BOSTON – Monday, May 04, 2009 – As part of his Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state’s economic future, Governor Deval Patrick joined Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Transportation Secretary James Aloisi today to announce federal stimulus funding to improve bus service along New England’s busiest bus corridor and in neighborhoods currently unserved by rapid transit.
The two-stage bus rapid transit project will provide a direct Silver Line connection from Dudley Station to South Station in Boston this fall, and replace an existing heavily-used bus route from Mattapan to Ruggles Station with rapid transit bus service that will provide faster, more reliable service to tens of thousands of trips a day. The announcement comes after the recent announcement of the Patrick Administration «flexed» highway federal recovery funding to build a state-of-the-art regional transit center in Greenfield.
«With smart, strategic use of federal recovery funds we can bring rapid transit to some of Boston’s busiest bus routes, connecting key neighborhoods and delivering reliable service for tens of thousands of commuters who rely on the MBTA,» said Governor Patrick.
«Improving and expanding our transportation infrastructure is critically important to our economy,» said Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray. «Projects like these will not only benefit commuters but also the businesses that count on reliable service for their employees.»
«I am proud to support this project because it will revitalize one of Boston’s most important corridors and get shovels in the ground and people back to work,» said Mayor Thomas Menino. «My administration is committed to helping the MBTA connect our neighborhoods more directly to Boston’s financial district and creating more opportunities for our residents.»
In the first stage of the initiative, the Executive Office of Transportation will use federal recovery funds to improve Silver Line service with a direct connection from Dudley Station to South Station, including the addition of dedicated bus lanes on Essex Street and a new, state-of-the-art street-level terminal at South Station with lighting, seating, heaters, and countdown signals to provide additional comfort to riders.
Concurrently, a mix of transit and highway federal recovery funds will also be used to enhance service along New England’s busiest bus corridor in the neighborhoods of Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester. The existing Route 28 bus line will be transformed into first-class bus rapid transit service from Mattapan Station on the Red Line to Ruggles Station on the Orange Line with a direct connection to the Silver Line. Additional station facilities will be located along Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan and Dorchester, as well as along Warren Street in Roxbury.
This new state-of-the-art bus rapid transit line will also feature dedicated bus lanes, longer «articulated» diesel-hybrid buses, and innovative design and technology features like «queue jumping» (allowing buses to bypass lines at traffic signals) and traffic signal priority to speed up service and dramatically improve reliability. In addition, federal transit stimulus funds will be used to invest in several upgrades to the Dudley Square Station.
The two-stage bus rapid transit project is will cost approximately $114 million, but it could change as the specific design is more refined. Of the projected $114 million, $76 million is for construction and the remainder is for planning, engineering, right-of-way acquisition, and other administrative costs.
«The development of safe and efficient public transportation is a job-creator and an energ