Tracking Transportation

Tracking Transportation

Keeping track of transportation

Baker shortsighted on VMT

Baker shortsighted on VMT

His no-new-taxes stances trumps facts, analysis

THERE ARE MOMENTS IN GOVERNMENT when a small, often little-noticed, decision has large long-term consequences. Unfortunately, Gov. Charlie Baker made such a decision last week when he vetoed a provision in a transportation bond bill that directed the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to apply for federal funding to support a VMT (vehicles miles traveled) pilot(...)

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Transit equity has a housing component

Transit equity has a housing component

Subsidized, affordable housing needed near the T

ACCESS TO GOOD TRANSPORTATION is the cornerstone of a strong, thriving community. Municipal planners encourage this kind of smart growth which, in addition to combating urban sprawl, stimulates community reinvestment and brings vibrancy to neighborhoods. Market-rate real estate developers see the value in locating residential and mixed-use developments near transit.  Neighborhoods where residents are close(...)

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T letter cites parking revenue theft

Calls for audits at 13 lots going back to 2013

THE MBTA HAS FORMALLY notified its parking lot operator that the company breached its contract by failing to reimburse the transit authority for money stolen by employees. The notification, which came in a letter dated Thursday from MBTA General Counsel John Englander to LAZ Parking, is the first time the T has publicly identified employee(...)

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T parking revenue is up, but why?

T parking revenue is up, but why?

Two possibilities: More customers or less leakage

Parking revenue at the MBTA’s eight biggest lots rose sharply during the first half of the year, suggesting either more people are driving to T stations or less money is now being siphoned away as a result of an ongoing investigation into missing funds. The numbers for the first six months of the year indicate(...)

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Baker to nix VMT pilot bid

Baker to nix VMT pilot bid

Won't even test vehicle-miles-traveled fee

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE WHEN GOV. CHARLIE BAKER signs a highway and small bridge repair funding bill on Wednesday, the Republican governor plans to nix a proposed pilot program to test a system that would charge drivers based on how many miles they drive. Labeling the vehicle-miles-traveled pilot program a “tax,” Baker said he will(...)

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T helps Baker balance FY16 budget

Returns, temporarily, $31.2m in appropriations

HERE’S A TWIST: the Baker administration needed financial help from the MBTA to balance the state’s fiscal 2016 budget. To help close a fiscal 2016 budget shortfall, the Baker administration withheld a $15.6 million T appropriation for June and asked the T to return a similar-sized appropriation for May. State officials say the $31.2 million(...)

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T board OKs $15m more for Green Line ext.

T board OKs $15m more for Green Line ext.

Feds may give hint this week on $1b pledge

THE MBTA’S FISCAL MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL BOARD on Monday approved spending another $15 million on the Green Line extension even as state officials said they expected to hear this week whether the federal government would honor its earlier commitment to provide $1 billion for the project. John Englander, the MBTA’s legal counsel, said the T(...)

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How far does South Coast Rail commitment go?

How far does South Coast Rail commitment go?

Pollack says commitment firm despite questions on cost

THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION says the state is committed to South Coast Rail, even though the route and the cost of the project are not even close to being finalized. State Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack kicked off a conversation about South Coast Rail with the MBTA’s Fiscal Management and Control Board on Monday by saying the(...)

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Boneheaded transportation moves

Boneheaded transportation moves

Comments are so wacky, it must be August

AUGUST IS THAT MONTH when there isn’t an official federal or state holiday because so many people are assumed to be on vacation. This makes August a time when people can make remarkably bad decisions, or profoundly tone-deaf remarks, and hope no one notices, expecting that everyone is at the beach or having long languorous(...)

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Baker hails Uber bill

Baker hails Uber bill

Governor signs law with new fee earmarked for infrastructure, taxis

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE GOV. CHARLIE BAKER on Friday afternoon signed into law what he described as the strongest regulatory framework in the country for app-based ride-for-hire services like Uber and Lyft. “I want to start by thanking the Legislature for pushing this one through,” Baker said after signing the bill in his office. “There(...)

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