Wellesley State Rep. Alice Hanlon Peisch ([email protected]) says she and other legislators have been busy addressing concerns of local commuters frustrated with traffic caused by construction work on the Mass Pike and late-running trains on the commuter rail.
Legislators met on Oct. 8 with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, including the incoming Acting Secretary of Transportation, Frank DePaola. He said efforts to expedite work will include adding mid-day (10am-2pm) construction to the current overnight work and that another E-Z Pass lane will be added at the Allston/Brighton tolls. Additional cars will be requested for the Framingham/Worcester commuter line as well. DePaola also pointed out the existence of Ridewise, a free app for most smartphones that provides traffic condition info in real time.
During a September meeting between legislators, the MBTA and commuter rail operator Keolis, the following was also discussed: speeding up the “de-stressing” work on tracks to allow trains go faster during hotter weather; better positioning of rapid response crews to address signal problems; hiring additional conductors; cutting back trees to avoid slippery track issues caused by fall leaves; a new contract with Keolis that imposes stiffer penalties for poor on-time performance.
“I remain concerned by the MBTA’s plans to expand service by adding a new commuter line to the South Coast and new stations on the Framingham/Worcester line, e.g. the New Balance and West stations. These new stations will undoubtedly result in schedule changes such as those experienced when Yawkey opened, and the new line will stretch resources needed to maintain service on existing lines. I will continue to press the MBTA to improve current service before expanding.
Please continue to reach out to me regarding any issues you face when riding the Framingham/Worcester line so that I can work to resolve them. Additionally, I encourage all riders to communicate their concerns directly to MBTA General Manager Scott ([email protected]), Secretary of Transportation Davey ([email protected]), Administrator of the MassDOT Highway Division and incoming Secretary of Transportation (November 1) DePaola ([email protected]), and Governor Patrick ([email protected]), as they have direct control of the line.”