Silver Line

Podcast 16 - Former MassDOT Secretary James Aloisi on the state of transit in Boston

Podcast 16 - Former MassDOT Secretary James Aloisi on the state of transit in Boston

Former MassDOT Secretary James Aloisi joins us to share his thoughts on the MBTA fiscal and management control board - how focusing on the bottom line distracts from improving and expanding our transit network - and how we can achieve a robust, efficient and egalitarian transportation system in an era of public sector austerity.

What reform could the T make to improve service? What does revenue mean and how do we get there? What can cities do? Can the private sector or “innovation” help us use real-time data more effectively to create a better regional transportation network? We review lessons from past political struggles, including the “four constituencies” of any project and challenges of trying to do things differently within structures designed to preserve the status quo. 

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.

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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.