Tracking Transportation

Tracking Transportation

Keeping track of transportation

Worcester commuter rail line targeted for upgrades

Worcester commuter rail line targeted for upgrades

2 projects planned between Newton and Framingham

THE FRAMINGHAM-WORCESTER commuter rail line, which could become a lifeline into Boston if the I-90 Allston project gets launched, is getting some major improvements.  The MBTA is planning two major projects on the line from Newton to Framingham – adding handicap accessible, double-sided platforms at the Newtonville, Newton, and Auburndale stations and a third track(...)

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5 ways to make buses more reliable

5 ways to make buses more reliable

Too many buses show up too early, late, or not at all

THE REMARKABLE RESILIENCE of bus ridership through even the worst months of the pandemic has underscored the critical importance of this surface transportation mode to provide access to jobs and opportunities, especially for those not privileged to be able to work from home. Buses disproportionately carry low-income, essential workers who tend to have inflexible work(...)

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T notes: New subway cars still in limbo

T notes: New subway cars still in limbo

Highway official says most traffic back to 2019 levels

MBTA GENERAL MANAGER Steve Poftak said the new Orange and Red Line cars will remain in limbo for the time being as the T continues to try to reach consensus on what caused a derailment in March and what can be done to remedy the problem or problems. Two weeks ago the deputy general manager,(...)

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Members of T control board say goodbye

Members of T control board say goodbye

House and Senate approaches on next board differ

THE MEMBERS of the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board bid a final farewell on Monday as lawmakers on Beacon Hill continued to trade proposals about what a successor board should look like and how it should operate. The current five board members, including three who have held their voluntary positions for the past six(...)

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GLX to come in under budget, opening slightly delayed

GLX to come in under budget, opening slightly delayed

T reaches $80m settlement with contractor; Somerville and Cambridge to get money back

MBTA OFFICIALS say the $2.3 billion project extending the Green Line into Somerville and Medford will come in under budget and be finished slightly later than expected, with the Union Square branch opening in December instead of October and the opening of the Medford branch pushed back from December to May 2022. John Dalton, the(...)

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Requiring masks on public transit makes no sense

Requiring masks on public transit makes no sense

Science doesn’t support it, and it’s sending wrong message

THERE ARE FACTS and there are perceptions. These are often very different things. And when you are trying to guide and inform human decision-making, perceptions often matter more than facts. Many years ago, in the midst of a typically combative election in my East Boston neighborhood, a political wise guy said to me, “What’s important(...)

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COVID’s impact on transportation ridership uneven

COVID’s impact on transportation ridership uneven

Uber, Lyft rides decline less in lower-income communities

THE PANDEMIC depressed travel on most modes of transportation, but the impact has not been the same everywhere. On the MBTA, ridership remains way down on the bus, subway, and commuter rail systems, but some routes and lines have done better than others. The number 16 bus, which serves Dorchester, is back to 87 percent(...)

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Uber, Lyft rides plunged to record lows in 2020

Uber, Lyft rides plunged to record lows in 2020

Pandemic slowed rideshare industry, but trip speed picked up

THE NUMBER of Uber and Lyft rides in Massachusetts plunged to record lows during the pandemic of 2020, with the total number of rides across the state falling to 35 million, down 62 percent from 2019, according to state figures released Monday. With the drop in rides, there was also a sharp downturn in revenue for(...)

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Less driving = better lives

Less driving = better lives

As traffic picks up, we need to encourage other ways to get around

WARM WEATHER, open storefronts, and one of the nation’s highest vaccination rates have given many the feeling that life is returning to normal here in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, going back to business-as-usual also means getting back to the same—or worse —amount of sitting in traffic. Boston has some of the country’s worst traffic levels in the(...)

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Gulliver’s challenges, rising traffic and I-90 Allston

Gulliver’s challenges, rising traffic and I-90 Allston

Congestion increasing; in search of 4 feet in ‘the throat’

STATE HIGHWAY Administrator Jonathan Gulliver is facing two major challenges: traffic levels that are rising rapidly and an Allston I-90 project that is currently 4 feet too wide to fit at ground level into the narrow throat section between Boston University and the Charles River. On the Allston project, Gulliver is trying to squeeze eight(...)

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