Boston Transit Media Round-up 3/28/2014

Since moving to Boston in January, it’s been my focus to get settled in and also start working on projects.  Now that I’m starting to get settled in, I figured it’s time to start taking up the pen here.  My musings are more so to keep a log of some of the comings and goings of public transit and other alternative transit modes here in Boston for the time being.

This week has been a big week for Bostonians who ride on Public Transit.  The Government Center two-year shut-down has started, late-night trial service starts tonight, and the public participation process for a 5% fare increase began this week.

It’s been hard finding an equivalent US city going through such a shut-down of a major station for so long.  I haven’t been able to find anything of considerable length and with such a major impact to ridership in the past twenty years in the US.  Though it’s only 2-years, it’s quite hard to attempt to estimate the effects of a two-year closure of a major transfer station in the heart of the city. We shall see in the next few months how ridership and revenue change for both the blue and green lines, in year-over-year comparisons.  Mixed sentiments all around.  Late-night service starts tonight on the MBTA and it’s been covered by several sources in the local media.  Generally, positive sentiment in the news media. Fare hikes though, no one loves the fare hikes. Generally, cautious and negative sentiments rule the day here.

Big News

Government Center Shutdown! Covered by many. (BU News Service) (CBS Boston) (NECN) (NECN with GM Scott, PhD)

Late Night starting tonight (Boston.com) (451heat.com) (Boston.com) (WCBV) (WBUR) (BostInno) (Video: BU News Service) (WWLP)
Therefore, let’s party! (Globe) (Globe 2) (Blog: YTYK)
A thoughtful piece on MBTA maintenance cycles, but, really, on two nights it’s already not likely to happen. (WGBH)
T: It should be safe to be out that late too! (Boston.com)
MBTA Advisory for Late-night service: (MBTA)

Fare hikes in the works for July 1, 2014 (Globe) (Daily Free Press/BU) (Wilmington Patch) (Dedham Patch) (Opinion-Suffolk [Univ] Journal) (Boston Mag) (Gazette Net-Northampton) (Mass Transit Mag via Boston Herald) (ItemLive.com)
Boston Business Journal isn’t happy (BBJ)

Context: In STL, Gas Tax erosion –> Fare hikes (Streetsblog Network) Intuition, Same for Boston
Highways & Public Transit are both Subsidized

Hubway opens next Friday, April 4, 2014 in Boston, Brookline, Somerville ()

Day to Day

March 11 Framingham Blotter: 2 Arrests for Fighting at MBTA Train Station Parking Lot (Framingham Patch)

Quincy Man Charged with Officer Impersonation at MBTA Station (Patriot Ledger)

Operations & Services & Routes

Transit bulb-out nearly complete in JP (JP Gazette)

Keolis starts staffing up to take over MBCR contract (Fort Mills Times)

TSA reviewing own employee’s connection to Keolis (Boston Herald)

Massport to start a Back Bay-Logan shuttle during a 2-year pilot program (Boston.com)

Infrastructure & Rolling Stock

Hyundai-Rotem aims to get the MBTA bid on the Red & Orange line car bid (Globe)

Meanwhile: CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles Reps Stare at Machinery in Springfield to assess manufacuturing skills (MassLive.com)

Related: CNR Changchun Railway Vehciles Scouting Location in Springfield (MassLive.com)

Some inter-town parking rivalries heating up in Billerica & Lowell (Lowell Sun)

Pru Tunnel Closures sure were fun (MassDOT via Twitter)

Pre-construction activities for Arborway Maintenace Facility start (Jamaica Plain Gazette)

DOT Chief Davey Offers Help for Fitchburg-area Garage Construction (Sentinel & Enterprise)

Funding & Policy

Rail contractor MBCR continues to contest the awarding to Keolis. (Globe)

Commentary: South Coast Rail Funding Debate will yield interesting discussions (Herald News)

Other

Visualization: A “traffic view” take on the MBTA (BostInno)

History: South Station Cinema/Theatre (MassDOT Blog)

Arbitrator reaffirms decision by MBTA to fire train operator at helm of 2012 Boyston Derailment (Boston.com) (Boston Mag)

Related: Footage of Incident on Youtube (Youtube via MBTA GM)

Hubway: Docs can now prescribe Hubway for Obesity (Boston Mag)

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