James Aloisi

Guest Contributor

Stories by James Aloisi

Bellotti going strong at 95

Bellotti going strong at 95

He also was unwilling to wait his turn

FRANK BELLOTTI IS 95, the kind of 95 you’d want to be if you live to be 95. Trim, tan, sharp of mind (but perhaps slower of gait), Bellotti joined me recently to record a CommonWealth Codcast. He is, I’m pretty sure, the oldest living former statewide office holder – he was lieutenant governor from(...)

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Strapped to the status quo express

Strapped to the status quo express

We can’t keep running away from the need for new revenue

MASSACHUSETTS HAS A PROBLEM talking candidly about its transportation revenue needs. This is not a new problem.  We have been in its grip for decades, and the result has been public policy based largely upon timidity, small and largely ineffective steps, and creative sound bites. Beginning in 1991, governors have often gone to great lengths(...)

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Blue Line needs urgent attention

Blue Line needs urgent attention

Current vision for the subway line borders on fantasy

THE MBTA’s BLUE LINE is on the brink. Generally known as the best of the system’s subway services (largely because of its relatively newer, reliable, Siemens subway cars), the Blue Line is increasingly failing to provide riders with the transit service they need and deserve.  And prospects are that things will soon be getting worse.(...)

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Transportation equity: Is it a good thing?

Transportation equity: Is it a good thing?

Those who fear displacement don't see it that way

What do we think about when we think about transportation equity?    There is regional equity – the question whether every region in a state, or every neighborhood in a city, is equitably treated from a funding perspective. There is modal funding equity, which goes to whether public sector decision makers treat each mode fairly when it comes to the allocation(...)

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Bustitutions aren’t the only option during shutdowns

Bustitutions aren’t the only option during shutdowns

Maybe commuter rail trains could operate as MBTA shuttles

THE MBTA RECENTLY ANNOUNCED that the Orange Line would be shut down on weekends between Ruggles and Forest Hills for much of this summer and into the fall. These shutdowns are the consequence of the long-overdue initiative to close the T’s $7.3 billion maintenance backlog. The work coming to the Orange Line now and in(...)

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Regulatory reset needed on Uber, self-driving cars

Regulatory reset needed on Uber, self-driving cars

Impose a series of fees and use the funds for public transit

Second of two parts (First part can be found here.)  MASSACHUSETTS STATE AND MUNICIPAL DECISION MAKERS must push a reset button and develop a template for a more comprehensive and robust regulatory framework that will guide the operation of Transportation Network Company and autonomous vehicle business models. It’s a necessary first step in the process(...)

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TNCs existential threat to public transportation

TNCs existential threat to public transportation

Ride-hailing apps are a disruptive auto-centric technology

First of two parts ADVOCACY IS WHAT LIKE-MINDED people do, usually in an organized fashion, to effect change in the way government or public policy impacts their lives. Advocacy can take many forms and approaches, from energizing and activating people at the grassroots, to persuading decision makers at the grasstops, to knocking on doors in(...)

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What am I missing at Allston Landing?

What am I missing at Allston Landing?

At-grade Pike, West Station early on are no-brainers

THERE ARE OCCASIONS in the making of public policy when you are left scratching your head, because the decision-making just doesn’t make sense, and you wonder what you may be missing. I’m thinking today of Allston Landing, the vast urban wasteland of industrial, highway, and rail uses that for generations stood as a stark example(...)

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Time to reconsider S. Coast Rail phased plan

Time to reconsider S. Coast Rail phased plan

Current approach is too slow and offers too little bang for the buck

THE PATRICK AND BAKER ADMINISTRATIONS have been aligned in their support for South Coast Rail as the best approach to providing improved regional mobility to and from the South Coast region of Masssachusetts. Linking the great cities of New Bedford, Fall River, and Taunton by rail to Boston would provide those and neighboring communities with(...)

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The T is failing before our very eyes

The T is failing before our very eyes

Transit agency needs substantial new revenue to get the job done

IT WAS déjà vu all over again. Wednesday’s Red Line meltdown didn’t happen because of harsh winter weather.  Ironically, it happened during a gloriously warm day in February, a day when the one blessing of a failed subway system was that many people could walk to their destinations in relative comfort. This time the culprit(...)

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