Tracking Transportation

Tracking Transportation

Keeping track of transportation

T gives contractors night tour of bus garages

T gives contractors night tour of bus garages

Visits started at midnight and ended around 2 a.m.

THE MBTA RECENTLY GAVE several private contractors a midnight tour of three of the authority’s bus maintenance garages, which the head of the local machinists union cited as symbolic proof that negotiations over the future of the facilities are taking place out of the public eye. Michael Vartabedian, the business agent for Local 264 of(...)

Read More »

Capuano backs T workers, lays off Baker

Capuano backs T workers, lays off Baker

Unlike union officials, congressman doesn’t target governor

US REP. MICHAEL CAPUANO lent his support on Wednesday to MBTA bus maintenance workers who are fighting efforts to privatize some of their jobs, but the congressman didn’t join union officials in attacking Gov. Charlie  Baker. At a rally at the MBTA’s Arborway garage in Jamaica Plain, union workers held signs saying “Charlie Baker is(...)

Read More »

Lack of public sector experience is troubling

Lack of public sector experience is troubling

MBTA's new GM has never worked in government before

THE APPOINTMENT OF LUIS RAMIREZ as the new general manager of the MBTA again raises the question of whether a successful private sector businessman or woman can make a successful transition to the public sector. One school of thought, usually offered by those with limited public sector experience, argues that proven business leaders can simply(...)

Read More »

T privatization survives key union challenge

T privatization survives key union challenge

Arbitrator rejects ‘get out of jail free’ card

THE MBTA’S BUDGET SHORTFALL, once pegged at $335 million for the current fiscal year, is now down to $30 million.  That’s good news for riders, taxpayers, employers, and legislators—really everyone except the T’s unions.  Much of the savings is the result of a three-year exemption from the Commonwealth’s anti-privatization law that the authority was granted(...)

Read More »

Study prices out N-S Rail Link

Study prices out N-S Rail Link

Project ‘significantly more attractive’ than earlier understood

A RAIL LINK BETWEEN North and South Stations would cost between $3.8 billion and $5.9 billion to build, according to a data analysis conducted by a group of students and faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School. The cost estimate, which is stated in 2025 dollars, is significantly below the roughly $8 billion figure floated in(...)

Read More »

MBTA’s new GM likes to blog

MBTA’s new GM likes to blog

NOT MUCH IS KNOWN about the MBTA’s new general manager, Luis Manuel Ramirez, but a blog he wrote at his Dallas business consulting firm TodoModo Group provides some clues. Most of his postings try to focus on the intersection between business and government, which seems innocent enough, and befitting for a businessman about to take(...)

Read More »

MBTA adopts corporate mindset with GM pick

MBTA adopts corporate mindset with GM pick

Ramirez has strong business skills, no public sector or transit experience

THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION adopted a very clear corporate mindset at the MBTA on Tuesday, hiring a general manager and CEO with strong business and turnaround skills but no public sector or transit experience. Luis Manuel Ramirez, 50, currently runs a Dallas-based consulting firm called TodoModo Group. He previously ran Global Power Equipment Corp., a design,(...)

Read More »

T board member hits absenteeism data

T board member hits absenteeism data

Lang: Many unscheduled absences are scheduled

A MEMBER OF THE MBTA’S Fiscal and Management Control Board criticized agency officials on Monday  for presenting data on employee absenteeism in a way that made it appear union workers were irresponsibly taking days off. Brian Lang, who serves on the board and heads a union himself, bristled at a series of slides showing the(...)

Read More »

T approves 2 pilot service expansions

T approves 2 pilot service expansions

Buses will roll at 4 a.m. plus Foxborough commuter rail

THE MBTA’S OVERSIGHT BOARD on Monday approved two, year-long pilot projects expanding the transit authority’s operations – one that adds limited, early morning buses to help workers start into work in Boston as early as 4 a.m. and the other extending daily commuter rail service between South Station and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. The Fiscal(...)

Read More »

Uber, Lyft gain market share at Logan

Uber, Lyft gain market share at Logan

Impact on taxis, public transit appears limited

A SIX-MONTH STUDY of traffic patterns at Logan International Airport generally confirms what earlier data suggested – that transportation network companies such as Uber, Lyft, and most recently Wingz are gaining market share but taxis and public transit are holding their own.  The data indicate the transportation network companies increased their share of the Logan passenger market from 12.5 percent in February(...)

Read More »