Tracking Transportation

Tracking Transportation

Keeping track of transportation

MBTA WiFi project put on 30-day hold

MBTA WiFi project put on 30-day hold

Agency will gather feedback on commuter rail initiative

THE MBTA SAID ON FRIDAY that it is putting its $140 million commuter rail WiFi project on hold for 30 days while it gathers feedback from customers, residents, and appointed and elected officials. “There will be no construction of poles or other infrastructure during this review,” the T said in a statement. The project has(...)

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RIDE call center operator fined $100,000

RIDE call center operator fined $100,000

Penalty equals 20% of its monthly fee

THE MBTA FINED the operator of its paratransit call center $100,000 in May for a series of contract violations that resulted in poor service for customers. The fines equaled about a fifth of the firm’s fees that month for running the call center. Ben Schutzman, the T’s director of transportation innovation, mentioned the fines against(...)

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T takes go-slow approach on alcohol ads

T takes go-slow approach on alcohol ads

Aiello: ‘Let’s not let this be about money”

WARY OF OFFENDING the public, the MBTA’s Fiscal Management and Control Board on Monday directed the agency’s staff to redraft an alcohol advertising proposal to reduce exposure to young transit riders. “My suggestion would be to step back a little bit and think long-term and maybe not be driven by a revenue yield,” said Joseph(...)

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T laying 2 cables along same route

T laying 2 cables along same route

WiFi contract generates lots of questions, few answers

THE MBTA’S OVERSIGHT BOARD raised a lot of questions on Monday about the planned installation of more than 300, 75-foot towers to improve WiFi and cell phone service on commuter rail trains, and learned accidentally that the T is simultaneously installing two sets of fiber optic cable along the same tracks. One T official told(...)

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T spending $2.2m on replacement bus service

T spending $2.2m on replacement bus service

High subsidies during weekend commuter rail shutdowns

THE MBTA SAID ON MONDAY it intends to spend roughly $2.2 million on heavily subsidized station-to-station bus service for commuter rail customers who are left without train rides on weekends during the installation of a crash prevention system. T officials said they originally planned not to offer the replacement bus service, but bowed to pressure(...)

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T commuter rail WiFi plan under fire

T commuter rail WiFi plan under fire

Andover residents up in arms about 75-foot poles

LOCAL OPPOSITION appears to be growing to the MBTA’s plan to install more than 300, 75-foot poles along the commuter rail system to provide WiFi service to people riding trains. The contract was initially announced in July 2014, during the administration of former governor Deval Patrick, and the full system was supposed to be operational(...)

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Interim T chief to be paid $260,000

Interim T chief to be paid $260,000

Salary seen as signal to candidates for GM post

STEVE POFTAK, who will be taking over as interim general manager of the MBTA on July 1, signed a contract with the authority that calls for him to be paid at a rate of $260,000 a year. Officials said Poftak’s salary is intended to show potential candidates for the permanent job that the T is(...)

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T says pension problem worsening

T says pension problem worsening

Union chief says early retirements boosting retirement costs

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE MBTA PENSION FUND’S problems have been festering for years, but T officials this year did not include $9 million in funds needed to pay retirees and now say they’ll have to find room in their budget for that payment. MBTA Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve told T officials about the funding(...)

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Pollack: Faster pace needed on climate change

Pollack: Faster pace needed on climate change

‘We don’t have a lot of time and it takes us a long time to change’

TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY STEPHANIE POLLACK said on Tuesday that the mindset of the state bureaucracy needs to change and change fast if Massachusetts is going to have any chance of responding in a meaningful way to climate change. “We don’t have a lot of time and it takes us a long time to change,” she said.(...)

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Paratransit advocates report call center problems

Paratransit advocates report call center problems

MBTA acknowledges 'issues' as part of consolidation effort

PARATRANSIT ADVOCATES said on Monday that the MBTA’s new centralized call center is off to a rocky start, and agency officials acknowledged some glitches as the service has been rolled out. The T is trying to consolidate three call centers into one, with the goal of saving an estimated $7 million a year in operating(...)

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