Thursday, April 11, 2013
The submitted budget closes the 2014 gap, but without more funding riders could pay.
Though the submitted MBTA budget for the next fiscal year has been approved, it assumes additional funding will close the $118 million gap. The MBTA’s fiscal year 2014 $1.86 billion budget was approved at a meeting of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors Wednesday. The budget relies on either Gov. Deval Patrick’s “The Way Forward” transportation plan, which would pump $1 billion in revenues into the system by way of fare increases, fees and tax hikes, or another plan from either the House of Representatives, the Senate or both. If Patrick's plan is approved, the T will have a 5 percent fare increase next year to keep pace with inflation. If the plan is not approved by July 1, fare increases could go up to the …
Friday, April 5, 2013
The $1 billion contract to operate the Boston’s commuter rail system is the largest contract in state history.
One company might soon stand alone in a bidding race for a $1 billion commuter rail transit service contract. Keolis America Inc. is reportedly ready to drop out of the bidding because the MBTA is withholding key information including labor costs, according to Boston.com Thursday. The only other group to submit a bid, Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail, already operates the system. A Keolis official has accused MBTA of withholding information on purpose to force them to back out, according to Boston.com. Keolis has set a deadline of Friday, according to the story. Over 70,000 riders use the commuter rail every day. A Mass Bay Commuter Rail spokesman told Boston.com they have supplied Keolis with 10 gigabytes of information on the system, …
Monday, March 25, 2013
The Boston Globe reports that 85 percent of those who responded to a survey on late-night MBTA service would be willing to wait at least 10 to 19 minutes for a bus or train.
A recent survey confirms what most of Boston was already thinking: residents want late-night MBTA service. The Boston Globe reported Friday that about 26,000 people responded to a survey saying they are in favor of late-night bus or train service in Boston. More than 85 percent of respondents said they would be willing to wait 10 to 19 minutes for a late-night bus or train, and half said they’d pay double the fare, according to the Globe. As MBTA officials scramble to close a $117 budget gap for fiscal year 2014, and legislators mull Gov. Deval Patrick’s 21st Century Transportation Plan, the T has said it is not making late-night service a priority. MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in a Feb. 21 email that until the state decides to …
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Without additional funding, MBTA officials are forced to make difficult choices.
MBTA riders could see fares go up in the not-so-distant future if legislators don’t accept Gov. Deval Patrick’s ambitious funding plan. T General Manager Beverley Scott said Tuesday the T will likely hold off on spending $45 million for preventative maintenance and hike fairs to close a projected budget gap of $117 million, factoring in increased ridership and advertising this year, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday. Director of Strategic Initiatives for the MBTA Charles Planck said at a March 5 MBTA finance committee meeting that fare increases could go up 33 percent under the proposal, which means subway fares would move up from $2 to $2.60. Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard Davey testified before the…
Monday, March 18, 2013
State Transportation Secretary Richard Davey said at a hearing last week that the 75 double-decker coaches are “severely late,” but they will be worth the wait.
In 2008, the MBTA bought 75 new commuter rail cars from Korean-based Hyundai Rotem but the T is still waiting for the cars to be delivered. Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard Davey said at a State House oversight committee hearing last week that the state is still waiting on 75 double-decker coaches for the commuter rail. The MBTA bought the coaches in 2008 from Korean company Hyundai Rotem. "They are late, severely late," Davey said. He added, however, that MBTA engineers are satisfied with the quality of the cars. Philadelphia and Los Angeles are in front of Boston in terms of waiting for the cars, but transit engineers in both cities are satisfied with the cars as well, Davey said. “At this point while …
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
In the aftermath of a Saturday night attack on a bus driver in Dorchester that involved up to 15 assailants, the Boston Carman's Union wants to make it possible for police to arrest suspects in such cases without a warrant.
The president of the MBTA operator’s union is calling for increased efforts on part of police, prosecutors and lawmakers in the wake of a 15-person attack on a bus driver in Dorchester Saturday. Boston Carmen’s Union Local 589 John Lee said in a statement published on the union’s website March 10 that such attacks deserve immediate attention by state lawmakers. "The Boston Carmen’s Union ATU Local 589 is relieved and thankful that the Bus Driver, attacked in the early morning hours, was not more seriously injured," the statement said. "However this assault by a reported mob on an isolated Local 589 member simply doing his job illustrates the need for public safety officials and the legislature to act quickly before a transit worker is …
Friday, March 8, 2013
Fare hikes and service cuts are a few options T officials proposed in an effort to close the $130 million budget deficit in 2014.
MBTA officials have proposed service cuts and fare increases if there is no increase in funding, based on a $130 million projected budget deficit in fiscal year 2014. Director of Strategic Initiatives for the MBTA Charles Planck said at a MBTA finance committee meeting that in order to close the budget gap T fares will need to go up 33 percent, which means subway fares would move up from $2 to $2.60, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday. There was also talk at the meeting of a 15 percent fare increase coupled with the possible elimination of up to 30 bus routes, according to the Globe. Gov. Deval Patrick unveiled an ambitious transportation plan in February that would potentially raise $1.02 billion per year for the next 10 years, some of …
Monday, March 4, 2013
Electronic devices - especially iPhones - are the most widely stolen items while using MBTA services.
MBTA Transit Police wrote in a blog post Tuesday that iPhones are the most widely thieved item on the T. Police also offered tips on how to keep your stuff safe while riding public transportation (from the blog post): Police also pointed to a public service announcement video on how to keep your stuff safe produced by New York's Metro Transit Authority.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Of the 43 robberies that took place on the MBTA system between Jan. 1 and Feb. 26, 36 involved the targeted thefts of electronic devices, specifically iPhones.
Staring at one’s cell phone while riding public transportation has become commonplace, but transit police say this ordinary practice could be contributing to electronic device thefts. Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 26, there were 43 robberies on the MBTA system, according to a post on the MBTA Transit Police blog. Thirty-six of those 43 thefts – or 84 percent – involved electronic devices, most notably smart phones such as the widely used Apple iPhone. "Unfortunately, thefts of smart phones/electronic devices (most notably Apple products) is a nationwide trend," the blog post says. “This trend often referred to as ‘Apple Picking’ is for the most part a crime of opportunity.” The blog post provides tips on how to mitigate the chances your phone …
Monday, February 25, 2013
Due to the strain on resources, the MBTA has no plans as of now to extend service hours despite massive local interest.
The days of the Night Owl bus service are long gone, and as of now, they may not return. MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said until the state implements Gov. Deval Patrick’s recent 21st Century Plan transportation budget roll out, late night service is out of the question. “Given the enormous strain on the MBTA’s limited resources, the Authority cannot even consider an extension of service hours before action is taken on the 21st Century Transportation Plan,” Pesaturo wrote in an email. The Night Owl bus service, which ran buses from the end of service at 1 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., existed between 2001 and 2005, but was too costly to maintain. Another major issue working against late night service is the short time it allows for crews to perform …