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On the Trans Blog
Neponset River Bridge Project Update

Work continues in Quincy-Boston on Phase II of the Neponset River Bridge project, funded by the Patrick-Murray Administration's Accelerated Bridge Program to repair structurally deficient bridges across the Commonwealth.

As part of the work, effective February 1 the ramp from Quincy Shore Drive to Hancock Street - the area of Neponset River Landing beneath the Neponset River Bridge - will close to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Read the full Neponset Bridge Project Update blog entry.

MBTA Monthly Parking Pass

Beginning this week, 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.

The Road to Reform

Green Line Extension: New Light Rail Vehicles

by Kate Fichter, Green Line Extension Project Manager

We are pleased to announce that the MBTA recently published a request for proposals for the development and delivery of 24 new Green Line "Type 9" light rail vehicles. These new vehicles will help to support the future operation of the Green Line Extension. Please visit the MBTA website to review the invitation for bids in more detail.

Also, a recent article from the American Planning Association featured a cover story on the Green Line Extension. We hope you will find it interesting.

As always, if you have any questions on the project, please email katherine.fichter@state.ma.us. More information about the project can be found on the project website at www.mass.gov/greenlineextension.


Planning Transportation's Future: MPOs

by Karl Quackenbush, Acting Director, Central Transportation Planning Staff

Unlike the late-night-TV Ginsu knife salesman, transportation planners in the state can’t promise you a high-value transportation network at cut-rate prices. It’s expensive to maintain, operate, and expand a system and still keep it safe, secure, and accessible. But planners and decision makers can commit to trying to achieve the biggest bang for the buck, particularly considering the scarcity of funds for transportation capital projects and the tremendous need for maintenance and modernization. We also need to send the limited federal funds to the right projects and programs – those that make our system more sustainable (by reducing our carbon footprint and ongoing costs) and keep the system working for us, our regional economy, and job growth. The "we" here is multifaceted.

The side responsible for making decisions about how federal transportation dollars are spent is the state’s metropolitan planning organizations. MPOs were created to have a vision for the future, plan how to get there, and fund projects that move us in that direction.

You are included in this equation.

There are 10 MPOs in the Commonwealth. (For 3 areas in the state, regional planning agencies do this work.) MPOs work best when members of the public participate. Please get involved in this process. Follow this link to find an interactive MPO map to get to your MPO's website.

Learn about the metropolitan planning process. Then tell them what you think.


Winter Storm Response

MassDOT again this week dispatched crews statewide to clear state roadways during a two-day winter snow and ice event.

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: www.mass.gov/511/cameras

We invite you to review MassDOT’s winter driving tips.

Visit the MBTA online for the latest schedules and service advisories.


MBTA "Real-Time" Information One-Stop Shop

The MBTA reminds riders commuting in winter weather who have smartphones to consider using one of the many "real-time" applications now available to track bus, train, and subway arrival times and locations.

Since MBTA began releasing real-time and schedule data, developers have been busy building innovative applications that make riding the T easier.

In addition to Service Alerts available at MBTA.com, these applications available for web, cell phone and smartphone give you the information you need to get around the system.

On the MBTA website App Showcase page you will find some of the many applications built by developers.

You can also find applications by searching "MBTA" in your phone’s app store.


MassDOT Board Rescheduled February Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Monday, February 7, 1:00pm, MBTA Board Room, Suite 3910, State Transportation Building, Boston. The meeting was rescheduled due to winter weather.

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.