A website I maintain, bostononthemove.org, was featured by Bostonist today in a post about the MBTA’s debt. I maintain this site for the Greater Boston Transportation Justice Coalition, of which ACE and TRU are members.… Read the rest
[Another blog entry I wrote for ACE:]
February 23, 2009
At a press conference on Friday, Governor Patrick announced a broad set of goals for transportation funding and reforms. Although the proposed six cents per gallon of new gas tax revenue dedicated to the MBTA may not be enough pay down the $2.7 million backlog of system maintenance and repair, the Governor’s plan is a step in the right direction. [Read More]… Read the rest
[Another blog entry I wrote for ACE:]
February 20, 2009
At last week’s MBTA Board Meeting the Massachusetts Transportation Secretary James Aloisi, Jr. offered a grim look at where the T is headed. Without both reform and new revenue, the T is destined for “an endless spiral of fare increases and massive service cuts.” State lawmakers must act immediately and decisively to avoid: [Read More]… Read the rest
The Globe recently published an article about broad community support for the Green Line extension to Somerville. Community members are still fighting about the details, with a less than ideal amount of NIMBYism, but the project is moving ahead. It’s about time, as this project has been in the pipeline for a while. I wish it had been in place this summer, since it would have greatly reduced my travel time to Grace Episcopal Church in Medford. Unfortunately, it has taken a lawsuit filed by the cities of Somerville and Medford and work from groups like STEP to get the state and the MBTA to fulfill their Big Dig mitigation obligations.… Read the rest
The T Rider’s Union, a program of ACE which “organizes public transit riders to build a unified voice and movement for better public transportation in Greater Boston,” was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition today. The five and a half minute segment entitled “Riding the Bus” covered MBTA bus ridership and debt. Two of the people I worked with over the summer, John and Lee, discussed the MBTA’s subpar service. Read the story here or listen to it here.… Read the rest
My friends at No Free Transfer have posted some more thoughts about the Urban Ring:
I’m all for a new transit line. Hopefully, it will draw people away from their cars and onto public transit. But the Urban Ring is going to be Bus Rapid Transit (or as some mocking call it, “Barely Rapid Transit”). Since the Silver Line debuted in 2002, I’ve wary of the whole concept. I’m still not entirely sold on the idea of a bus being considered rapid transit.
July 17, 2008
Preliminary boring along Boylston Street has started for Silver Line Phase III. Our friends at Switchback have posted an article on some of Phase III’s serious flaws. They summarize,
“What do we get with the current Silver Line scam? Less capacity, less comfort for more money than a rail line. Oh, and a few buildings might be put in danger, as well.”
The proposed tunnel project will cost more than light rail service, require the destruction of historic buildings for tunnel portals, disrupt traffic, and could jeopardize the structural integrity of structures in Chinatown and Downtown Boston. ACE and our partners, including On the Move and the Washington Street Corridor Coalition, are advocating for light rail service that would use existing tunnels leading from Boylston Street. This alternative would cost less and provide service “equal to or better than” the Orange Line Elevated Train, as the MBTA has promised to provide. Read more…
July 18, 2008
In its efforts to improve customer service, the T encourages riders to “Write to the Top” to report any service that is not courteous, clean, accessible, or dependable. Yet these customer service improvements have not been adequately focused on bus riders. It took the T until April to start displaying bus operator numbers on buses’ LED information screens, and information to contact bus superintendents is buried in the T’s website. So we put together our own guide to submit complaints (or commendations) for specific bus routes. Click here to view TRU’s Rider’s Rights Guide. Read more…… Read the rest
So the Mattapan Trolley AC broke on its opening day. Though through personal correspondance with the Lone Rider, I learned that some passengers got to ride the air conditioned car during its testing the day before. I’m not sure who this post at SEPTA Watch disses more, the MBTA or SEPTA:
This week the air conditioned trolleys were set to debut.
But the unveiling was put on hold, after the trolley’s air conditioning unit stopped working as the trolley approached from Mattapan…
And another transit agency learns the hard way about relying on SEPTA as your inspiration.
The MBTA encourages riders to “Write to the Top,”
Simply put – you deserve the best. If you find out service less than adequate, please “Write to the Top.” Top level management will respond.
So I submitted a version of the following to the MBTA’s Charlestown Superintendent Carrie Dubose and Red Line Chief Joseph Casey (not to be confused with John Casey, SEPTA’s General Manager):
Last Sunday, I needed to travel from Kendall Square to Medford Square and arrive by 9:00 AM. The MBTA’s online trip planner suggested that I board a Red Line train at Kendall at 8:16, arrive at Davis Square at 8:27, board a 94 bus at 8:35, and arrive in Medford Square at 8:47. This seemed like an ideal schedule: eight minutes to make the transfer at Davis and a thirteen minute cushion at Medford Square. It should have been a hassle-free trip.… Read the rest
Walking home tonight, a Transit Police truck blocked a 44 bus from turning right from Ruggles onto Tremont. The resulting chaos was fun to observe. I think this was the first time I’ve seen an MBTA bus have to drive in reverse.
I had oyster and lobster for the first time tonight, at the Union Oyster House. It was kind of funky, but my aunt, uncle, and cousin can testify that I avoided making the faces my sister made in the Tokyo fish market. I like the Oyster House, especially more than Legal Sea Foods.
I absolutely hate Legal Sea Foods. I got sick after eating some of their clam chowder back in 2006. Their advertising campaigns are stupid. And now they’re threatening legal action against the MBTA for not running some disrespectful ads. I don’t think it is acceptable for Legal to run ads that say “This conductor has a face like a halibut.” It undermines riders’ respect of the system, it’s not funny, it’s not “fresh,” and I certainly agree with the T that it is a “demeaning and disparaging” advertisement. What’s really egregious is that Legal Sea Foods is trying to make this such a big issue. With interest, the T has $8.1 billion in debt. They certainly shouldn’t be using their strapped resources to deal with Legal’s legal threats.
So I will definitely not be visiting Legal Sea Foods in the event I ever want to try lobster or oysters again. I can only (spitefully) hope that the fish truck that flipped on the Masspike was theirs.… Read the rest