Recent Stories

T notes: Gearing up for new commuter rail contract

T notes: Gearing up for new commuter rail contract

Control board wants transpo secretary on oversight board

THE MBTA IS PREPARING to hire a consulting team to help the agency sort through a number of complicated scenarios for contracting for commuter rail service after the existing deal with Keolis Commuter Services expires in June 2022. Under the existing contract, the T owns the rails, locomotives, and coaches and Keolis maintains the fleet(...)

Read More »

T to consider privatizing some bus service

T to consider privatizing some bus service

New stats indicate agency failing on service delivery

THE CHAIRMAN of the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board raised the possibility on Monday of expanding the authority’s fleet of buses and using private contractors to both operate and maintain the vehicles. The T has contracts in place with the unions representing bus operators and machinists that allow the transit agency to privatize operations(...)

Read More »

T board mad weekend commuter rail pass is ending

T board mad weekend commuter rail pass is ending

$10 fare helped boost revenues in 2018 by 4.6 percent

MEMBERS OF THE MBTA’S Fiscal and Management Control Board weren’t pleased on Monday when they learned a largely successful six-month pilot program offering commuter rail customers a $10 ride-as-much-as-you-want weekend pass is coming to a halt so a federally required equity analysis can be done. The three board members at the meeting ordered staff to(...)

Read More »

‘Beat the Press’ celebrates 20 years

‘Beat the Press’ celebrates 20 years

Rooney says Globe hanging on, Herald basically dead

Emily Rooney, who is celebrating her 20th year hosting Beat the Press on WGBH, says the biggest change she’s witnessed over that time period has been in the news-gathering business itself. In television, the network and local news shows have narrowed their focus and range. Locally, she says, the focus increasingly is on traffic, weather,(...)

Read More »

The Codcast: ‘Beat the Press’ celebrates 20 years

The Codcast: ‘Beat the Press’ celebrates 20 years

Emily Rooney, who is celebrating her 20th year hosting Beat the Press on WGBH, says the biggest change she’s witnessed over that time period has been in the news-gathering business itself. In television, the network and local news shows have narrowed their focus and range. Locally, she says, the focus increasingly is on traffic, weather,(...)

Read More »

Guess what’s anchoring many small downtowns?

Guess what’s anchoring many small downtowns?

Even in the age of online shopping, the answer is: bookstores

THE NEW ENGLAND MOBILE BOOK FAIR of my childhood wasn’t exactly mobile; it was a cavernous cinderblock warehouse of a store in Newton. Yet visiting the store was like going on a voyage, something like a trip to the Dead Sea caves where you might stumble upon ancient scrolls. A couple of years ago, I(...)

Read More »

BIDs can play role in climate resiliency

BIDs can play role in climate resiliency

We need to remember business funding has its strengths, limitations

THE OCTOBER ANNOUNCEMENT of  the “Resilient Boston Harbor” proposal by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh united two critical public policy considerations: long-term adaptation response to climate change and increased access to open space. The mayor’s vision for the city’s 47-mile shoreline offers a much-needed framework to protect waterfront neighborhoods while increasing the public’s enjoyment of Boston’s(...)

Read More »

Mass. cities losing clout in ed funding fight

Mass. cities losing clout in ed funding fight

Shift in voting power to suburbs changes the political dynamic

WE PREVIOUSLY CO-AUTHORED an article in CommonWealth detailing the increasing discrepancies in municipal finance between the “haves” and the “have-nots” among Massachusetts cities and towns. It should not be surprising, therefore, that we are concerned about antiquated funding formulas that create a similar divide when it comes to state aid to education in Massachusetts. The issue(...)

Read More »

Use pot revenue to expand afterschool programs

Use pot revenue to expand afterschool programs

New sector could fill critical funding gap

IN A RECENT report on the importance of afterschool programs, the Legislature’s Afterschool and Out-Of-School Time Coordinating Council, chaired by Sen. Brendan Crighton and Rep. Jennifer Benson, reached a familiar conclusion, but offers a promising new solution. For years, chronic underfunding has left too many Massachusetts children without access to the invaluable afterschool and summer learning(...)

Read More »

Poor role modeling in tech school renovation

Poor role modeling in tech school renovation

Unlicensed workers undercut safety and quality message in classroom

THE IRONY SHOULDN’T be lost on students and staff at Blue Hills Regional Technical School in Canton as they watch unlicensed construction workers perform the school’s $84 million renovation. As students inside Blue Hills learn about rigid construction industry standards and how to correctly and safely build a project, outside, unlicensed workers are risking their own lives and(...)

Read More »