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Patrick/Murray Administration, Mayor Menino Celebrate Modernization of Copley Station

Posted on October 29, 2010

BOSTON - Friday, October 29, 2010 - In keeping with the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to providing accessible transportation service, MBTA General Manager Rich Davey joined Mayor Thomas M. Menino to celebrate the $61 million modernization of Copley Station, located on the MBTA's Green Line.  Copley Station is now fully accessible and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"I am pleased to see the MBTA now completing critically important station projects with the necessary accessibility components that will serve all customers for decades to come," said Governor Deval Patrick.

"The completion of this major renovation project is one of the many examples of landmark improvements in accessibility across the state's transportation system," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray.  "Copley Station is a busy and visible station on the Green Line, and these improvements will provide full access for all commuters."

"The MBTA is an important resource connecting our city and making our neighborhoods more accessible to the residents, commuters, students, and tourists that rely on the service every day," said Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.  "The reconstruction and modernization of the Copley Square Station is an essential step forward in welcoming passengers of all needs and abilities to Copley Square and Boston's Back Bay."

Opened in October 1913, Copley has undergone renovations over the years but today's modernization represents a key investment to improve the station's accessibility.  In 2006, the MBTA announced renovations to Arlington, Copley, and Kenmore stations to upgrade for accessibility and general station maintenance.  Copley station is the last station to be renovated with two brand new elevators, two new glass entrances, a new escalator, and restoration of the historic wrought iron inbound headhouse located adjacent to the Boston Public Library.

"The Governor and Lieutenant Governor have made customer service a top priority in transportation, and that means serving all customers who need access to our transportation system regardless of their circumstance, and the MBTA today takes another huge step forward toward the goal of system wide accessibility," said Transportation Secretary Jeff Mullan.

Additional renovations include raised platforms to accommodate low floor Green Line vehicles, two new emergency egresses, and new Automated Fare Collection equipment has been installed in each entrance.  Surface area restoration includes upgrades to sidewalks, landscaping, curbs, and historic granite elements in front of the Boston Public Library.

"Similar to Arlington and Kenmore Stations, Copley is now accessible to people of all abilities," said MBTA General Manager Rich Davey.  "Back Bay residents and visitors alike will now experience a modern, accessible station that remains consistent with the historical architecture of the neighborhood."

"The year 2010 has been a year of celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)," said FTA Region I Civil Rights officer Peggy Griffin.  "Twenty years ago Copley Station was designated as a Key Station under the ADA by the MBTA.  The completion of this station renovation is another critical step towards realizing true independence and inclusion of people with disabilities in the MBTA system and fulfilling the promise of the ADA."

"I used to be afraid to take the Green Line because of the accessibility challenges it presented," said Rob Park, Options Counselor for the Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL).  "Now, I take it confidently—knowing I can get where I need to—from a game at Fenway to my holiday shopping at Copley Plaza."

Recently appointed by Mayor Menino to the Board of Trustees of the Boston Public Library, State Representative Byron Rushing said, "The restoration of the Copley Station headhouse is a wonderful investment in the preservation of the Boston Public Library's Central branch and of Copley Square as a whole.  During this 20th anniversary year of the Americans with Disabilities Act it is also so satisfying to see this investment in accessibility.  I know the MBTA's Office of System wide Accessibility wishes this work had been done sooner.  However we are all committed to the expensive task of making an old and historic public transit system truly accessible to all the people it was built to serve."

"The residents of the Back Bay have waited a long time for the Copley Station project to be completed," said Representative Marty Walz.  "I am delighted that those with limited mobility, families with strollers, and people who struggle with stairs will now be able to use this busy station in the heart of the historic Back Bay.  I look forward to the work on the inside of the station being finished in the coming months so that, at long last, the construction will be over."

"I am thrilled that America's oldest subway is becoming increasingly accessible to all our residents and visitors," said Boston City Council President Michael Ross.  "We all look forward to completion of construction on Copley station and enjoying the improvements for years to come."

In 1989, to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the MBTA initiated the Light Rail Accessibility Project to make the transit system accessible to all persons with disabilities.  ADA requires that certain key stations be made accessible.  The MBTA Key Station Plan, which was approved by the Federal Transit Administration, includes 80 key stations that must be in compliance with ADA guidelines. Today, 77 MBTA key stations are in compliance including Copley.

MassDOT is the new, unified transportation organization created in 2009 under the historic reform legislation passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick.  MassDOT's four divisions are focused on delivering safe and efficient transportation services across the Commonwealth.

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