Worcester, MA (April 3, 2012) - April 2012 marks a new and exciting time in transportation for the City of Worcester, with the groundbreaking of the new Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) Transportation Hub, which will take place at Union Station today.
"It is imperative that we invest in Regional Transportation Authorities across the entire Commonwealth to help drive economic development and improve the lives of all residents in Massachusetts," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray. "Today’s groundbreaking for the WRTA will support immediate job creation and develop a more centralized and enhanced transportation system for Worcester and the region."
The new WRTA Transportation Hub will offer passengers a central transportation facility that will support and encourage connections between
other various modes of transportation which are already located at Union Station, providing easier accessibility to numerous destinations.
Approximately 230 buses will arrive and depart Union Station during the course of the day, which represents a significant increase in foot traffic at Union Station. There will be a direct connection down Front Street to link City Hall and Union Station.
"The relocation of the WRTA offices and downtown transfer station to Union Station makes perfect sense. This move will help make Union Station a true intermodal transportation hub. It’s good news for passengers and for economic development in the City," said U.S. Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA).
When completed, the new 14,000 square foot facility will house the WRTA’s administrative offices and its customer service center. Included in the design are a new bus pavilion with an enclosed public waiting area, restroom facilities, ticket vending machines and eight bus slips. The design will incorporate green building energy concepts and new, state-of-the-art technology.
"This is an opportunity for the WRTA to improve service and access for its patrons and to increase public transit ridership on our City buses," said Worcester City Manager Michael V. O’Brien, Vice Chair of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board. "The addition of the WRTA bus pavilion and transfer station will provide full services to patrons and complement the original vision for an intermodal transportation hub at Union Station."
"The development of a new [Transportation] Hub near Union Station is a very exciting time for the WRTA and our passengers. This new facility will give the traveling public a convenient place to transfer to commuter rail, interstate buses and all the WRTA routes. The hub will provide an indoor waiting area, a covered platform and easy access to our customer service center," said William Lehtola, chairman of the WRTA Advisory Board.
The project has an estimated cost of $14 million, and is being funded 100% by the Federal Transit Administration and the State. This funding was mandated for capital projects and not day-to-day operations. The WRTA’s current site on Grove Street is in need of significant repairs and has become functionally obsolete.
"The WRTA was very pleased to be the recipient of this funding to provide easier accessibility for the public," WRTA Administrator Stephen
O’Neil said. "The new Transportation Hub, made possible through the Federal Administration Grant and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
provides many sustainable benefits to our organization. Not only does it provide riders with a regional transportation center, but it also eliminates an annual rental payment for the RTA Transit Brokerage office, provides us with an opportunity to sell the Grove Street location and reduces operational costs through green components such as solar panels," O’Neil said. "This is an incredible stepping stone to the future of Worcester’s public transportation and the long-term fiscal health and sustainability of our organization."
"MassDOT and the MBTA are focused on making improvements to our multimodal transportation system that enhance the system’s efficiency
and ease of use for our customers," said Acting MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis. "The WRTA Transportation Hub is a great example of
an investment that puts our customers’ needs first."
The WRTA Transportation Hub project has an anticipated completion date of Spring 2013. Architects and Engineers for the project are Wendel
Duchscherer Architects & Engineers, Amherst, NY; Project Manager is Skanska USA Building, Springfield, MA; and contractor for the project is Consigli Construction Co. of Milford, MA.
For more information on the WRTA, visit www.therta.com.