New facilities offer transportation options, support President Obama’s ‘Blueprint’ for a Secure Energy Future
Contact: Paul Griffo
GREENFIELD, Mass. – Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff visited two new federally-funded transit projects in Massachusetts today that will improve access to transit and support President Obama’s blueprint for a secure energy future.
Administrator Rogoff attended the dedication of the state-of-the-art, energy-efficient John W. Olver Intermodal Center in Greenfield that will serve as a central hub for transportation in the heart of this northwest community’s urban renewal zone. Rogoff was joined by retiring Congressman John Olver, Governor Deval Patrick, and Congressman Jim McGovern.
“President Obama is committed to investing in transportation projects like the Olver Intermodal Center as part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy that reduces our dependence on oil, relieves congestion and improves air quality,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We need more good projects like this that create good green jobs for American workers and help us secure our energy future.”
The spacious Olver Center replaces the old Franklin County transit hub, where passengers were forced to wait for buses on two benches in crowded conditions outside Greenfield City Hall.
In addition, as a result of the Olver Center, Greenfield residents will soon have access to Amtrak’s Vermonter passenger rail service. The Olver Center will serve as a stop on the Vermonter line, which will undergo extensive improvements between Springfield and East Northfield, Mass., beginning this summer. The Olver Center is expected to be energy-neutral – saving as much energy as it uses – using, for example, solar power to light and heat the building.
“With transit ridership at near-record levels across the country, it’s essential that we continue to invest in modern, sustainable transit facilities that make it easier for hard-working families in small cities like Greenfield to get to work, to school, to medical appointments and other destinations,” Rogoff said. “We continue to call on Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill that provides reliable funding for public transportation so more Americans can choose to spend less at the gas pump.”
The Olver Center was funded with $15.1 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), including a $12.8 million boost from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The restored Amtrak service received Recovery Act funds totaling $72.8 million from the Federal Railroad Administration.
Administrator Rogoff and the two congressmen later joined Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella and local officials to break ground on a new 350-space parking garage at the North Leominster Commuter Rail Station. The garage is one of several improvement projects along Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line. The FTA is providing $6 million for the project, which will make it easier for area commuters to use local bus service and take the Fitchburg rail line to work in the downtown Boston area.