Governor Names West-East Rail Director

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BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll administration is naming a director to move forward with the West-East Rail initiative.  
 
Andy Koziol, current director of rail and transit, is expected to lead the charge to extend passenger rail service from Boston to Worcester, Springfield and Pittsfield.
 
In her first budget, Gov. Maura Healey worked with the Legislature to secure funding for staff support for the project, including creating the director position. 
 
The state Department of Transportation recently received a $108 million federal grant toward undertaking the necessary trackwork to enable two daily Amtrak round trips between Boston and New Haven, Conn., with a stop in Springfield, dubbed the Inland Route. 
 
The Boston & Albany Corridor has also been accepted into the Federal Railroad Administration's Corridor ID Program, which will lay the necessary groundwork to expand passenger rail operations west of Springfield to Pittsfield and beyond. The Healey-Driscoll administration also included $12 million for the Palmer and Pittsfield rail projects. 
 
Koziol joined MassDOT's Rail & Transit Division in June 2023 with a goal to advance passenger rail initiatives and improve transportation options across Massachusetts. He has more than 15 years of transportation planning experience centered on implementing safe, equitable multimodal transportation, with a primary concentration on commuter rail and intercity rail planning.
 
"We have never been closer to making West-East Rail a reality, and I am pleased to see Andy take on this important role to continue building on our progress," said Healey in a statement. "He will be a strong leader for West-East Rail and for the people of central and Western Massachusetts who are eager to see this vision come to life. This rail connection will expand access to job and housing, spur economic development in our communities, and strengthen our state's competitiveness." 
 
Before joining MassDOT, Koziol worked for 12 years at the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, where he collaborated closely with the MBTA and Amtrak on rail service and capital planning. His experiences there included managing the planning and design of passenger rail stations, short- and long-range service planning on the Northeast Corridor, and success with obtaining federal grants for rail initiatives. Previously, Koziol spent three years working as a transportation analyst with the Cape Cod Commission.
 
As the West-East Rail director within the Rail & Transit Division, Koziol will provide comprehensive oversight and coordination of ongoing and future projects in support of the project and the Compass Rail program with MassDOT staff and consultant support. He will be responsible for implementing federal grants, such as the federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) awards received for the Inland Route and Springfield Union Station area improvements and lead the pursuit of additional federal resources to advance the effort to expand passenger rail service. 
 
"Andy's competence, experience and passion for transportation are exactly what we need in this crucial moment for our state's infrastructure," saidransportation Secretary Monica Tibbits-Nutt. "West-East Rail will be transformational for Massachusetts. It will help better connect our rural communities to economic opportunities, provide additional seamless travel routes by train, and encourage more travelers to opt for public transportation. I thank Andy for all his great work at MassDOT thus far and cannot wait to work with him further."
 
West-East Rail is an integral component of Compass Rail, the state's overall vision for intercity passenger rail services. Compass Rail includes existing north-south services along the Knowledge Corridor in Western Massachusetts as well as proposed west-east services between Boston and Albany, New York. 
 
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Koziol holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from Rutgers University.
 
"The importance of West-East Rail cannot be understated," said Koziol. "I look forward to continuing to work with my dedicated colleagues at MassDOT, and other champions of the overall Compass Rail program, to deliver for the people of Massachusetts the connectivity they deserve."

 


Tags: MassDOT,   passenger rail,   

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Second Chance Composting Comes to Pittsfield

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Second Chance Composting has recently brought their Residential Community Composting Program to Pittsfield.  
 
Memberships are open and ongoing for the 9 South Atlantic Avenue drop off location.  The program runs continuously all year, through all 4 seasons.
 
Memberships start at $9.99 per month, offering unlimited drop off of household food scraps to the location each month.  Members save their food scraps at home, and at their convenience, bring them to 9 South Atlantic Avenue and drop their material into the tote.  Members can come as little or as often as needed each month.  Any and all food and food scraps are accepted, including meat, fish, dairy, bones, and shells.  There are also other membership pricing options available for those who wish to receive finished compost back.
 
In addition to the new Pittsfield location, Second Chance Composting currently has drop off locations in North Adams, Williamstown, and Adams, which have continuous and ongoing membership signups.
 
Second Chance Composting picks up the material every week and it is brought to their MassDEP certified facility in Cheshire to process the food scraps into compost, which is then distributed back to the community to grow more food, flowers, plants, and trees.
 
Those interested in learning more or signing up for a membership can do so by visiting www.secondchancecomposting.com
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