Tracking Transportation

Tracking Transportation

Keeping track of transportation

Pass a ban on drivers using hand-held phones, Massachusetts

Pass a ban on drivers using hand-held phones, Massachusetts

Outlawing dialing and other behavior will make roads safer

MASSACHUSETTS IS A PIONEER with many civic, scientific and technological advancements, yet we lag behind many other states in creating safer roads. We must pass legislation to ban texting and driving this year. Last year, Rhode Island and Georgia joined the growing number of states who have passed hands-free driving laws. That means four states(...)

Read More »

Time for me to say a few ‘thank yous’

Time for me to say a few ‘thank yous’

I don’t mean to come across as relentlessly critical

I’VE BEEN AN ACTIVE and willing participant in the arena of politics, policy-making, and advocacy for most of my life. It’s what I like to do. It helps me understand and engage the pressing issues of the times we live in, and it fulfills my values. Engaging the politics and policymaking of any place, whether(...)

Read More »

Impact of Uber, Lyft driver strike unclear

Impact of Uber, Lyft driver strike unclear

Uber, preparing for IPO, sees little change in Boston

UBER AND LYFT drivers and their supporters did a good job getting the word out to the public about a strike and boycott on Wednesday, but it’s an open question what effect, if any, it had on the businesses. Uber, which along with Lyft dominates the local ride-hailing market, said it has not seen any(...)

Read More »

T notes: South Shore customers want later trains

T notes: South Shore customers want later trains

MBTA GM wants less jargon in messages to customers

MBTA ADVISORY BOARD Executive Director Paul Regan thought he had given the MBTA everything needed to change up schedules of commuter rail trains to make them useful to South Shore riders spending a night on the town. “It’s the only area of the commuter rail service that doesn’t have service after 11 o’clock,” Regan told(...)

Read More »

Poftak: MBTA needs more capacity to meet spending goals

Poftak: MBTA needs more capacity to meet spending goals

T plans to up yearly repair budget to $1.5 billion

MBTA OFFICIALS WHO have struggled to meet existing capital spending goals want to pour much more into upkeep and modernization projects, a goal that could fuel activists’ demands for more revenue for the system. To spend $1.5 billion annually on state-of-good-repair projects, the T will need to boost its own operational capabilities, MBTA General Manager(...)

Read More »

Time to step it up on bus rapid transit

Time to step it up on bus rapid transit

MBTA making progress, but still has a way to go

NEW DATA RELEASED recently by the MassINC Polling Group demonstrates the toll that traffic congestion and long commutes are taking on Massachusetts residents. Sixty-six percent of poll respondents believe that urgent action is needed to address transportation issues, with many respondents indicating they have considered changing jobs or leaving the area altogether as a result(...)

Read More »

Senate takes on racial profiling, again, in distracted driving bill

Senate takes on racial profiling, again, in distracted driving bill

Ways and Means legislation requires data collection by police

THE SENATE WAYS AND MEANS Committee unanimously endorsed legislation on Thursday banning handheld cell phone use by drivers and requiring law enforcement to collect racial data on every traffic stop. The full Senate will take up the bill in one week, on May 9, according to Senate President Karen Spilka’s office. There has been momentum(...)

Read More »

On TNCs, Red-Blue connector, and tolls

On TNCs, Red-Blue connector, and tolls

A bold move to change course seems possible

IT’S BEEN A BUSY TIME for transportation policy making in Massachusetts, and a promising moment when there appears to be some alignment among legislative leaders that something bold and significant needs to be done to change course and properly fund our transportation needs now and into the future.  I want to focus today on two(...)

Read More »

How does that T energy efficiency program work?

How does that T energy efficiency program work?

Electric ratepayers are picking up 40% of $30m cost

THE MBTA plans to spend about $30 million over the next three years on energy efficiency measures, with more than 40 percent of the cost covered by $12.5 million in grants and financial incentives paid for by Massachusetts electricity ratepayers. Officials described the arrangement as MassSAVE on steroids, a reference to the utility program that(...)

Read More »

T notes: More Charles Circle disruption coming

T notes: More Charles Circle disruption coming

Higher Uber, Lyft fees proposed to rein in paratransit costs

THE FIVE-YEAR RECONSTRUCTION of the Longfellow Bridge finally ended last year, and now the state is laying plans to begin rebuilding the east end of the bridge, the Charles/MGH Station, and the elevated viaduct that brings Red Line trains into the station. The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board approved an $8.5 million contract with(...)

Read More »