Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Ribbon Cutting for Framingham Commuter Rail Lot
BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration as well as state and regional transit officials today celebrated the ribbon cutting of the Framingham Commuter Rail Station Parking Lot. Management of Framingham Commuter Rail Station, including the station’s parking areas, was transferred to the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) in a lease agreement with the MBTA in October 2016.
The ceremony was attended by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, MassDOT CEO and Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Interim MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak, Keolis Commuter Services CEO and General Manager David Scorey, MWRTA Administrator Ed Carr, Senator Kern Spilka, and Representative Chris Walsh.
“The improvements to the Framingham Commuter Rail station highlight an important partnership between the Commonwealth, MBTA, and community partners like the MWRTA to better serve our passengers,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is committed to improving the services, experiences, and reliability that benefit riders across the MBTA, Commuter Rail, and RTA networks.”
Since the public partnership project between MWRTA and the MBTA, Framingham Commuter Rail Station has undergone extensive improvements to enhance the customer experience. A new parking lot alongside the outbound platform was built to offset the demand for additional commuter parking, resulting in exponential parking revenue growth. The north side parking lot also underwent extensive changes to become one-way and accommodate more intermodal customers with a larger bus stop location.
“The services provided by the MWRTA and the MBTA are important to helping thousands of riders get to work and school each day,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “By working together to improve transportation across Massachusetts, we continue to strengthen our communities and support economic development along the Framingham/Worcester line and throughout the system.”
“The MBTA’s partnership with MWRTA proves that significant progress can be made through collaborative engagements like these,” said Secretary Pollack. “Through MWRTA’s successful efforts, this parking area, along with new security features, improved bus access, and new bike lockers, furthers the commitment to creating intermodal transit access for the Framingham community.”
Security improvements at Framingham Station have also resulted in a 75 percent decrease in downtown criminal activity from 2015 to 2016. The security improvements have included updated lighting at the station, the hiring of onsite security personnel, the installation of 24-hour surveillance, and MWRTA’s work with the MBTA to add new fencing to prevent illegal track trespasses.
Other amenities include new accessible sidewalks and crosswalks, the installation of new bike lockers in order to advance the creation of the Intermodal Hub, updated parking lot and station platform signage, solar trash and recycling receptacles, additional advertising space, public portable restrooms, and a commuter information board. New inbound and outbound stairwells to the commuter bridge are also forthcoming.
“Our partnership with MWRTA has resulted in station improvements that have lowered operating costs for the T and provided a better, safer, more accessible commuting experience for our riders,” said Interim GM Poftak. “We look forward to continuing our work with MWRTA and in pursuing future partnerships that successfully benefit our customers like this one.”
Through the October 2016 lease agreement, MWRTA provides onsite management of Framingham Station’s surrounding parking lots. A designated Parking Customer Service phone line and email were also established to connect with commuters who have questions and concerns. A fulltime Intermodal Operations Manager was also hired by MWRTA to oversee day-to-day operations and maintenance of the facility.
“We are thankful for the funding needed to complete Phase I of this Framingham Intermodal project. We are now using revenue generated by Phase I to begin Phase II. We are grateful to the Secretary for this opportunity,” said MWRTA Administrator Carr.
These improvements have led to increased ridership at the Framingham Commuter Rail Station, located on the Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail Line. Since its construction in 1885, Framingham Station has been a key fixture in the state and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its design. The modern station serves MBTA Commuter Rail, MWRTA buses, and Amtrak.
The Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail Line has also undergone additional infrastructure improvements, including restored double-tracking and the replacement of more than 50,000 rail ties, to increase performance reliability and reduce heat-related speed restrictions. The MBTA’s private Commuter Rail operator and partner Keolis Commuter Services helps to identify infrastructure upgrades and implements many of these enhancements throughout the network in close coordination with the MBTA.
“In partnership with several local transit organizations and businesses, including Keolis, the MBTA has invested considerable resources recently in both time and money to improve service on this line,” said Keolis Commuter Services CEO and General Manager Scorey. “These investments are critical in order to achieve our shared goal of growing ridership in such a way that attracts commuters and recreational passengers alike, while also reducing congestion on our roadways.”
The MWRTA was formed in 2006 by the Massachusetts Legislature to help serve the public transportation needs of the 32-town region known as the I-495/MetroWest corridor.
For more information on Framingham Commuter Rail Lot and the Framingham/Worcester Line, please visit mbta.com.
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