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On the Trans Blog
Fast Lane Electronic Toll Collection: One Million Customers

Congratulations to Vertia Givins of Worcester, who last week signed up for MassDOT's electronic toll collection program, Fast Lane, and became the one millionth customer account.

As the lucky millionth account, Givins will be awarded by MassDOT's Secretary of Transportation a traveling gift pack including: $100 in the Givins Fast Lane account from Citizens Bank, a Dunkin Donuts gift card, Gulf gas card, and a month's worth of McCafe beverages. MassDOT thanks Citizens Bank and gift pack sponsors Gulf Oil, MassPike Dunkin Donuts Franchise, and McDonalds.

To join Fast Lane, please call: 877-627-7745, visit Fast Lane on the web or visit one of the convenient walk -in centers, East Boston, Natick and Auburn.

View the complete One Million Customers blog post

Green Line Extension Design Group Meeting

by Kate Fichter, Green Line Extension Project Manager

The next meeting of the Green Line Extension Design Working Group will take place:
Thursday, May 26th
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
51 Winthrop Street, Medford

More information about the project can be found on the Green Line Extension website.

View the complete Design Group Meeting blog post

The Road to Reform

Medford "93Fast14" Bridges Project Praised

John McQueen, advocate and member, Regional Transportation Advisory Council/RTAC, offered praise for the upcoming I-93 Bridges reconstruction project in a post on the MassDOT Transportation blog

An excerpt of the comments is below:

"As an advocate and a concerned citizen, I am going to put myself out on a limb regarding prospects for the massive "93Fast14" project which MassDOT is in the process of beginning now, and which has been promised to be completed before Labor Day 2011.

Having attended the project's public hearing in Medford on April 14, this is to strongly express my confidence in the MassDOT/J.F. White-Kiewit team to successfully complete the awesome task of replacing the structurally-deficient superstructures of fourteen bridges on-time and on-budget. Further, I am convinced that the completed project will represent a shining example of "best practices" of which the rest of the country can be envious.

The enlightened construction plans and methods of "93Fast14" are emblematic of the "Big Dig" stigma-breaking changes that MassDOT is making overall in the agency's culture and in its competent approach to infrastructure stewardship.

Refreshingly, "93Fast14" of the Accelerated Bridge Program appears to showcase many of the long-sought reforms to improve the way in which public agencies "do business" with and for the common good, and to finally, aggressively seek ways to stretch taxpayer monies.

The way in which "93Fast14" is being handled has productively employed lessons to avoid "Big Dig" missteps and clearly promises to benefit the Commonwealth."

Visit the MassDOT blog, http://transportation.blog.state.ma.us/blog/ to read McQueen's complete comments


Mass Airports Win Snow Removal Awards

Snow crews at three Commonwealth airports in Boston, Bedford, and Mansfield are being recognized for keeping air travel disruptions to the absolute minimum.

The Balchen/Post Awards are named for pioneering aviators Wiley Post and Col. Bernt Balchen and given each year to airports whose “snow crews” did exemplary work in maintaining their airports in safe and operational conditions during the winter season. The 2010-2011 awards included:

  • Boston Logan International Airport - Winner, Large Commercial category
  • Mansfield Municipal Airport - Winner, Small General Aviation category
  • L.G. Hanscom Field, Bedford - Honorable Mention, Large General Aviation category

Logan and Hanscom are operated by the Massachusetts Port Authority. This is Logan's 3rd award in the past six years, this year sharing the award with LaGuardia Airport. Chicago O'Hare received honorable mention. Last winter, Logan's snow crews battled more than 80 inches of snow with recent innovations including flush taxiway edge lights which allow crews to plow to the edge of the pavement without the buildup of large windows, and laptop computers in Airport Operations vehicles to provide real-time field condition reporting and access storm tracking radar data on the airfield.


Drivers Encouraged to "Donate Life"

Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray and MassDOT Registrar Rachel Kaprielian have teamed up in an effort to encourage more Massachusetts residents to register as organ and tissue donors on their driver's licenses. Lieutenant Governor Murray issued a proclamation designating April as Donate Life Month in Massachusetts.

Last year alone, the donor symbol on Massachusetts licenses saved the lives of over 140 patients awaiting a life saving organ transplant. Massachusetts drivers can register as organ donors on their driver's license or online through the Donate Life New England registry.

About 99 percent of all Massachusetts residents who designate themselves as organ and tissue donors do so through the Registry of Motor Vehicles at RMV branches and on its website - www.mass.gov/rmv

Registering as a donor can save the life of someone desperately in need of a transplant. More than 110,000 Americans, including about 3,000 Massachusetts residents, are awaiting a life-saving organ transplant that may not come in time.

In 2009, the RMV became the first state agency in New England to create an on-line application to allow an individual to register to be a donor.

New England Organ Bank is the federally-designated, non-profit procurement organization responsible for the surgical recovery of organs and tissues for transplant throughout the New England region.

Donate Life New England is a joint project of two federally designated organ procurement organizations that serve New England – LifeChoice Donor Services and New England Organ Bank. They have come together to create a fast and easy way for citizens of New England to register as organ and tissue donors in a secure and confidential manner. For more information, visit www.donatelifenewengland.org.


MassDOT's Bike Pool Marks First Year

In June 2010 after Bay State Bike Week, MassDOT launched our very own bike pool at the State Transportation Building in downtown Boston.

Our goal was to offer MassDOT employees another option for traveling around town, an option that is green and healthy, but also fast and fun! MassDOT employees took advantage, logging over 200 miles traveling between meetings and site visits in downtown Boston from June – November 2010.

The 'pilot' MassDOT bike pool has been a great success. In the first year it has generated a range of great benefits including: "leading by example" with green and healthy transportation, reducing GHG emissions and congestion, and providing first hand knowledge of why we design 'complete streets' in order to better serve our customers.

GreenDOT Tip – consider adding a few bikes at your office to support healthy transportation options for your employees. Remember Bay State Bike Week is coming May 14 – 20th and presents a perfect chance to launch your very own office bike pool. It is a win-win for everyone!


MassDOT May Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors will hold its next regular public business meeting on Wednesday, May 4, 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.