Gov. Patrick announces $1.3 billion MBTA, transportation investment

The MBTA Red Line  (Credit: Michael Day/Flickr)
The MBTA Red Line will get additional trains. Credit: Michael Day/Flickr

The MBTA will get more than 225 new subway cars and the Massachusetts Turn Pike will start the use of electronic tolling as part of the state’s plan to improve transportation infrastructure and bring long-term relief to frustrated commuters.

The state will spend $1.3 billion to replace the 44-year old Red Line cars and 32-year old Orange Line cars – the new trains are anticipated to arrive by 2019. Passengers can expect more space and seating, as well as electrically operated doors and advanced announcement systems.

“Our customers on the Orange and Red lines have been waiting literally for years to see these long-discussed investments become a reality,” said MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott. “New cars will provide reliable service while increasing seating capacity and accessibility for all riders.”

Construction will begin in 2014 to install electronic open-road tolling with the goal of significantly easing congestion and traffic on the Massachusetts Turnpike. The tolling will enter a testing phase on Tobin Bridge beginning in January and is expected to go live in the spring.

Furthermore, design and permitting will begin immediately to rebuild and straighten the route of the turnpike in Allston, replacing a nearly half-mile-long structurally deficient viaduct, including 29 bridge structures built in the mid-1960s.

The viaduct carries more than 100,000 vehicles each day.

Officials said the Clayton Street Bridge in Dorchester, which was built in 1911 and carries the Ashmont-Alewife Red Line, will be replaced over Veterans Day weekend.

“Growth requires investment, and these projects will catalyze growth in greater Boston,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “If we want to expand opportunity in our commonwealth, this is what government must do and do well.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



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