Amherst, MA - The UMass Transportation Center (UMTC), responsible for promoting transportation research, education, and training throughout the Commonwealth, announces the opening of a new office location in the UMass Center at Springfield (UMCS). The Center, located in Springfield, MA’s downtown area, is a partnership between the University of Massachusetts and other area institutes of public higher education providing a central location accessible to each school's students. The UMTC headquarters will remain in Amherst, MA on the UMass campus, while the new location, which officially opened on September 1, 2017, will be used for educational and outreach programs, research activities, and collaborations with partner institutions and organizations.
Operating as a shared resource, The UMass Center at Springfield will provide UMTC access to educational and technology transfer opportunities through a combination of traditional classroom learning, advanced telecommunications, and other technologies. The Center not only represents an expansion of the commitment to area students and increased diversity, but its resources will support UMTC’s focus on improving transportation mobility and safety with innovative technologies and strategies.
In recent years, Springfield has been experiencing great economic growth and revitalization, including the newly renovated Union Station and MGM Resorts’ $950 million casino development project as well as the $148 million project to replace the I-91 viaduct. I-91 between Springfield and New Haven serves as the north-south axis for the Knowledge Corridor, which combines the second largest population in New England, a highly educated workforce, and a large research, business, and academic community consisting of 41 public and private higher education institutions and 64,000 businesses. According to a 2015 business survey conducted by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, the Knowledge Corridor region “consistently ranks among the nation’s top 10 in advanced degrees, science and engineering doctorates, and new patents registered per capita.”
Referencing the new office location, UMTC Director Michael Knodler noted, “The high-level of transportation and economic development currently underway in Springfield coupled with its prominence within our region makes it a logical and ideal place for UMTC to have a presence. We are excited by this partnership and the opportunities that are likely to result from it.”
According to Dan Montagna, UMCS Director of Operations, “The UMass Center at Springfield prides itself on its commitments to the community, and in contributing to the positive growth of the region. The addition of the UMTC brings not only a strong academic tie for the University, but also builds on both research and workforce development focus areas – areas that make the UMass Center all the more valuable as a community resource. This is a very dynamic group, and their past and future contributions to the region will have lasting, positive impacts."