Technology

Business unusual at the T

Business unusual at the T

Unsolicited proposals to privatize services pique officials’ interest

IT’S A MANTRA spoken so often these days it could be a bumper sticker. “The MBTA is open for business,” Brian Shortsleeve, the agency’s chief administrator and acting general manager, said in talking about unsolicited proposals for third-party vendors to operate T services. Shortsleeve thinks it’s so important for people to know “the MBTA is open(...)

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The toughest mile

The toughest mile

State provides funding to wire rural towns for internet

IN 2008, THE Patrick administration set out to wire 123 cities and towns in western Massachusetts for broadband. But eight years, 1,200 miles of fiber-optic cable, and nearly $100 million later, the effort has stalled with 44 communities still without high-speed internet. The towns that remain essentially disconnected—or, in the words of state officials, “unserved”—represent(...)

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MassDOT looks to trash records

MassDOT looks to trash records

Agency has retained "massive" driver tolling records dating back to 1998

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE IF YOU USED an old Fastlane transponder on the Massachusetts Turnpike 18 years ago, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation likely has a record of that trip. MassDOT on Wednesday sought approval of a new records retention schedule as it plans to convert to all-electronic tolling Oct. 28, and plans to request(...)

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Study: Storage could deliver 600 MW in 10 years

Study: Storage could deliver 600 MW in 10 years

Officials say incentives could lead to “game-changer” in renewable energy

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE WITH THE RIGHT amount of encouragement, energy storage technology – a field that can range from batteries to more novel contraptions – could account for 600 megawatts of energy in Massachusetts by 2025, providing more than $800 million in savings and reducing greenhouse gases by the equivalent of removing 73,000 cars(...)

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Baker inks long-sought energy law

Baker inks long-sought energy law

Measure sets state on path away from coal, nuclear power

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE GOV. CHARLIE BAKER sat in the sun on the State House lawn Monday afternoon, relishing a victory for his administration and some in the Legislature. With the stroke of his pen, Baker signed into law an energy bill that aims to diversify the state’s energy portfolio, spur the development of an(...)

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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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T to pay $400 million for mandated safety system

T to pay $400 million for mandated safety system

Feds will provide bulk of money in low-interest loans

MBTA OFFICIALS SAY a mandatory $460 million system to ensure rail safety is on track to be installed by 2020 but though they claim it’s an 80-20 split with the federal government for funding, the cash-strapped authority will end up picking up 87 percent of the cost because the bulk of the money from Washington(...)

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Fingerprints fail in Senate Uber bill

Fingerprints fail in Senate Uber bill

Forry chastises those who say the measure is discriminatory

AFTER AN EXHAUSTIVE debate that dragged on for nearly five hours, the state Senate passed Uber-friendly regulations for the runaway ride-hailing industry but not before beating back an impassioned plea by the chamber’s only black member to require fingerprints for background checks on drivers to ensure safety of passengers. “Fingerprinting is not a form of(...)

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Judge says Uber, Lyft should be treated like taxis

Judge says Uber, Lyft should be treated like taxis

Ruling orders city to level playing field between apps and cabs in absence of state regs

A FEDERAL JUDGE on Thursday ordered Boston officials to explain what regulations they plan to implement on ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft to treat them like cabs until the state comes up with some action and why the court should not issue an injunction barring the companies from operating. In a lengthy ruling(...)

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