MassDOT, MBTA, and the Mass Bay Commuter Rail company (MBCR) today announced the hiring of a diverse group of 15 employees with funds from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeff Mullan, MBTA interim General Manager Bill Mitchell, and MBCR General Manager Richard Davey joined the new workers at an orientation, above. Mullan provided an update for MassDOT on Twitter.
The new jobs support the $9 million Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line project funded through the ARRA stimulus program and part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Recovery Plan. The Massachusetts Congressional delegation worked with colleagues in Washington, D.C. to allocate a total of $319 million in recovery funds for transit projects at the Regional Transit Authorities and the MBTA.
The 15 Track Laborer jobs involve work related to construction of track and right of way as part of the larger Fitchburg project to modernize the existing commuter rail line along the 50-mile corridor from Fitchburg to Boston. MBCR operates and maintains the commuter rail network under contract with the MBTA.
The project not only creates new jobs but will benefit commuters through increased capacity and faster travel times on the Fitchburg line. The MBTA has applied for additional stimulus funds to complete double tracking of the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line, allowing 80 mph travel speeds, up to 12% better on-time performance and reduced operating and maintenance costs. The Fitchburg line is the longest in the MBTA system in distance and travel time, serving a region with limited commuter options.