On Monday, March 10, 2014, the new Yawkey Station opened, and the MBTA has announced significant additional service on the Worcester-Framingham Commuter Rail Line: (See www.mbta.com for schedules.)
Nearly two years ago, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Developer John Rosenthal of Meredith Management and MASCO President Marilyn Swartz-Lloyd joined with other officials to break ground on the $14.9 million Yawkey Commuter Rail Station reconstruction project, a key public transportation component of the $450 million Fenway Center Development.
MASCO worked with members, local businesses, community groups, and state and city officials to help secure $55 million from the Commonwealth's economic stimulus funding for the station, new roadways, a multi-use path, and other transportation improvements.
Joslin Diabetes Center's Chief Financial Officer Rick Markello couldn't be more pleased about the station and the added service.
"As a longtime commuter rail user from Worcester, I'm delighted to see the completion of the new Yawkey Station. The new longer platform will allow boarding and exiting from all the train cars, commuters will be able to get to the new stop directly from Brookline Avenue and Beacon Street, and the expanded number of stops will be a huge improvement in the commuting 'quality of life' for riders from the Longwood Medical and Academic Area, who currently have to schlep over from Back Bay via buses or the trolley. In particular, I'm thrilled that the new express train will stop at Yawkey station," he said.
"Twenty-six hundred employees commute from the Worcester/Framingham commuter shed," said Sarah Hamilton, MASCO's vice president of Area Planning and Development. "Additional morning and afternoon stops will significantly reduce the commuting time for employees who use this line and we hope it will entice even more from the area to switch from driving. When MASCO funded the first engineering feasibility study in 2005, no one thought this would be possible. It's gratifying that this is now a reality," she added.
MASCO will continue to work closely with the MBTA Commuter Rail service to ensure that schedules match employee demand.
"This project will serve thousands of people commuting to work in the LMA, one of the fastest growing and most important job creation engines in Massachusetts," said MASCO President and CEO Marilyn-Swartz-Lloyd. We are very proud of the success of this public/private partnership."
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University Charles Monahan is another satisfied commuter. "If the Worcester Commuter Rail stops at Yawkey Station, the commuter saves 30 minutes in commuting time from Back Bay to the LMA. That's valuable added time to the employee and the employer."
When the parking garage is complete as part of the next phase of the project, the new Yawkey Station will be solar powered, making it the Commonwealth's first net-zero energy rail station. The solar power, transit improvements, bike amenities, and improved pedestrian connections support GreenDOT, a comprehensive environmental responsibility and sustainability initiative to make MassDOT a national leader in "greening" the transportation system.