The Back Story

T union raises concern with outside contractors

Company takes 8 weeks to repair 8 motors

THE MBTA RESTORED full service to the Orange Line in March but nevertheless shipped 24 disabled Orange Line traction motors to an outside contractor for repair. The T says it expects to receive the first of the refurbished motors back on Friday after more than eight weeks of work. The contract for the motor repairs(...)

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T report misses mark on absenteeism numbers

T report misses mark on absenteeism numbers

MBTA panel sheds little light on key issue

ONE OF THE MOST ALARMING figures to come out of Gov. Charlie Baker’s MBTA panel report earlier this month was 57. That’s the average number of working days that T employees miss each year, according to the panel’s analysis. The analysis also found that the absence rate across all positions at the T was 11(...)

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New England governors vow to boost natural gas capacity

New England governors vow to boost natural gas capacity

States will coordinate policies but tackle details on their own

THE NEW ENGLAND governors met behind closed doors on energy issues in Hartford on Thursday and vowed afterwards to work collaboratively to expand the region’s natural gas pipeline capacity. What shape that collaboration will take was unclear, as a seven-paragraph statement issued by the governors after their meeting offered no specifics. The plain-vanilla statement blamed the region’s high electricity(...)

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Tracking the EMK Institute’s funding

Tracking the EMK Institute’s funding

Conflicting views on UMass role

THE NEW EDWARD M. KENNEDY INSTITUTE is a marvel of a museum, an architecturally breathtaking building that attempts to educate visitors about the role and operations of the US Senate. It is run by a nonprofit foundation whose funding comes from private donors, the federal government, the state of Massachusetts, and the University of Massachusetts,(...)

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Study of black and Latino boys excludes charter success

Study of black and Latino boys excludes charter success

Report finds little to cheer about in Boston Public Schools, but examples of high achievement in area charter schools are plentiful

Researchers conducting a study looking for effective practices that are helping black and Latino boys close the achievement reported a stunning finding this week: No Boston schools are succeeding at doing this. But the study would not have had to look very far to find examples where high achievement among that population is, in fact,(...)

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Rules debate puts Beacon Hill on hold

Rules debate puts Beacon Hill on hold

Senate pushing for ability to control its own bills

THE MBTA ISN’T the only state entity that’s been operating with significant delays. The movement of legislation on Beacon Hill has been ground to a halt by a debate on internal rules that is fraying nerves no less than February’s frozen subway switches and iced-over third rails. At issue is the process by which bills(...)

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Commuter rail ridership numbers don’t add up

Commuter rail ridership numbers don’t add up

Official data point in every direction

COMMUTER RAIL RIDERSHIP is up. No, it’s down. Actually, it’s held steady. These three statements cannot all be true. And yet, all three are supported by official data collected and published by the MBTA and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation in recent years. As leaders on Beacon Hill weigh the future of the MBTA, they do(...)

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Kid-free Boston

Kid-free Boston

A sharp decline in children is dramatically reshaping the city

IN A 2011 Boston Globe op-ed, columnist Scot Lehigh asked: “Where are the snow shovelers of yesteryear?” He suggested that the once-eager entrepreneurs must be more consumed by Facebook, texting, and video games than by making a few quick dollars trudging through the snow and slush. This winter’s snowfall has many Bostonians echoing Lehigh’s question. We crunched some numbers and now we have(...)

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Keolis accused MBTA of meddling in hiring

Keolis accused MBTA of meddling in hiring

Letter: T actions caused loss of repair chief

THE TOP OFFICIAL at the state’s commuter rail operator raised concerns in a December letter to the MBTA that agency officials were undermining efforts to hire an experienced executive to oversee train repair and maintenance. Thomas Mulligan, who at the time was the chief executive at Keolis Commuter Services, wrote a letter on December 24(...)

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