Chair, Transportation Advisory Committee

The Massachusetts Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) met this week to discuss the progress of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation toward cost savings and management improvements intended by the MassDOT reforms enacted by the state legislature in 2009.

TAC is an independent body appointed by MassDOT Secretary Jeff Mullan, serving as a public forum to discuss issues relating to the implementation of the Commonwealth's transportation reform legislation, and to verify and observe MassDOT's progress on reform.

At this week's meeting, TAC received a report from Secretary Mullan highlighting MassDOT's first year of achievements. Much of MassDOT's success in the first year related to improvements in the efficiency and productivity of the Department's operations; but perhaps the most visible result of the work in Year One is a deepening culture within the Department for best-of-customer-service in every aspect of MassDOT's performance.

TAC members received documentation at the meeting of approximately $130 million in MassDOT cost savings, which resulted from a combination of lowered borrowing costs, improved health care expenses, leaner payroll, and a number of best practices under contracts for outside supplies and services.

The MassDOT Year One Scorecard & Cost Savings Summary is available on the web.

In the year ahead, TAC will be reviewing these and other savings, and looking at the next phase of work under the legislative reforms. Also, TAC will be monitoring MassDOT's work in meeting recommendations of the state's Transportation Finance Commission and the D'Allesandro study. Many of these recommendations have been reached in the first year of operations, but others have a longer-term timeline.

In 2011, TAC will be meeting bi-monthly, and will be communicating with interested parties on MassDOT's continued efforts to provide the best in customer service and the best in efficient and productive operations.


MassDOT's First Annual Report

MassDOT has released the first Annual Report for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

Governor Deval Patrick in June 2009 signed into law the landmark transportation reform legislation integrating transportation agencies and authorities into a new, streamlined organization. MassDOT was established on November 1, 2009.

The organization governed by a five-member Board of Directors includes four divisions: Highway, Rail & Transit, Aeronautics and the Registry of Motor Vehicles, along with the Office of Planning and Programming.

The first year of the new MassDOT has brought reform, efficiency, and a renewed focus on customer service.

MassDOT's first Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan, said, "I have traveled throughout Massachusetts, meeting with employees and citizens sharing the Governor's vision for creating a single, unified transportation enterprise that puts the customer first and is focused on safety. We have made good progress, but much work remains to be done."

View the MassDOT 2010 Annual Report.


Yawkey Station Project Boosts Fenway Development

Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray this week joined Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to break ground on the $13.5 million Yawkey Commuter Rail Station reconstruction project, a key public transportation component of the $450 million Fenway Center development.

When completed, Yawkey Station will be a full-service commuter rail station with full-length accessible station platforms providing access from Beacon Street and Brookline Avenue and more than doubling service on the Worcester-Framingham Commuter Rail Line from 17 to 40 stops per day. The station construction is expected to create 150-200 jobs.

The planned Fenway Center development project includes air rights development over Interstate 90 and will create significant pedestrian and green space improvements while providing transit and office space in the Longwood Medical and Fenway area. The project includes more than 330 apartments, 370,000 square feet of office space, 150,000 square feet of retail space, more than 30,000 square feet of park space, and more than 1,000 parking spaces.

Construction on the station will begin this year with completion slated for spring 2012. An extension of Yawkey Way will connect the station with shuttle buses that serve the Longwood Medical Area, creating an intermodal connection for thousands of employees. A bicycle share station and bicycle racks are also planned as part of the project.

The new Yawkey Station will be powered entirely by solar power, making it the Commonwealth's first net-zero energy rail station. The solar power, transit improvements, bike amenities, and improved pedestrian connections support "GreenDOT," a comprehensive environmental responsibility and sustainability initiative to make the Patrick-Murray Administration's MassDOT a national leader in "greening" the state transportation system.

Intermodal transit projects are a part of the more than $4 billion infrastructure investments being made through the Administration's Massachusetts Works initiative putting nearly 20,000 people to work across the Commonwealth this construction season.


Craigie Bridge: Cooperation and Coordination


by Thomas Tinlin, City of Boston Transportation Department Commissioner

Boston Mayor Tom Menino often says, "It's not about who gets the credit, it's about getting the job done."

The Craigie Street Bridge project is, in my opinion, the poster child for cooperation and coordination among state agencies and local municipalities. It is a pleasure to work with a dedicated group representing the governmental and private sector parties impacted by what is the expected to be the most significant traffic detour required during the reconstruction of the bridges over the Charles River Basin.

The Boston Transportation Department is hosting the group daily at the Traffic Management Center at Boston City Hall to both monitor and adjust the traffic management plan for the duration of the detour of all southbound traffic along Route 28 from Cambridge towards Boston. Joining MassDOT and the City of Boston for this effort have been DCR, Mass State Police, MBTA Transit Police, Somerville Police, the Somerville Traffic Department, Cambridge Police and Cambridge Traffic Department, as well as the Museum of science, Mass General Hospital and "A Better City" representing Boston's business interests. Collectively, the group brings a wealth of knowledge and resources that is invaluable to our collective goal, which is to keep traffic impacts to a minimum for the duration of the project.

It is crucial that this project proceeds in a safe and efficient manner, not just for Cambridge, Somerville and Boston, but for the benefit of the region as a whole. Although we're still in the early stages, our prospects for success look good. Working together, we have been able to displace 25,000 vehicles a day while managing to keep this area up and running, and the impacts to our collective Cities to a minimum.

Under the leadership of MassDOT, we will continue to work together in a spirit of cooperation and coordination to see this project through. Our current efforts are a model for how government can and should work every day. At BTD, we look forward to this approach being the standard in future cross-jurisdictional projects in which we participate.


MassDOT Board December Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, December 1, 1:00pm, 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.