For Thanksgiving Day, the DTA and local bank team up to provide free city wide transportation and special shuttle service to senior residents and community centers to the annual Thanksgiving Day dinner at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center on the Bayfront.
The DTA also holds an annual December promotion, making proximity-sensitive EZ-Cards free with any fare purchase. They make great stocking stuffers and encourage riders to use the touchless farecards. EZ-Cards speed up boarding and save on farebox maintenance. They also allow drivers to dress up as Santa/Elves for a day and pass out candy.
From Memorial Day to Veterans Day, Gold Star Coach Keeps Rolling
More than 30,000 veterans have returned to Massachusetts from the Global War on Terror and Overseas Contingency Operation. With so many military veterans employed by the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail (MBCR), finding an appropriate way to express our gratitude to local fallen heroes is something we developed with passion and our deepest respect. Thus, the Gold Star Memorial Coach was created to honor fallen Massachusetts heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Unveiled just before Memorial Day and wrapped in an American flag adorned with 137 gold stars — one for each Bay State serviceman/woman who gave their life in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom — the Gold Star Memorial Coach has joined the rest of the commuter rail fleet and traveled thousands of miles across Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
While roads and bridges are often named after our armed service veterans, the launch of the first-ever memorial train coach is an extension of the transportation’s community’s recognition of military service.
In addition to being part of regular commuter rail service, the Gold Star Memorial Coach makes special viewing appearances in communities across Massachusetts where Gold Star Families, veterans’ organizations and the general public can pay their respects to local heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and their families.
More than a dozen viewing events have been held since the coach’s inception this spring. During special visits to Scituate, Kingston, Lowell, Lynn and Worcester commuter rail riders, neighbors and veterans gathered on train platforms, waving American flags and expressing their deepest gratitude for the ultimate sacrifices made by the Gold Star Families in attendance.
In recognition of Veterans Day, the Gold Star Memorial Coach will make a special trip to Gillette Stadium for the November 11 New England Patriots game vs. the Buffalo Bills. Ten veterans and a guest will enjoy free admission to the game compliments of the Military Friends Foundation and join the thousands of commuter rail riders for the trip to the Foxboro football stadium. A moment of silence will be observed at Boston’s South Station prior to the coach’s departure.
This fall, far beyond the nearly 80 communities MBCR trains usually travel through, the Gold Star Memorial Coach will take a ride on the Cape Cod Central Railroad. While there, Cape Cod area veteran’s organizations will gather around the rolling memorial to pay their respects in a somber ceremony for those soldiers who’ve given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hugh Kiley Jr., general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad can’t thank his employees enough for the efforts they’ve made — from the mechanical department installing the gold star wrap, to all who work to make sure the Memorial Coach visits every community it’s requested in. “Our employees are proud to operate this very special memorial for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”