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.

Podcast 06 - Dealing with Overcrowding | Guest: Amateur Planner

Podcast 06 - Dealing with Overcrowding | Guest: Amateur Planner

We are joined by the Amateur Planner to talk about transit challenges such as crowded trains and buses, planning and managing bus routes, taxis, parking, fares, and some ways we can do to improve our transit system.

Podcast 05 - Post-Election Roundup | Guest: Walking Bostonian

Podcast 05 - Post-Election Roundup | Guest: Walking Bostonian

The panel is back for a post-election show crush-loaded with over an hour of the latest transportation news and analysis, this time joined by the Walking Bostonian (Matthew Danish) to explain how the theory of induced (travel) demand applies to roads and transit in Boston. We learn about everything from our most frustrating transit line (hint: it's green) to efforts to re imagine a boulevard of death (Commonwealth Ave in Allston & Brighton) to an entirely new neighborhood about to be created in Allston -- if we get it right.

November's show would not be complete without a recap of the election including the repeal of gas tax indexing, speculation on transit's future under Governor Charlie Baker and how we might build on the legacy of the late Mayor Menino.

More after the break...

Podcast 04 - MBTA Present & Future: transit challenges and opportunities.

Podcast 04 - MBTA Present & Future: transit challenges and opportunities.

Discussing the state of transit in Boston are Marc Ebuna, Jeremy Mendelson and Josh Fairchild. In this wide ranging conversation, sure to be the first of many, we discuss some of what's (not) working in our fragmented transportation network and share some potential solutions.

More after the break...

Assembly Station Opens Amidst Accelerating Growth in Somerville

Assembly Station Opens Amidst Accelerating Growth in Somerville

The MBTA's first new station in 27 years opened this Tuesday at the start of service with little fanfare. Of course, no grand opening isn't without its ribbon cutting ceremonly, which followed that afternoon with Governor Patrick, Somerville Mayor Curtatone, MassDOT Secretary Davey, and MBTA GM Scott.

Assembly Station on the Orange Line is located in Somerville on the site of a former Ford assembly plant. Somerville is hoping to grow its available housing stock to keep up with booming housing demand and especially the demand induced by the introduction of this and 6 new stations over the next 5 years.

What does this growth mean for the region? Will Somerville be the only town on the north side of the Orange Line to truly seize the opportunity for 'smart growth' and add meaningful volume to a region starved for housing?