$20 Million Awarded to MBTA to Improve Commuter Rail Safety

Washington, DC - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey, along with Representatives James P. McGovern, Michael Capuano, Stephen F. Lynch, Niki Tsongas, William Keating, Joseph P. Kennedy III, Katherine Clark and Seth Moulton, today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded over $21 million in federal transportation grants to the Commonwealth.  The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) was awarded $20 million to install Positive Train Control (PTC) technology across all Commuter Rail lines, while the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) received $1.75 million for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses to be used on Martha's Vineyard.

"This federal funding to improve and modernize our transportation infrastructure is wonderful news for the Commonwealth," said Senator Elizabeth Warren. "These significant investments will make our commuter rail trains safer and our buses on Martha's Vineyard cleaner and more sustainable.  I'm glad to work with the other members of the congressional delegation to help secure these critical infrastructure grants for Massachusetts." 

"With this federal investment, commuting in the Commonwealth will be safer and cleaner than ever before," said Senator Edward J. Markey. "Positive Train Control technologies hold the promise of drastically reducing the risks of derailing, helping MBTA fulfill its core mission - safety.  Further, utilizing cleaner, more sustainable buses will help Massachusetts and Martha's Vineyard meet our climate change goals.  I'm proud of this investment, and look forward to continuing to fight for policies and funding that address Massachusetts's transportation needs." 

"Every day, thousands of commuters across Massachusetts rely on the Commuter Rail," said Congressman McGovern. "It's absolutely critical for our state's economic development that we continue to modernize and improve public transportation options for commuters - and that's exactly what these grants from the Department of Transportation will do. I'm proud of the work that our Congressional Delegation has done to secure this important investment in our future."

"Positive Train Control will make travel on our rail system safer for everyone," said Congressman Michael Capuano.  "With this funding to help Massachusetts install the technology the federal government is committing to help railroads meet their safety requirements.  I look forward to seeing its full implementation across the country."

"The implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) on the Mass Bay Commuter Rail ensures that safety is a top priority and that future infrastructure improvements to our transportation systems will improve the daily commute for thousand of commuters," said Congressman Stephen F. Lynch. "I thank Senators Warren and Markey as well as our hard working members of the Massachusetts Delegation in securing these much needed transportation grants."

"The MBTA rail system is essential for the region's economy and environment; it helps people access jobs and reduces the number of cars on the road, said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. "We have an obligation to help ensure the MBTA's system is modernized with industry standard protocols like positive train control. Every day hundreds of thousands of people rely on our rail network to get where they need to go and these funds will support the MBTA's efforts to help keep its riders safe."

"We must use any tool at our disposal to reduce emissions," said Congressman Bill Keating, who represents Martha's Vineyard. "Our district, and the Cape and Islands specifically, are faced with the reality of the effects of climate change on a daily basis. A broad scale embrace of clean-energy public transportation - like those that are being adopted on Martha's Vineyard - could reduce emissions which threaten our health, climate, and local economy. Martha's Vineyard and the Cape are great laboratories for the future development of these technologies, and Southeastern Massachusetts will continue to lead in implementing new ideas so that we can meet our local challenges with forward-looking solutions. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that these ventures have the support that they need."

"Anyone who steps foot on the MBTA rail system should feel safe and secure along their ride," said Congressman Joe Kennedy III. "With this federal funding, our Commonwealth can utilize Positive Train Control technology that will protect riders and our communities."

"Positive Train Control technology is an important tool to ensure passenger safety and prevent avoidable accidents," said Congresswoman Katherine Clark. "I am grateful that we were able to secure this grant and I will continue to fight for resources to improve and expand our public transportation systems."

More information about the MBTA's Commuter Rail PTC project is available here.

More information about the DOT's Low or No Emission Vehicle Program is available here