Thirty percent of commuter trains coming into Ruggles Station on a daily basis CANNOT stop and unload passengers at Ruggles, leaving employees to travel into Back Bay and double back to the LMA on the Green Line. As if commuting in general wasn’t already frustrating enough.
Ruggles Station is a key regional facility providing service for the Orange Line, Commuter Rail (lines from Providence, Stoughton, Franklin, and Needham), 14 MBTA bus routes, and private shuttle services offered by area institutions. It is the primary transfer point for suburban commuters working at the hospitals, colleges and museums in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area and Back Bay. Ruggles Station is limited in its commuter rail operations today because the existing platforms serve only two of the three tracks. The physical limitations of the station, in conjunction with daily congestion along the corridor with both MBTA and Amtrak trains, make it difficult to offer a complete schedule of trains.
(L-R Senator Brownsberger, MASCO President Marilyn Swartz-Lloyd, Former MBTA General Manger Beverly Scott and former MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey.)
In September of 2014, MASCO joined U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and state and local officials to announce a $20 million federal grant to the MBTA to make significant infrastructure improvements at Ruggles Station. In MASCO’s letter of support, we specifically noted “MASCO has been a long-term supporter of the efforts to add an additional commuter rail platform at the MBTA’s Ruggles Commuter Rail Station, which will result in all trains being able to stop for passengers at the station. This enhancement will benefit existing riders by shortening their trip and attract new riders to the system. Many of these riders are LMA employees for whom we need to continue to find transportation alternatives in order to continue to grow.”
The Ruggles Station Platform Project will begin this spring and include the construction of a new 800-foot long commuter rail platform to serve Track 2, reconstruction of the lower busway and replacement of existing station elevators. With the addition of this new platform, more MBTA commuter rail passengers will be able to use Ruggles Station. In addition, the project will seek to improve accessibility, enhance pedestrian safety and security and address the substantial interior and exterior repairs and improvements necessary to bring the facility up to standard. Overall, the project will improve customer service and convenience, as well as overall operations for both the MBTA and Amtrak on this section of the Northeast Corridor. A spring 2018 completion date is planned.
(Platform extension in yellow, above.)
“MASCO has been working on this project since 2007 when we 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 and funding of the project. We are committed to increasing access to employment opportunities in Longwood,” said Marilyn Swartz-Lloyd, MASCO President and CEO.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, 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.