Public/private partnership provides new buses, improved passenger amenities
BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), in coordination with DATTCO, Inc. today announced new regional transportation services coming soon as part of the new BusPlus program to increase the intercity and commuter transportation options available across the Commonwealth and all of New England.
BusPlus is a public/private partnership in which MassDOT provides new regional buses to private for-profit bus companies. The companies in return must deliver regional services improvements and will be responsible for all bus maintenance and operating costs. The federally-funded competitive grant program includes replacement of 31 regional buses with new, state-of-the-art vehicles.
New services now in effect include the following:
*DATTCO: Fairhaven, Dartmouth (UMass Campus), and Taunton to Boston. At least two new round-trips, Monday - Sunday, expected to begin March 3rd. There is currently no direct service between UMass Dartmouth and Boston.
*DATTCO: Fairhaven, Providence, Uxbridge, Worcester (Union Station), Worcester (UMass Medical) to Boston. Two round-trips, Monday - Friday, expected to begin March 3rd. Uxbridge currently receives no commuter bus service.
*DATTCO: Existing service along the New Bedford - Boston corridor will have one new stop added near Park Plaza then continuing on to Copley Square, providing an improved one-seat ride for commuters. These new stop will be added in mid-February.
Additional new BusPlus services involving other bus companies serving Massachusetts communities also are expected to begin service in early 2014.
"BusPlus is already making a positive difference for customers with new buses and better options in expanded regional transportation services," said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey, "and I thank our intercity and commuter transit partners for helping us in making this happen."
"We are successfully following through in our promise to increase service in Massachusetts and across New England, and we look forward to additional enhancements for customers in the months ahead," said MassDOT Transit Division Administrator and MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott.
"This is a great opportunity to work with multiple state organizations and provide additional commuter service across the region," said DATTCO Inc. President Donald DeVivo.
"The BusPlus program is an example of public and private entities coming together for a common goal of improving a service vital to the future of the Commonwealth and its citizens," offered State Representative William M. Straus (D-Mattapoisett), who serves as Chairman of the Joint Committee on Transportation. "The new, state-of-the-art vehicles provided through this partnership give a leg up to the students and entrepreneurs on the SouthCoast and across Massachusetts. It is a signal to small and large businesses everywhere that Massachusetts is committed to creating a pathway that connects its job seekers with job creators."
"Linking UMass Dartmouth to Boston will make it even more convenient for our students to travel to internship opportunities and to cultural and entertainment options while also making it easier for our Boston students to return home to see their families," UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman said. "We look forward to new conversations with the Department of Transportation and DATTCO to further expand the UMass Dartmouth- to -Boston schedule and open new routes to cultural and business hubs such as Providence and New York."
"I applaud MassDOT's announcement today," said Congressman Bill Keating (D-MA9). There is a desperate existing need to connect all corners of the Commonwealth, particularly my district in Southeastern Massachusetts. The expansion of regional transportation services by the BusPlus program will serve to mitigate traffic congestion and provide greater flexibility and options for commuters. I remain committed to ensuring that the South Coast becomes a hub of opportunity for workers and students alike."
The public/private partnership includes coordination among all New England state transportation departments including New York. The regional service improvements provided through the new BusPlus service includes the creation of new routes, addition of stops to existing routes, extension of existing routes, and increased route frequency.
The BusPlus program will replace regional buses previously purchased through the MassDOT Intercity Bus Capital Assistance Program (IBCAP).
BusPlus is funded by a Federal Transit Administration State of Good Repair grant and will be overseen by MassDOT's Rail & Transit Division.
The initial BusPlus regional bus purchase is providing 31 new buses to carriers that currently or previously operated an IBCAP regional bus, including Peter Pan Bus Lines, Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company, DATTCO, The Coach Company, Bloom Bus Lines, and Yankee Line, along with new private sector partner Greyhound.
New buses include the latest advances in safety and equipped with fully outfitted restrooms, increased leg room, new comfortable seating, Wi-Fi, and 110V power outlets at every seat. MassDOT through BusPlus is working towards the goal of providing a universal smart phone ticketing applications to all riders.
BusPlus assists MassDOT in meeting Governor Patrick's ambitious goal of reducing Commonwealth's greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by the year 2020. Vehicles represent a large source of these gases. MassDOT is committed to pursuing healthier travel options, including biking, walking or transit.
In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was created to unify the state's various transportation agencies. MassDOT now includes the Highway Division, the MBTA and Rail Transit Division, the Aeronautics Division, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. MassDOT is committed to providing a safe and reliable transportation system to all those who travel in the Commonwealth and works to deliver excellent customer service. MassDOT has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach to transportation, including the Accelerated Bridge Program, the "Where's My Bus and Train?" apps and "Fast 14" work. For more information, visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot blog: http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/, or follow MassDOT on twitter at https://twitter.com/MassDOT and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo.