FRAMINGHAM – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) recently announced $5.1 Million in funding awards to Massachusetts Regional Transit Authorities who wrote applications for innovative, sustainable, and competitive service ideas.
The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) was awarded a total of $700,000 in funding for two projects that were applied for at the end of 2018.
“This was a highly competitive grant process among all of the
RTA’s, the MWRTA received more grant money than any other regional transit authority in the Commonwealth. This speaks to the extreme need for growth in the MetroWest region and I applaud MassDOT’s vision for seeing that,” said Ed Carr, Director of the MWRTA.
First Mile / Last Mile Shuttle Enhancements: MWRTA will create an innovative phone application for users of all MWRTA Commuter Shuttles.
The application will allow riders to provide MWRTA direct feedback on
shuttle performance, and to interact with MWRTA staff in real time.
Through the application, the riders will be able to notify an MWRTA dispatcher of late train arrivals, assuring the customer of the last mile trip
performance. As the application is used and feedback is accumulated, MWRTA will be able to accurately track ridership increases and adjust commuter schedules. Additional service will be considered, if necessary.
The MWRTA will then make the application available for riders of the Fixed Route service as well. MWRTA believes that First Mile / Last Mile service is an extremely important component of public transportation, and
that by utilizing this application, MWRTA will be able to build a stronger, more trustworthy relationship with commuters, allowing for better, more efficient service for all.
Route 20 Pilot Shuttle: MWRTA will pilot a shuttle service that will directly serve the commuter population of the Route 20 Corridor in Sudbury. The Shuttle will initiate service at the Wayside Inn Country store in Marlborough, where it will connect with the existing MWRTA Route 7C, and travel along the Route 20 Corridor to reach terminus at the MBTA Riverside Green Line Station. The shuttle will allow for employment opportunities of reverse commuters coming in from Boston to work along Route 20, or to connect with the 7C and travel further into Marlborough.
The shuttle also allows for commuters in Marlborough, Sudbury, and Wayland to have a direct trip to the Riverside Station where they can travel into Boston.
The pilot shuttle will begin as one bus, running during peak commute times in the morning and evening. MWRTA will aggressively market the shuttle, provide outreach as necessary, and use the phone application to track all feedback and ridership received.
As the shuttle gains momentum and ridership increases, MWRTA will consider adding additional buses and make any changes necessary in order to make the shuttle more efficient for commuters.
“The Route 20 Pilot Shuttle will allow many commuters a welcome alternative from being behind the wheel, and simultaneously reduce carbon pollution and traffic congestion,” said State Rep. Carmine Gentile (D – Sudbury). “This project supports a reliable and responsive public transportation network. I thank MassDOT for their role in this timely innovation, and the MWRTA for once again increasing transportation services for residents of the MetroWest.”