Archives For Transportation


Company says it’s ‘deeply disappointed’ with decision

BOSTON — A judge has denied a request by the losing bidder of a contract to operate the state’s commuter rail system to block the MBTA from moving forward with a new company.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Kaplan ruled Thursday that the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. failed to establish a likelihood of success on its claim that the MBTA “acted illegally or arbitrarily or capriciously” when it awarded the $2.68 billion contract to Keolis Commuter Services.

Kaplan said an injunction could harm the public interest by disrupting ongoing efforts to transfer operations by July 1.

MBCR has operated the commuter rail service since 2003. It claimed T officials coached Keolis on how to win the contract, and questioned aspects of the bid.

MBRC said it’s “deeply disappointed” and is focused on the transition of commuter rail operations to Keolis.


Victim identified as Rutland resident Nancy Woods

NORTH BROOKFIELD, Mass. — A bus driver helping her lone passenger disembark from the vehicle was killed when the vehicle started to move.

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said Nancy Woods, 46, of Rutland, stopped her bus near Chestnut and Maple streets around 3 p.m. and was helping her passenger get off of the back of the bus when it started to move forward.

Witnesses said Woods ran around to the driver’s side door and reached inside, but the bus hit her and continued to roll down Chestnut Street.

The bus, which was described as the size of a large van, continued to roll until it hit a garage on Maple Street.

The passenger remained in the van and suffered minor injuries.

The investigation is continuing.


By Maria Papadopoulos/The Enterprise

WickedLocal

BOSTON — A Brockton man was commended in Boston on Wednesday for intervening to help an MBTA police officer who was being assaulted at South Station.

The Enterprise reported that Steven Germain, a Quincy native who works as a Massachusetts Bay commuter rail car inspector, received a Certificate of Commendation at Transit Police Headquarters in Boston Wednesday morning.

MBTA Transit Police Chief Paul S. MacMillan, who presented the certificate to Germain, praised Germain’s “service before self, perseverance and commitment” in helping to diffuse a chaotic situation.

“His swift and decisive measures disrupted an assault on a police officer which could have resulted in serious injuries,” MacMillan said in a statement Wednesday. “His immediate and selfless intervention directly contributed to the apprehension of a dangerous individual.”

Germain intervened to help MBTA Officer Vincent Moy, who was attacked while patrolling the commuter rail lobby inside Boston’s South Station about 7 p.m. on March 10, MacMillan said.

An unidentified man began acting erratically, and pushed Moy to the ground as the officer was trying to restrain and handcuff him, MacMillan said.

Germain saw the assault and “without regard for his own well-being,” quickly ran to help Moy, and pulled the man off him, MacMillan said.

Reached Wednesday afternoon, Germain, 54, said he acted quickly out of fear for the officer’s safety.

“I just did what I thought was right, took the man off him,” said Germain. “I didn’t think anything of it.”

Germain and Moy then restrained and handcuffed the man.

Germain, who is single, said he moved from Quincy to Brockton two years ago. He is a 1978 graduate of Quincy High School.

He said he has worked for the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail for two decades.


Roads in worse shape than after ‘normal winter,’ Richard Davey says

BOSTON — The state Transportation Department is making $40 million available to fix potholes in roads ravaged by the harsh winter, the agency announced Wednesday.

“We experienced an extraordinary winter season that caused damage to our roads, bridges, and vehicles well beyond the typical year,” state Transportation Secretary Richard Davey said. “This one-time, targeted program will speed repair and recovery and maintain safe travel for motorists.”

The program will provide $30 million to cities and towns, and $10 million for state-maintained roads, including interstate highways.

Many municipalities have already been hit hard by snow removal costs, making the pothole money even more important, Highway Division Administrator Frank DePaola said.

The funds must be spent by September or returned.

The state will determine funding levels for municipalities based on population and miles of roadway. Under the formula, Boston is expected to get almost $2.2 million, Cambridge more than $385,000 and Newton nearly $349,000. At the other end of the scale, Winthrop and Dover are expected to get about $42,000.

The state Transportation Department has received about 1,700 pothole complaints already and has spent more than $800,000 filling them. Boston has filled more than 10,000 potholes since January.

“Communities will put these funds to immediate use rebuilding and repairing roads in every corner of Massachusetts, which will save money, help our economy and improve public safety,” said Geoffrey Beckwith, executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association.


MBTA will keep mosaic, build around it

BOSTON — When you start a construction project to renovate a major subway station that dates back to the previous century, you’re bound to come across some surprises.

A 100-year-old “Scollay Under” mosaic was uncovered by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority construction crews.

See photos of the sign, demolition of station

The mosaic was discovered on a Blue Line platform, near the location of the existing escalator, MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo said.

The goal is to keep the mosaic in place and build around it.

Watch video report

Before Boston City Hall Plaza was built at its current location, completely replacing old Scollay Square, the underground station platforms were known as Scollay on what would become the Green Line, and Scollay Under on what would be called the Blue Line.

The other Scollay Under mosaic has been visible on the Green Line platform.

Government Center Station closed March 22 as reconstruction begins on the station. When the project is done, the station will include a new head house structure as the primary entrance, raised code compliant platforms to provide accessible boarding of the Green Line low-floor trains,  the introduction of new elevators from the street to the Green Line level, as well as from the Green Line level to the Blue Line level, new escalators and a new and expanded fare collection area.


Passengers transported by shuttle

BOSTON — Travel has been halted on the Orange Line at the Ruggles MBTA station after a person was struck by a train, officials say.

MBTA Transit Police said the person was being transported to a hospital by Boston EMS, and the incident is under investigation.

Passengers are being shuttled between Back Bay station and Jackson Square.


Derailment video posted online

AP Photo

CHICAGO — New surveillance video appears to show the moment of impact when a Chicago Transit Authority train careened past the end of the track and up onto an escalator at O’Hare International Airport.

The surveillance video, taken from one of the more than 40 cameras at the station, shows two people jump out of the way as the train heads up the escalator.

Watch the video

NTSB officials told ABC affiliate WLS the train was going 25 or 26 miles per hour when it pulled into the O’Hare station early Monday morning.

Lead investigator Ted Turpin said the that was normal speed for entrance.

What isn’t clear is how fast the train was going when it derailed at the end of the platform and why an automatic emergency braking system didn’t stop it.

NTSB investigators said they spoke with the train’s operator, who was one of 32 people treated and released from a hospital on Monday, for about two hours on Tuesday.

NTSB officials would not comment on the interview.

Chicago Transit Authority union officials said Monday she may have “dozed off” at the controls as the train pulled into one of the world’s busiest airports.


If approved, fare hike would take effect in July

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is proposing a 5% fare increase to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority fares as part of its 2015 budget, the agency announced during a Finance and Audit Committee meeting Tuesday.

The fare increase, if approved, would take effect on July 1.

The proposal would raise local bus fares 10 cents from $1.50 to $1.60. MBTA subway fares would also increase by 10 cents from $2.00 to $2.10.

Breakdown: Proposed fare increases

Commuter rail fares would increase anywhere from $.10 to $.50, depending on how many zones customers travel through.

The increase would generated $20 to $24.5 million in new fare revenue, the agency estimates.

Public hearings would be held in April to discuss the proposed fare increase.


Speeding Buses©

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Today I saw two different MBTA buses
at two different times
Going in two different directions
They had their employer name in common
Along with the facts that they were speeding and rushing through a yellow to red light
Then I saw a speeding school bus
So now is it a must that all buses of any kind have to speed
I thought about how it must have felt
Felt to be a passenger on a speeding bus that didn’t care about my life
Didn’t care about just how easy it would have been to take the life of everyone on the bus
And maybe the lives of innocent bystanders on foot or in cars
Why does anyone carrying passengers think it’s OK to speed
Is time so much more important than life
I know that keeping schedules are important but not more important than the safety of those you transport
I wish for not having to fear riding on buses
But I do fear riding on buses
I’m almost certain I won’t ride a bus again anytime soon

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Speeding Buses©
Was written by
Felina Silver Robinson
This poem was written after witnessing three speeding buses today. It scares me to think of how many lives are put at risk every day due to careless driving.


QUINCY, Mass. — An MBTA bus driver suffered a seizure while driving through Quincy Point over the weekend, prompting at least one passenger to help him stop the bus, the Patriot Ledger reported.

Watch MBTA surveillance video of incident

At about 5 p.m. Saturday, a caller to the fire department reported that the driver of an MBTA bus had experienced a full-body seizure while driving on Washington Street, down the street from the Fore River Bridge, Deputy Fire Chief Ed Fenby said.

When firefighters arrived, the bus was pulled over to the side of the road and a passenger was leaning over the driver’s seat and had his foot on the brake while the bus was still in gear, Fenby said Monday.

“My first thing was to put my foot on the brake and put it into neutral. I stood there and held the guy until the EMTs came,” passenger Richard Hiort said.

“Must have been horrible for him. It is like, this poor guy. And the look on his face. I don’t think I will forget it. He was so scared,” passenger Patricia Foster said.

The driver, 37, received medical treatment at the scene and was taken by ambulance to Quincy Medical Center, police said.

There were no reports of injured passengers or pedestrians, Fenby said.

The 911 call from a passenger went to State Police, who alerted Transit Police that a bus driver was in distress and that the bus was pulled over safely to the side of the road.

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