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Winter Storm Response
MassDOT responded with crews working statewide to clear state roadways during January's winter storms. Approximately 4,000 pieces of equipment representing hired crews and hundreds of MassDOT employees are available to treat and clear state roads. When necessary the MEMA Emergency Bunker is activated with MassDOT representatives on hand to respond to the storm.
As always, MassDOT urges everyone to check before traveling, drive safely and cautiously, and use public transportation where possible.
Before you drive, please check our online traffic cameras for live conditions on major roadways.
We invite you to review MassDOT's
Visit the MBTA online for the latest schedules and service advisories.
Boston Transit Service Outreach
MassDOT is committed to public outreach and working with communities to continually improve the public transportation system.
As part of that commitment in the Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan communities of Boston, three public kickoff meetings were scheduled to work with neighbors in the future enhancement of MBTA service.
The final meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 26, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, at the Mattapan Library, 1350 Blue Hill Avenue.
More information is available on the MassDOT website on the Transit Needs Study webpage.
The Road to Reform
MBTA Introduces Monthly Parking Pass
MBTA General Manager Richard Davey has announced a program to provide commuter rail customers with the convenience of purchasing a monthly parking pass. Beginning in February, commuters who park at the MBTA's "honor box" lots will be able to register for a monthly parking pass. Parking passes can be purchased on line with a credit card which will be debited to a customer's account each month.
Along with the pay–by-phone system, this new customer service makes it easier than ever to pay for parking. Davey says customers who participate will receive a monthly discount of ten dollars.
Within the next two weeks, more information on this new program will be posted at parking facilities and on line at www.mbta.com.
Craigie Drawbridge: Winter Progress
Work continues through the winter on the Craigie Drawbridge Rehabilitation project, funded by the Patrick-Murray Administration's historic Accelerated Bridge Program to repair and replace structurally-deficient bridges across the Commonwealth.
During the past weekend, workers used a barge to deliver large pieces of the bridge and erected two of the bascule leafs using the crane seen at left. The crew was undeterred by cold and snowy conditions.
During January, the contractor is removing the temporary bridges and installing the new prefabricated bascule leaf. Prefabricated sections of the bridge are moved onto the barge from an assembly and staging area upriver. The same process will continue through February.
To allow for the work, MassDOT on January 8 closed all inbound travel lanes on Route 28 southbound at the intersection of Land Boulevard for approximately 12 weeks. The Craigie Drawbridge carries McGrath O'Brien Highway (Route 28) between Land Blvd. in Cambridge and Leverett Circle in Boston.
Traffic trying to access I-93 and Storrow Drive is detoured east over the Gilmore (Prison Point) Bridge towards Bunker Hill Community College/City Square. Traffic heading to I-93 Northbound is directed left through Sullivan Square, while traffic trying to access I-93 Southbound and Route 1 via the Tobin Bridge is directed to turn right. Traffic traveling to the Charles Circle Area is detoured westbound down Land Boulevard to the Longfellow Bridge to cross the Charles River. Outbound traffic leaving Boston through Leverett Circle will be unaffected during this period. For more information on the Craigie Drawbridge Rehabilitation project, please see www.mass.gov/massdot/charlesriverbridges.
Customer Focus: Twitter
From the first day of the new Massachusetts Department of Transportation, on November 1, 2009, we have pursued Governor Patrick's vision for our organization– to lead the nation in transportation excellence. We knew the emphasis on customer service would be one way to restore people's trust in us as stewards of the Commonwealth's transportation system.
In 15 months, MassDOT has taken many steps to improve customer service. Our managers are out in our system engaging our customers. We are in the second phase of our "You Move Massachusetts" statewide public outreach effort. We have a started a "How Can I Help You Today" initiative with our front-line workers who interact with customers every day. We have a more customer-focused website that is being upgraded continually- a growing web presence that includes our most popular RMV "branch" that handles 1.5 million transactions every year. We have this very active transportation blog. If you are interested in Massachusetts transportation news and information, be sure to check our blog frequently.
A great example of our rapid development of customer service tools can be found on Twitter. If you are reading this blog, you probably know that MassDOT is tweeting regularly at www.twitter.com/massdot
We believe it is an important and growing tool that allows timely interaction with our customers. Since MassDOT's first tweet on March 25, 2009, we have sent more than 2,700 tweets with news and photos, information about public meetings, traffic updates, and links to our blog, road, bridge, and transit websites, and news articles. We also monitor Twitter for questions and concerns and answer those when we can.
Twitter's immediacy has been particularly helpful during weather events affecting transportation, from last year's floods to this winter's two major snow events. MassDOT's first priority is safety- clearing state roads quickly and efficiently. My thanks to the hundreds of MassDOT employees and hired contractors for their successful efforts during these events.
And as our crews do their work, Twitter is one way to keep our customers informed before they travel. In one 24-hour period, we tweeted 49 times and “retweeted” 13 service updates from the MBTA twitter account, www.twitter.com/mbtagm Customers are responding- we added 192 new followers to our Twitter account between Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning. We have exceeded 5,000 followers and expect that number to grow.
Social media is still relatively new and evolving. I know that it is not for everyone, but it is an effective tool for an increasingly large part of our community. We can and will do more as we pursue all avenues to communicate with our customers and gain the public's trust. We invite your feedback on this blog and on Twitter.
MassDOT Board February Public Meeting
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, February 2, 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.
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