U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Friday announced a $20 million federal grant to the MBTA to make significant infrastructure improvements at Ruggles Station, thanks to the partnership of MASCO and its members.
MASCO representatives, along with federal officials, state and city leaders gathered at the station to celebrate the Ruggles improvement project, which will include a new 800-foot commuter rail platform, new elevators, and updates to lighting and signage.
Presently, over 40% of morning commuter rail trains cannot stop at Ruggles, and LMA employees must travel into Back Bay, then double back to the LMA on the Green Line. The new platform will allow the commuter rail to make full stops at Ruggles, thus greatly improving the commute for hundreds of LMA employees.
(Pictured L-R Senator William Brownsberger, MASCO President and CEO Marilyn Swartz-Lloyd, MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott, and MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey.)
“MASCO has been working on this project since 2007 when we privately funded a study of the platform issues with rail specialists at Jacobs Edwards and Kelcey. We collected stakeholder input including working with Northeastern University, a direct abutter and property owner to ensure their collaboration in the planning,” said Marilyn Swartz-Lloyd, MASCO President and CEO.
MASCO’s Area Planning and Development team reviewed the results of the study with the MBTA’s Commuter Rail Division and successfully advocated for state earmarking of study and design funds in the MBTA’s Capital Improvement Plan so station design could advance. “We advocated with city officials and state legislators to support a TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) application in 2013 and garnered letters of support,” explains MASCO Vice President Sarah Hamilton. “We worked with a political strategist in Washington, DC to understand the application process and we convened stakeholders including Boston Redevelopment Authority, Boston Transportation Department, MBTA, and Community Development groups to develop supporting data important to the application process, as well as generating letters of support from Mayor Walsh, the BRA, MASCO members, community groups, and local developers.”
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh all hailed the benefits these improvements would bring to the transportation hub and the neighboring community, including more job opportunities and improved transit capacity.
(Pictured L-R Marilyn Swartz-Lloyd and Senator Elizabeth Warren.)
“When we celebrate transportation infrastructure, we celebrate opportunity,” Warren said. “Transportation infrastructure is what gives us the opportunity to get to jobs, to get an education, to live in one place and travel to another, and to keep a strong, vital city operating.”
Ruggles Station is an urban intermodal facility that serves MBTA commuter rail, bus, the Orange Line subway and private bus shuttles, as well as pedestrian and bicycle access. The project will result in a shorter and more efficient commute for thousands of riders. The project also brings the station into full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, brings rail tracks into a state of good repair and improves the connection between the station and employment, education and cultural centers.