MBTA

Massachusetts Studies Post-COVID Work and Travel

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts on July 13 released a report on work and travel patterns, along with other issues, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 82-page study, “Preparing for the Future of Work,” addresses what work could look like in Massachusetts in both the near term (to 2025) and the longer term (to 2030), as well as “what the implications might be for the Commonwealth and its residents across its regions, economic sectors, commercial centers, local downtowns, transportation, and public spaces.”

Through the new Vax Express program, CIC Health established a rolling vaccination site on board an MBTA Commuter Rail train, making stops at seven stations earlier this month. The public could walk-up without an appointment or book an appointment in advance. A second round of vaccinations on the Vax Express will take place July 7-11.

Transit Briefs: MBTA, SFMTA, Sound Transit, DCTA

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Bay Area Transportation Authority (MBTA), Keolis and CIC Health have teamed on the Commuter Rail Vax Express to boost access to the COVID-19 vaccine; San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will begin restoring cable car service by early September; Amazon is committing $100 million in below-market funding for affordable housing units on Sound Transit surplus properties; and Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) A-train commuter rail turns 10.

“We are honored to receive the Climate Change Project of the Year Award from the EBC,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said. “With 100% of the T’s electricity load coming from fully renewable energy sources as of January 1, 2021, the MBTA continues to expand the use of renewable energy in our portfolio, and continues our commitment to sustainable transit.”

Transit Briefs: MBTA, Metrolinx, LACMTA, CTA

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has earned the New England Environmental Business Council Award for Climate Change Project of the Year; Metrolinx, the Toronto-area regional transit agency, has installed roof-mounted solar photovoltaic panels at four stations, saving almost C$1.8 million in energy costs to date; the CRRC Massachusetts plant recently celebrated the arrival of the first of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (LACMTA) new subway cars on order; and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has launched a Transit Ambassador program.

MBTA: Local Transit Recovering. Will Commuter Rail Follow?

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is restoring some service in and around Boston in the wake of strong criticism by members of Congress and rider advocates. There are improvements planned for local rail transit and some bus lines. Starting in April, some commuter rail riders will benefit from improved mid-day service, while others will have to keep waiting before they have weekend service.

MBTA calls its service-reduction plan “Forging Ahead,” which “Reduces service frequency, Preserves more access and hours of operation, and Avoids some service changes that would have required customers switch modes.”

MBTA Board Softens Blow, But Service Cuts Still Coming

Transit riders throughout the country are facing severe service cuts, as ridership and revenue remain low, and state and local governments face severe financial woes. Earlier this month, Railway Age reported that Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA, known locally as the “T”) announced a lengthy litany of services to be slashed. The Fiscal & Management Control Board (FMCB), which is acting as the Board for the Boston agency these days, has now finalized and approved the cuts by a 3-2 vote.