Gov. Deval Patrick began this year’s “car-free week” at Hampton Ponds State Park Monday morning, near the Massachusetts Turnpike and Energy and Environment Security Richard Sullivan’s home in Westfield.
The pair carpooled into Boston in Sullivan’s hybrid-engine car, marking the beginning of the Patrick administration's annual effort to highlight transportation alternatives and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Later Monday morning, Patrick was on the MBTA's Red Line, shuttling between downtown and Dorchester.
“Well I think probably more than anything it's trying to draw attention to the importance of reducing our carbon footprint, doing what we can to be as efficient as possible,” Patrick told the News Service Monday.
After morning meetings, Patrick, along with his entourage of aides and State Troopers, traveled to Dorchester to visit the Harbor Point Pilot School with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. Education Secretary Matthew Malone, who took an earlier train, met Patrick and his staff at the Fields Corner station for the walk over to the school.
“This is my line, so for years when I worked downtown I took the Red Line in,” Patrick said. “It’s a lot nicer than it was when I was riding it, that’s for sure, and I think that’s on account of things we’ve been doing together with Secretary Davey and his team,” Patrick said.
After touring the school and talking to students with Menino and Malone, Patrick praised Harbor Point’s faculty, saying they “are doing an incredible job in an inclusion environment.”
Patrick spoke to reporters after a roundtable discussion with students and was joined by Menino, who at first joked that he’s “out of that business,” but quickly joined in the availability.
On the way back to the State House, Patrick again rode the Red Line where he was occasionally recognized by commuters and asked to pose for pictures. The governor carried his own Charlie Card when he boarded the train in Fields Corner. When he reached the corner of Beacon and Park Streets with the crosswalk countdown at zero and cars waiting for the green light, Patrick dashed across the crosswalk toward the State House.