Secretary of Housing & Economic Development Greg Bialecki today awarded the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) a $2 million grant to construct a new public parking lot at the Littleton Commuter Rail Station. The grant is part of the $11 million in improvements being made to the Littleton Station through the $211 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line project. Construction at the Littleton Station is expected to create 40 jobs, while the entire Fitchburg Line project will put a total of 430 people to work.
“Governor Patrick has invested in our infrastructure in order to create jobs for today and tomorrow and build a stronger Commonwealth for the long-term,” said Secretary Bialecki. “Our funding commitment to the Littleton Commuter Rail Station is in keeping with the Governor’s focus on jobs and strengthening our regional transportation networks.”
“Today’s announcement illustrates the success of federal, state and local partnerships and I applaud the Governor for committing these additional funds that build on the federal funds already dedicated to this project,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “The new lot will ensure that four times as many people will be able to take advantage of the commuter rail station, creating jobs in the near term, and easing congestion on our roadways and improving the commute for hundreds of residents in the long term.”
This month, the MBTA will use the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development grant to acquire existing privately-operated parking lots immediately adjacent to the Littleton Station. The parking lots are scheduled to be open for use on July 1, 2011 and will include upgrades such as the MBTA’s convenient parking payment system and an off-street passenger drop-off area to accommodate shuttle buses from area employers and office parks as well as private vehicles. The new lots will feature 45 additional spots bringing the total parking spaces available to commuters to 195.
“Having plenty of parking at a convenient location is a key component in the development of a successful public transit station,” said MBTA General Manager Richard Davey. “By making the facility accessible and easy to use, we make public transportation a more attractive alternative to the automobile. We look forward to welcoming many new customers to the MBTA’s commuter rail system.”
“I am happy that Senator Eldridge and I were able to work with the Department of Housing and Economic Development to secure this critical funding during these tough economic times. This facility will greatly expand the ability to commute to and from the Littleton area and will further accommodate job growth and greater economic activity in the area,” said State Representative James Arciero.
“Obtaining funds for public parking spaces at the reconstructed MBTA commuter rail station in Littleton has been one of the Town’s top priorities to help ensure the success of commuter rail service in our community,” said Town Administrator Keith Bergman. “Having public parking spaces available at the Littleton station is vital to the success of commuter rail in this community, and the Town of Littleton offers its sincere thanks to the Commonwealth, the MBTA, and our legislative delegation for their tireless efforts on Littleton’s behalf.”
The Littleton Commuter Rail Station is on the Fitchburg/ South Acton line which services commuters in Fitchburg, North Leominster, Shirley, Ayer, Littleton, South Acton, Concord, Lincoln, Waltham, Weston, Belmont and Cambridge. The Fitchburg Line project began construction in 2009 and is currently scheduled to be completed at the end of 2014. The ARRA-funded station reconstruction includes the addition of a double-track, which will allow trains to use a new second track to maneuver around disabled trains and minimize service disruptions. An enclosed overhead pedestrian walkway will also be constructed to connect a new high-level center island platform to the passenger drop-off area in the new parking lot.