By Bob Weiss, Travel Contributor

BOSTON (CBS) – After 10 years and over 280,000 roadside assists for drivers in Massachusetts, the partnership program between MassDOT and Mapfre/Commerce Insurance is expanding.

Newly branded red trucks will replace the yellow DOT trucks for vehicles that run into trouble and have to be towed by larger flatbed vehicles. The company now operates 35 vehicles patrolling roads in Boston, Worcester, Springfield and seasonally on Cape Cod.

The anniversary announcement was made today at The MassDOT Command center in South Boston. On hand were MassDOT CEO Richard Davey, Highway Administrator Frank DePaola, State Police Major Terry Hanson and Mapfre/Commerce USA President and CEO Jaime Tamayo.

In addition to their roadside assistance program, Mapfre/Commerce sponsors the helicopter traffic reports on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

The partnership between MassDOT and the company is the longest and largest such effort for transportation in the Commonwealth. Mapfre/Commerce has their headquarters in Webster, Massachusetts.

The announcement took place on one of the two busiest travel days of the year on the Bay State’s roadways, especially on the Cape tourism season’s last long weekend. The other largest traffic jams occur annually on Mother’s Day.

The use of vans and tow trucks with roadside assistance will be even more important with the closing of the Callahan Tunnel from December 27 to the middle of March for needed repairs.

Bob Weiss, CBS Boston travel contributor

Bob Weiss, CBS Boston travel contributor

MassDOT is in the final stages of planning for this major event. A briefing for the hospitality industry is planned for October 29 at The Convention & Exhibition Center in South Boston.

Frank DePaola indicated that both the South Boston Haul Road in South Boston and the HOV lane for buses going to Logan Airport from South Station will be opened to all traffic while the tunnel is closed.

The major problem for drivers going to Logan Airport will be for those who will come down Rte. 93 into Boston. Their major route will take them through the O’Neill Tunnel to use the Ted Williams Tunnel.

All Things Travel Reports can be heard on WBZ News Radio




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