Initiative collected 1,000 discarded needles, filled 60 trash bags across the rail network
BOSTON – May 2, 2018 – As part of the Keolis We Care initiative and Earth Month, employees and volunteers from Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis) dedicated time and resources during April to help beautify, improve and clean up neighborhoods around commuter rail stations. Keolis, the MBTA’s operating partner for commuter rail, organized and participated in several activities, including tree planting, trash removal and supporting community Earth Day events.
“We’re committed to the greater Boston area where we serve 127,000 passengers each day and our 2,500 Keolis employees live, work and recreate,” said Clary Coutu, Director of Environmental Compliance, Keolis. “Our company and employees dedicate time and resources, some of which are above and beyond what is required, to support these efforts. We’re proud to see the positive results that help to beautify our neighborhoods and improve safety in the communities along commuter rail.”
April is Earth Month, a global commemoration promoting environmental awareness and advancement. Throughout the month, Keolis volunteers organized and participated in clean up and other activities in Brockton, Roxbury, Framingham and Boston.
At Brockton’s Campello Commuter Rail Station, Keolis teams partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to plant honey locust, linden, red bud and gingko trees as a part of DCR’s Greening the Gateway Cities program. The program’s goal is to reduce household heating and cooling energy use by increasing tree canopy cover in urban residential areas.
“Programs like the Greening the Gateway Cities Program requires strong partnerships with communities, organizations, and other entities in order to be successful,” said DCR Commissioner Leo Roy. “The Department of Conservation and Recreation appreciates Keolis Commuter Services’ efforts in assisting in the planting of trees, which will improve air quality, reduce energy consumption and costs, provide habitat for animals, and further beautify the area.”
At and around the Forest Hills Station and Newmarket Square in Boston, Keolis teams focused on cleanup activities along the railroad right of way, as well as along a pedestrian footpath. The teams collected approximately 1,000 needles and filled two truckloads of litter, including 60 trash bags, 12 discarded tires and other items.
To help reduce the likelihood of continued littering in this area, Keolis and the MBTA requested and secured increased MBTA Transit Police presence along the footpath. In addition, Keolis team members also attended the Framingham Earth Day Festival.
The Keolis We Care initiative is dedicated to managing, organizing and resourcing volunteer and other activities relating to community service internally and externally. Since taking over the commuter rail contract in July 2014, Keolis teams have volunteered hundreds of hours focused on cleanup and related activities and have removed several tons of trash from the right of way and other areas around commuter rail stations, some of which is above and beyond contractual obligations.
In addition to the benefit of a cleaner neighborhood and a reduced environmental impact, helping to keep railroad tracks clear of litter and debris helps to reduce the risk of damage to trains. Looking ahead, Keolis teams are planning cleanup activities for June and the company continues to promote partnerships with neighboring communities. The company recently recognized three area students as We Care Ambassadors for their volunteer efforts that support this initiative’s mission.