MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey and MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott opened this week’s 10th Annual Sustainability and Public Transportation Workshop sponsored by the American Public Transit Association (APTA) in Boston.
Secretary Davey listed the imperatives for focusing on sustainable transportation in Massachusetts, including owning and operating the oldest transit system in the nation (born in 1897); the need to keep the Commonwealth, its people and businesses moving; and the generational responsibility that Governor Deval Patrick often describes – to leave behind a better place than the one we have found.
Dr. Scott stressed the difference that sustainable transportation can make for people and their communities. Transit projects catalyze private sector development and help build the future. Every dollar invested in transit has a multiplier effect. In the case of the Green Line Extension (GLX), for example, a new program will identify and train workers for careers in transportation through partnerships with existing technical schools, industry training programs and community organizations. The Massachusetts Workforce Initiative Now – WIN – is sponsored by the cities of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford; project contractor White, Skanska & Kiewit; Bunker Hill Community College; and several community groups. The goal of the program is to produce the next generation of workers and leaders to keep Massachusetts moving. “We’re building a future,” said Dr. Scott, “for our system and our people.”
Sustainability also means investing in new plans, technologies and operating strategies. Andrew Brennan, the MBTA’s Director of Energy and Environment, highlighted the MBTA’s extension of the Green Line. As a transit project, GLX is inherently sustainable. Using MassDOT’s GreenDOT framework, GLX addresses seven key sustainability themes: air; energy; land; materials; planning, policy and design; waste and water. Brief examples include providing more “parking” for bicycles than cars; incorporating natural vegetation and green and blue roofs in the design; repurposing materials on-site; and planning for climate change and resilience. The Community Path will link GLX riders to stations, schools, community centers and house of worship.
Perhaps most significantly, the GLX will serve neighborhoods that are among the densest in the nation. With 44% of future riders living in non-auto households, extending the Green Line will make a tremendous daily difference. Travel time to jobs, school and medical appointments will be reduced substantially. When the GLX is fully operational, 71% of the households in the City of Somerville will be within a half mile of a station.
Making transit work helps communities to live and thrive – in the long run, letting people stay in their homes, walk and bicycle, travel to school and work, and age in place.
APTA recognized the MBTA for its outstanding sustainability achievements with a Gold level of certification shortly after this presentation. For more information, visit the Green Line Extension website.
Chelsea: Silver Line Gateway Project Bridge Closure posted on May 22
MassDOT will close the Washington Avenue Bridge in Chelsea on Tuesday, May 26 at 10:00 AM as part of the Silver Line Gateway Project. Appropriate detour signs will be in place to redirect traffic and pedestrians, and identify relocated bus stops. The bridge closure is …Continue Reading Chelsea: Silver Line Gateway Project Bridge Closure
MBTA: Refurbished Green Line Trolleys Returning to Service posted on May 22
The first MBTA Green Line refurbished trolley car was returned to service this week. T personnel are completing test runs on the next refurbished car to return to service in the coming days. These are the first of 86 that are being refurbished. All 86 …Continue Reading MBTA: Refurbished Green Line Trolleys Returning to Service
Travel Safely Memorial Day Weekend! posted on May 20
MassDOT encourages travelers to plan ahead and travel safely during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The heaviest traffic is expected Thursday, Friday, and Monday afternoons and early evenings. Drivers are encouraged to make travel plans accordingly and if possible avoid peak traffic volumes between 1pm …Continue Reading Travel Safely Memorial Day Weekend!