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4/28/2003



Rail News: Passenger Rail

MBTA prepares for new rail service provider


Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) officials are expecting to provide enhanced service beginning this summer when the authority changes rail service providers.



On July 1, Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR) plans to take over operational duties from Amtrak, which has provided MBTA service for the past 16 years. Early this year, MBCR was awarded a five-year, $1.07 billion contract to operate and maintain the commuter-rail system.



MBTA and MBCR now are preparing for the transition from Amtrak to MBCR. The authorities plan to assess the condition of rolling stock, track, signals, bridges, stations and maintenance equipment; audit environmental conditions at stations, maintenance areas and layover sites; and create policies and procedures for maintenance and management.



Once MBCR takes over operations, it plans to focus on ridership growth, customer service, increased operational efficiency and asset utilization, workforce development, and enhanced safety and security, according to a prepared statement.



MBCR plans to open a customer service center to sell tickets and passes, and provide information to customers. The company also plans to sponsor classes, workshops and other training options for employees, and continually reinforce safety and security measures for passengers and employees.



MBCR is a partnership between Connex North America, Bombardier Transportation and Alternate Concepts Inc.


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