For Immediate Release - April 17, 2009

Governor Patrick Breaks Ground On First Shovel Ready Recovery Project In Greenfield

Officials "flex" highway stimulus funds to support "net zero" transit center

GREENFIELD - Friday, April 17, 2009 - As part of his Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future, Governor Deval Patrick today joined Congressman John W. Olver in breaking ground on the Commonwealth's first "shovel ready" stimulus project to move toward construction - a regional transit center in Greenfield.

The $12.8 million innovative Franklin Regional Transit Center project will be a transportation hub for Franklin County supporting public and private transit services. The transit center is designed to encourage future passenger rail services along the Connecticut River corridor. The 24,000-square-foot "net zero" building is being designed to drastically minimize energy use through energy efficiency measures and other design features, including the potential for on-site renewable energy generation.

"This project is a perfect example of how we intend to use stimulus funds to create new jobs while supporting multiple objectives - in this case expanded public transportation opportunities and a stronger economic future for cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth," said Governor Patrick.

"Investing in green energy, creating jobs and improving transit options - this is exactly what Congress and President Obama had in mind as an economic stimulus. And thanks to Governor Patrick, our state is a nationwide leader in renewable energy and energy conservation," said Congressman John W. Olver.

The transit center will be located within the Greenfield Bank Row Urban Renewal Zone and is part of the Greenfield Bank Row Private Development Site. Construction of the transit center will be the first project within the Urban Renewal Zone. It is expected to be a catalyst for additional investment and redevelopment in downtown Greenfield, housing offices of the Franklin Regional Transit Authority and Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG).

"It's a privilege to stand with my colleagues from all levels of government to launch this important project," said Senate President Pro Tem Stan Rosenberg. "This is another example of the great things we can accomplish when we work together in a spirit of partnership."

"The transportation center is a great investment for Greenfield's future. It will be the hub for the county, including the potential for rail," said state Rep. Christopher J. Donelan. "Despite our current challenges, we are positioning Greenfield for economic strength in the future. This center will bring jobs and visitors to down town."

Massachusetts has received the authority from the federal government to spend a total of $437.9 million on highway projects through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. At least $153.2 million will be committed to "shovel-ready" projects that will be advertised in June.

"The Transit Center will be a transportation hub for Franklin County and support economic development growth in Greenfield, making Greenfield a destination for business, tourism and citizen travel. So many people came together in collaboration to make this happen and I am grateful for their efforts," said Greenfield Mayor Christine Forgey.

"We are looking forward to the impact that this project will have on our ridership as it will provide more opportunities for individuals to utilize our transportation services. We are also looking forward to having the FRCOG as tenants and think that having their services in our building will greatly assist us in future transit planning," said Rick Kwiatkowski, Chairman of the Franklin County Regional Transit Authority.

"The new Regional Transit Center will not only serve as an important transportation hub for Franklin County but it will also create important construction jobs. In the near future, we expect to see many more of these types of projects underway all across the country," said Richard H. Doyle, Regional Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration

Federal recovery transportation projects are selected from the State Transportation Improvement Plan, which is comprised of projects submitted by the state's 13 Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) following a collaborative public review process including the public and dozens of state, regional, and local officials.

"The Franklin Regional Transit Center project was one of many identified by our partners at the federal, state, regional and local level that address important basic transportation needs," said Transportation Secretary James Aloisi, Jr. "These job creating projects, which get underway in the spring, will help jumpstart the economy and improve our transportation systems."

Federal officials have also announced an additional $319 million in recovery funds for transit projects at the Regional Transit Authorities and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Federal recovery funds enhance the Patrick-Murray Administration's two-year effort to address a legacy of neglect inherited and a $15-$19 billion maintenance backlog. The Administration, working with the Legislature, has approved more than $9 billion for road, bridge and transit projects through Transportation Bond bills and an historic eight-year Accelerated Bridge Repair Program.

The Governor's Massachusetts Recovery Plan will combine state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future and support clean energy, broadband and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and
Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.
For more information about stimulus projects in Massachusetts visit Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Plan website, www.mass.gov/recovery.

For more information about transportation stimulus projects visit the Executive Office of Transportation's stimulus site by clicking on the "recovery" tab at www.mass.gov/youmovemassachusetts.

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