John W. Olver Transit Center

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John W. Olver Transit Center
John W. Olver Transit Center in Greenfield, Massachusetts.jpg
View of Olver Transit Center from Olive Street
Location12 Olive Street, Greenfield, Massachusetts
United States
Coordinates42°35′09″N 72°36′02″W / 42.58583°N 72.60056°W / 42.58583; -72.60056Coordinates: 42°35′09″N 72°36′02″W / 42.58583°N 72.60056°W / 42.58583; -72.60056
Owned byFranklin Regional Transit Authority
Line(s)Connecticut River Line
Platforms1
Tracks2
Train operatorsAmtrak
Bus stands5
ConnectionsLocal Transit FRTA: 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 31, 32, 41
Bus transport Greyhound
Construction
Parking39 short-term spaces
Bicycle facilities16 bike rack spaces
Disabled accessYes
ArchitectCharles Rose Architects
Other information
Station codeAmtrak code: GFD
History
OpenedMay 7, 2012[1]
Rail service: December 29, 2014[2]
Passengers
20186,575[3]Increase 4.53% (Amtrak)
Services
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
Northampton Vermonter Brattleboro
toward St. Albans
Northampton
toward New Haven
Valley Flyer Terminus
Location

The John W. Olver Transit Center, also called the JWO Transit Center, is an intermodal transit hub for Franklin County, Massachusetts. Located in Greenfield, it currently serves Franklin Regional Transit Authority (FRTA) local bus routes plus intercity bus service. Amtrak's Greenfield station is also located here, with one daily Vermonter round trip and two daily Valley Flyer round trips, which are extensions of Amtrak-run Hartford Line trains.

Named after long-time western Massachusetts congressman John Olver, the hub is the first zero net energy transit center in the United States.[1] Built with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, the facility was constructed with solar panels, geothermal wells, copper heat screens and other energy efficient technologies. It houses the FRTA offices and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, the successor organization to the Franklin County county government.

Amenities[edit]

Passenger amenities available at the JWO Transit Center are an indoor waiting area, rest rooms, a small café, public WiFi service and bicycle racks.[1] Short-term parking is available for a limited number of vehicles and long-term parking is available one block away at the city lot located on Hope Street.

Services[edit]

Local and regional bus services[edit]

All FRTA fixed route bus routes connect at JWO Transit Center.

  • Route 20 Green Link Connector
  • Route 21 Greenfield Community
  • Route 22 Montague/Greenfield
  • Route 23 Amherst/Greenfield
  • Route 24 Crosstown Connector
  • Route 31 Northampton/Greenfield
  • Route 32 Orange/Greenfield
  • Route 41 Charlemont/Greenfield

Intercity bus service[edit]

Greyhound offer limited bus service from the Olver Transit Center; Greyhound provides a single round trip per day from Brattleboro and White River Junction to Springfield and New York City via Greenfield.

Amtrak[edit]

Amtrak's north-south Vermonter service stops daily in the afternoon along with two roundtrip Valley Flyer trains in the morning and night hours.[4] The Amtrak boarding platform, which is handicapped accessible, is located behind the transit center building. A waiting area is available inside the building for passengers, but Amtrak tickets are not available for purchase at the JWO Transit Center.[5]

Railroad history[edit]

The Boston and Maine Railroad station in Greenfield around 1916

The Connecticut River Railroad (CRRR) opened to passenger service between Springfield and Northampton in late 1845; trains reached Deerfield in August 1846, Greenfield in December 1847, and the junction with the Central Vermont Railway in January 1849. When the Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad reached Brattleboro in 1850, the Connecticut River Railroad began running through service from Springfield to Brattleboro.[6] Service east from Greenfield to Boston was started by the Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad in 1851, and was extended west to Troy, New York through the Hoosac Tunnel in 1875.

The CRRR was host to a mix of local and long-distance passenger and freight service. It became part of the route for crack New York-Montreal trains as early as the 1860s, and was acquired by the Boston and Maine Railroad in 1893. The Fitchburg Railroad was similarly acquired six years later.[6] Under the Boston and Maine, Greenfield was an important local rail hub for the next century.

The former Boston and Maine passenger station was situated on the east side of the Connecticut River Line tracks slightly north of the JWO Transit Center. The station was torn down in April 1966 after many years of being abandoned and due to neglect. The town council voted to tear down the station due to the threat to public safety. The former lot was vacant for many years at the end of Miles Street until the Greenfield Energy Park was opened.

Service between Greenfield and Troy was discontinued in 1958, and all service east to Boston ended in 1960. Long-distance passenger service over the Connecticut River Line ended on September 6, 1966 with the discontinuing of the Pennsylvania Railroad and New Haven's earlier version of the Montrealer. Local service between Springfield and Brattleboro lasting until the end of the year. The Boston and Maine then maintained a Greenfield-Springfield shuttle, then connecting with New Haven RR trains bound for New York City. The Greenfield-Springfield shuttle would also be terminated before the end of 1967.[7][8][9][6] In 1972, Amtrak began running the Montrealer, which ran along the line at night, stopping at Northampton but not Holyoke or Greenfield.[10] The Montrealer was discontinued in 1987 due to poor track conditions on the line.

Service resumed in 1989 after Amtrak seized control of the line in Vermont from the Boston and Maine Railroad, but the train was rerouted over the Central Vermont Railway through Massachusetts and Connecticut to avoid the still-dilapidated Connecticut River Line which Amtrak did not control. A stop was added at Amherst to replace Northampton. The Montrealer was replaced by the daytime Vermonter in 1995, using the original route through Connecticut but still avoiding the Connecticut River Line in Massachusetts.[6]

Restoration of service[edit]

Passengers waiting for the arrival of Amtrak's Vermonter

In order to shorten travel times on the Vermonter and add additional local service to serve the populated Connecticut River Valley, the Connecticut River Line was rebuilt with $73 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money and $10 million in state funds.[11]

Construction of an accessible station platform at the Olver Transit Center was to have begun in early 2014 and been largely finished when passenger service began; however, construction was delayed.[12] A temporary accessible wooden platform was completed for the start of Vermonter service on December 29, 2014.[13][14]

On August 30, 2019, Amtrak extended two daily Hartford Line round trips (branded as Valley Flyer) to Greenfield as a pilot program.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "JWO Transit Center". Franklin Regional Transit Authority. Archived from the original on 2013-11-10. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
  2. ^ Kinney, Jim (December 29, 2014). "Amtrak Vermonter makes first Knowledge Corridor run in Springfield, Northampton and Greenfield". Springfield Republican. Springfield, Massachusetts. Retrieved 2014-12-29.
  3. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2018, Commonwealth of Massachusetts" (PDF). Amtrak. June 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  4. ^ "Vermonter and Valley Flyer Schedule" (PDF). Amtrak. November 11, 2019. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  5. ^ Contrada, Fred (January 13, 2015). "Greenfield celebration of Amtrak service takes a sharp turn into protest". The Republican. Springfield, Massachusetts. Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  6. ^ a b c d Karr, Ronald Dale (1995). The Rail Lines of Southern New England. Branch Line Press. pp. 163–169, 173–175. ISBN 0942147022.
  7. ^ Official Guide of the Railways, December 1966, Boston and Maine section, Table 1
  8. ^ Official Guide of the Railways, September 1967, Boston and Maine section
  9. ^ Waite, Thornton (Winter 2017). "The Montrealer/ The Washingtonian". The Keystone. 50 (4): 31–77. ISSN 0744-4036
  10. ^ Amtrak (October 26, 1986). "Amtrak National Train Timetables". Museum of Railway Timetables. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
  11. ^ Merzbach, Scott (February 16, 2014). "Pioneer Valley Business 2014: Development hopes ride on expanded rail". Gazette Net. Retrieved 2014-02-22.
  12. ^ Fritz, Anita (February 4, 2014). "Train platform will have access from Olive Street, transportation center". The Recorder. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
  13. ^ Fritz, Anita (October 5, 2014). "Temporary platform on track". The Recorder. Retrieved 2014-10-07.
  14. ^ "Construction on track for railroad platform". The Recorder. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-28.
  15. ^ "Amtrak and MASSDOT Announce Start of New Valley Flyer Train Service in Western and Northern Massachusetts" (Press release). Amtrak. August 27, 2019.

External links[edit]