Saturday, June 8, 2013
Massachusetts may approve 18 more giant lighted boards as a way to boost revenue. Is it worth the money if the light burns all night long?
Are you ready for digital billboards on state land across the commonwealth? The Department of Transportation wants the glowing house-sized signs on its property across the state, and the revenue they'll bring to the state, according to the Boston Globe. Under the current deal signed with Clear Channel, the state would get a cut of each billboard's revenue—either 25 percent or $90,000 a year, whichever is higher. But other states have negotiated more lucrative deals. Current Massachsetts state law allows these digital billboards, but prohibits any animation. So you won't see the latest Geico lizard ad or anything like that, but you may see a rotating set of images. It also requires the sign's owner to set aside time for public service …
Friday, May 17, 2013
The new system will provide more detailed service alert information via text and email.
The MBTA is rolling out an entirely new alerts system next month which includes changes from the details provided in alert messages to a visual website enhancement. Through the new system, which goes into effect June 4, users can opt to receive email or text alerts for a late bus or train or a service interruption, much like the old system. However, the new alerts “will be clearer and more detailed with additional information regarding specific trip times, service schedule changes, and distinct directional, branch, and station communications,” according to an MBTA press statement Thursday. MBTA Deputy Press Secretary Kelly Smith clarifies this in an email to Patch: "It’s built around a core of GTFS data. GTFS, or General Transit Feed …
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Buses will replace trains five nights a week for a month from mid-May
As work continues on the Orange Line's station at Assembly Square in Somerville, service will be impacted five nights a week for a month starting May 19. According to the MBTA website, buses will replace trains between Oak Grove and Sullivan Square stations starting at 9 p.m. each Sunday through Thursday from May 19 to June 21. The diversions will last until the end of service, according to the MBTA. All stops will be serviced by buses between Oak Grove and Sullivan Square, including Medford's Wellington Station. There will be no diversion on Sunday, May 26, as a result of the Memorial Day holiday.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
A new Metropolitan Area Planning Council study projects increased growth over the next ten years.
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council released a study called the "Orange Line Opportunity Corridor Report" this week. The report explores the demographics, economy and infrastructure of the MBTA line, which stretches from Malden, through Somerville, into downtown Boston, Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. The report calls for investing in the Orange Line's infrastructure, encouraging large-scale land acquisition for development, and mitigating displacement of at-risk residents along the corridor, among other things. Malden Center is the line's fifth most traversed station, with several bus lines and a commuter rail on top of the station's subway services. The MBTA is currently building a new Orange Line Station in Somerville's Assembly Square …
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Should the state forge ahead with Gov. Deval Patrick's bold plan to invest now? Or should it follow the Legislature leadership's proposal to address the bottom line before embarking on bigger initiatives?
Massachusetts legislators this week answered Gov. Deval Patrick's ambitious plan to raise $1.9 billion for transportation and education with a $500 million plan of their own, which says the governor is asking for too much, too soon as the Bay State shakes off the effects of the Great Recession. Who's right? Should the state forge ahead in a bold plan to invest now? Or should it cautiously address the bottom line before embarking on bigger initiatives? While Patrick's plan includes funding for both the state transportation system and increased education funding from preschool through college, House and Senate lawmakers eschew new revenue for education, focusing solely on closing the transportation budget gap over the next five years. The …
Friday, March 22, 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 fares 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…
Thursday, February 28, 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 said 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 …
Monday, February 18, 2013
If you were writing an etiquette guide for the T, what would you include? What do Orange Line travelers do that just gets under your skin?
Anyone who's spent any time on the T has opinions about how their experience could be better – and a lot of those ideas involve other passengers. A couple of weeks ago the MBTA rolled out their fifth campaign in 12 years to remind riders to be human beings when on the T. We're talking stuff like not abusing drivers, letting disabled people sit down and not sneezing all over the person in the next seat. Last week, blogger Mike Tremblay wrote his own guide on proper public transportation behavior, “The MBTA Etiquette Handbook” on his blog The Third String Catcher. What would you add to these lists? If you could change one thing about rider behavior, what would it be? Tell us in the comments.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Regularly scheduled service should resume by Monday, according to MBTA.com.
Starting at 2 p.m., limited subway and bus service will run on the Red, Orange and Blue lines between Orient Heights and Government Center, and the Green Line between Kenmore and Lechmere, according to MBTA.com/weather. Limited bus service will also operate on the 1, 23, 28, 39, and Silver Line Washington Street only. Customers are encouraged to stay home and "use service sparingly," if possible, the website said. Commuter rail routes will remain suspended through Sunday. The MBTA weather update says regularly scheduled MBTA service will resume Monday morning. “Customers should expect significant delays and plan extra time for their Monday morning commute as MBTA service recovers from the impacts of the storm. Due to significant snow …
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
YOUR TURN: Would you use later subway service? Hate it? State transportation officials are considering plans that would extend most weekend MBTA subway services to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday
It's a complaint we've all heard about the local nightlife: the country's oldest subway system doesn't run much later than 12:30 a.m., even on the weekend. But WCVB-TV reports that could all change for riders this year, thanks to a pilot program proposed by state transportation officials that would keep the T open until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights. "If additional operating funds are identified, major bus routes and the most heavily traveled portions of the subway and light rail systems will be considered as part of a pilot program," MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in a statement. The changes would require legislative approval and a likely tax or fee increase, according to the report. You can read details about other proposals - …