BRT

Podcast 15 - Amateur Planner on BRT, the MBTA report, Allston ...

Podcast 15 - Amateur Planner on BRT, the MBTA report, Allston ...

Ari Ofsevit, transit operations professional and the Amateur Planner, joins us once again to discuss how Governor Baker's MBTA Commission Report (full pdf) used unfair comparisons and erroneous data to push a specific right-wing agenda, whether privatization makes any sense at all (and why certain people argue for it), and a vision to actually stabilize the T and improve transit in Boston.

We focus heavily on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), with "gold standard" BRT being advocated in a recent report by the Barr Foundation. We explore what better bus service could look like in the context of Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea and other cities where it's needed.

Podcast 08 - Boston 2024 Olympics Bid: Challenges & Opportunities

Boston has been selected by the US Olympic Committee as the country's contender for the 2024 Olympic games. What does this mean for the city and all of us?

We analyze the city's transit infrastructure needs, challenges and opportunities. We have many needs, not just during the olympics but now and long after, so let's think deeper about potential transit investment and plan smart. What projects and services should we prioritize? What might be accomplished in 9 years? More on the Boston 2024 Olympics proposed venues; the latest Boston 2024 submission and more on potential investments.

First, we welcome new Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack, formerly Associate Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy,  and Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca, a long-time planner focused on parking. The car parking issue is timely with all the snow on the ground, as well as some local discussion about residential parking permits and how to manage car parking in the city. Former transportation secretary Rich Davey is now heading Boston 2024. Also, DMU cars for the Fairmount Line and others; commuter rail to New Hampshire; development over the highway next to Hynes station; high quality BRT prepares to launch in Hartford; former transportation secretary Jim Aloisi advocates for the long-delayed Red-Blue Connector and Blue Line extension to Lynn; and an update on the South Boston Waterfront plans.

--> Don't miss our new feature: Transit News Roundup.

Did we miss something or get it wrong? Send us your questions, comments and ideas for topics or guests >> contact usOr share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Transit Matters Podcast is your source for transportation news, analysis, interviews and more. We focus on sustainable transportation planning, operations and policies in Boston and beyond. Transit Matters is a joint project of local transit enthusiasts Marc Ebuña, Jeremy Mendelson and Josh Fairchild.

Like this project? Share it around, tell your friends and colleagues, and subscribe to the RSS feed (iTunes) to be notified of new posts and episodes.

Podcast 07b - Transit News

Part two of a marathon episode: featuring a roundup of the latest Boston transit news and analysis. There's no shortage of controversial happenings:

  • Mattapan High Speed Line crash - operator failure to secure trolley; it rolled backwards (DotNews)
  • Green Line D Branch flooded, portal closed during heavy rain (Boston Magazine)
  • Will there be regular commuter rail service to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro? State buys freight rail lines that would make it possible. (BostInno)
  • The fight for reliable Amtrak service: Amtrak being sued by big railroad companies over on-time metrics (EE News) (WaPo).
  • Commuter rail operator Keolis hit with $804K penalties in second month as operator. (WBUR) Is this model working?
  • Does the latest South Boston Waterfront Plan make progress in solving some of the area's transportation and land use challenges? Are the recommendations useful and realistic? Visit A Better City for the latest and follow this show for regular updates.
  • Bridge closures: What function could a rebuilt Northern Ave Bridge serve? What is the future of services for at-risk adults following the sudden closure of the Long Island Bridge? (update)
  • Former Transportation Secretary Jim Aloisi offers three "visionary" proposals that may not really be all that visionary. But they're not new and we're not impressed. We think there are more useful, realistic and equitable transit investments we could be making.
  • Paris prohibits "unnecessary traffic" from city center, with service vehicles and residents' cars excepted (Grist)

Did we miss something or get it wrong? Send us your questions, comments and ideas for topics or guests >> contact usOr share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Transit Matters Podcast is your source for transportation news, analysis, interviews and more. We focus on sustainable transportation planning, operations and policies in Boston and beyond. Transit Matters is a joint project of local transit enthusiasts Marc Ebuña, Jeremy Mendelson and Josh Fairchild.

Like this project? Share it around, tell your friends and colleagues, and subscribe to the RSS feed (iTunes) to be notified of new posts and episodes.

Podcast 07a - StreetTalks on livable streets, effective transportation and smart planning

The LivableStreets Alliance recently hosted an event featuring ten speakers on various transportation and urban design topics. Episode 7a is our recap and analysis of the event. More info and the full list of speakers via LivableStreets. A few of the questions we considered in this show:

  • What kind of transformative changes should be part of the GoBoston 2030 plan if it is to address the worsening housing and transportation crises?  
  • Are "complete streets" obsolete? Should we create single-mode streets? What are the economic implications of street design decision?
  • Where and when can we introduce  "gold standard" bus rapid transit (BRT) in Boston?
  • How can we welcome new Youth Pass and University Pass users on a transit system already over capacity? What challenges and opportunities arise from having more students use public transportation?
  • Can tech-focused private transit operators help to improve or supplement transit?
  • Can aesthetics and recreation become key elements of urban design rather than an afterthought for the space "leftover" after movement is provided for?
  • Frustrated by the slow speed of working within established planning processes? Why not build a DIY demonstration project to show people the benefits right away and build political support for more significant improvements. And how can we do it for transit?

Read more about the podcast and send us your questions, comments and ideas for topics or guests >> contact usOr share your thoughts on anything we discussed in the comments below. Find us at the Transit Matters station or on Twitter: Marc, Josh, Jeremy. Follow Jeremy for selected highlights and musings from this week's annual conference of the Transportation Research Board.

The Transit Matters Podcast is your source for transportation news, analysis, interviews and more. We focus on sustainable transportation planning, operations and policies in Boston and beyond. Transit Matters is a joint project of local transit enthusiasts Marc Ebuña, Jeremy Mendelson and Josh Fairchild.

Like this project? Share it around, tell your friends and colleagues, and subscribe to the RSS feed (iTunes) to be notified of new posts and episodes.

On the T with MBTA GM Rich Davey

I don't often travel on the T after 8 for various reasons, all unrelated to the number of notices I get via the T-Alerts emails about delays. Last Thursday evening it was an unavoidable affair, but it was certainly fruitful. MBTA General Manager Rich Davey, another person, and I were all heading home after the joint MBTA-MassDOT Developers event, Where's The Bus? 2.0 and we got stuck on a southbound Red Line train at Charles-MGH due to a broken down train at Park Street. Our idle chatting turned into an impromptu interview with the new GM nearly 11 weeks into his appointment.