Featured Beer & Transit - 24th Jan

Join us for a special Beer & Transit at District Hall in the Seaport District! As our inaugural event for 2017, we'll set the tone for action to move Faster Forward toward a better transit network for all in the coming year.

Celebrate with us our progress in 2016, where we stand with NightBus as we close out January, and ring in the new year with renewed focus on the opportunities that lie ahead of us!

GUEST SPEAKERS

Jim Aloisi, Fmr MA Transport Secretary

 

AGENDA

  • 6:00 - 6:30 PM – Registration
  • 6:30 - 7:30 PM – Review of 2016, Updates on NightBus, Look Ahead into 2017, Q&A
  • 7:30 - 9:00 PM – Discussion and Social/Networking
 

LOCATION

District Hall
75 Northern Avenue
Boston, MA 02210

 


Beer & Transit is our monthly beer summit on transit issues, a mix of lecture, discussion, and social event.

Like these events? Volunteer or join as a member and help us keep the conversation going!

Beer & Transit - 24th Oct

Join us on Monday, October 24 for another Beer & Transit after the MBTA Rider Oversight Committee meeting. This month, we’ll hear from Margaret “Peggy” Griffin, Civil Rights Officer at the Federal Transit Administration at the general meeting, followed by discussion, networking, and drinks.

The Rider Oversight Committee seeks to bridge the gap between the MBTA and the Public, addressing issues that come to its attention through a variety of means and providing recommendations to the MBTA that communicate the needs and concerns of all riders. The group’s general meetings are open to the public and occur monthly in the Massachusetts State Transportation Building.

GUEST SPEAKER

PEGGY GRIFFIN, CIVIL RIGHTS OFFICER, FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION (REGION 1)

As the FTA's Civil Rights Officer for Region 1, Peggy oversees reviews of transit agencies in New England to gauge their compliance with federal law.  She monitors a wide range of activities at the MBTA and other local agencies, ranging from their Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) practices to their compliance with environmental justice strategies that protect members of minority and/or low-income populations.

AGENDA

  • 5:00 - 5:15 PM – Call MBTA ROC Meeting to Order / Public Comments
  • 5:15 - 6:00 PM – Peggy Griffin (guest speaker)
  • 6:00 - 7:00 PM – Rider Oversight Committee Reports
  • 7:00 - 8:30 PM – Move to Rock Bottom Brewery for Discussion and Social/Networking

LOCATIONS

SPEAKER AND MEETING

Massachusetts State Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza
Conference Rooms 1, 2, and 3
(Green Line to Boylston Street; Orange Line to Tufts MC; or multiple buses).

Can't attend in person? Watch live on YouTube.

DRINKS AND NETWORKING

Rock Bottom Brewery
115 Stuart St, Boston, MA

Beer & Transit is our monthly beer summit on transit issues, a mix of lecture, discussion, and social event.

Like these events? Volunteer or join as a member and help us keep the conversation going!

Beer & Transit - 26th Sept

 

Join us on Monday, September 26 for another Beer & Transit after the MBTA Rider Oversight Committee meeting. This month, we’ll hear from David Scorey, General Manager at Keolis North America, at the general meeting, followed by discussion, networking, and drinks.

The Rider Oversight Committee seeks to bridge the gap between the MBTA and the Public, addressing issues that come to its attention through a variety of means and providing recommendations to the MBTA that communicate the needs and concerns of all riders. The group’s general meetings are open to the public and occur monthly in the Massachusetts State Transportation Building.

GUEST SPEAKER

David Scorey, General Manager, Keolis Commuter Services

As General Manager for Keolis Commuter Services, David Scorey oversees all aspects of the MBTA Commuter Rail service in Boston. He brings nearly 30 years of experience in the passenger rail industry, most recently serving as Managing Director for Southern Railway, one of the largest and most complex railroads in the United Kingdom, with 2,200 trains and 600,000 passenger trips each day.  Southern is managed by Govia Thameslink Railway, a joint venture between Keolis and Go Ahead. In his role as GM of Keolis Commuter Services, David is focused on continuing to improve service, performance and customer satisfaction across the system.

AGENDA

  • 5:00 - 5:15 PM – Call MBTA ROC Meeting to Order / Public Comments
  • 5:15 - 6:00 PM – David Scorey (guest speaker)
  • 6:00 - 7:00 PM – Rider Oversight Committee Reports
  • 7:00 - 8:30 PM – Move to Rock Bottom Brewery for Discussion and Social/Networking

LOCATIONS

SPEAKER AND MEETING

Massachusetts State Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza
Conference Room 4
(Green Line to Boylston Street; Orange Line to Tufts MC; or multiple buses).

Can't attend in person? Watch live on YouTube.

 

DRINKS AND NETWORKING

Rock Bottom Brewery
115 Stuart St, Boston, MA


Beer & Transit is our monthly beer summit on transit issues, a mix of lecture, discussion, and social event.

Like these events? Volunteer or join as a member and help us keep the conversation going!

Beer & Transit - 22nd Aug

 

Join us on Monday, August 22 for another Beer & Transit after the MBTA Rider Oversight Committee meeting. This month, we’ll hear from Jennifer Rowe of CTPS/Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization at the general meeting, followed by discussion, networking, and drinks.

The Rider Oversight Committee seeks to bridge the gap between the MBTA and the Public, addressing issues that come to its attention through a variety of means and providing recommendations to the MBTA that communicate the needs and concerns of all riders. The group’s general meetings are open to the public and occur monthly in the Massachusetts State Transportation Building.

GUEST SPEAKER

JENNIFER ROWE, PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT MANAGER, CTPS/BOSTON REGION METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION

As a public participation specialist, Jennifer engages people, organizations, and communities in the work of the Boston Region MPO. She is responsible for facilitating an informed and equitable decision-making process for the allocation of federal funding to improve transportation in the region. She also is tasked with implementing the MPO’s Public Participation Plan. Jennifer has a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and a B.A. from Williams College.

At the ROC meeting, she'll be talking about:

  • The UPWP, TIP, and LRTP & the MPO’s process for creating these documents
  • How people can have meaningful input in the MPO’s processes
  • How CTPS’s work fits into other transportation planning processes in the region

AGENDA

  • 5:00 - 5:15 PM – Call MBTA ROC Meeting to Order / Public Comments
  • 5:15 - 6:00 PM – Jennifer Rowe (guest speaker)
  • 6:00 - 7:00 PM – Rider Oversight Committee Reports
  • 7:00 - 8:30 PM – Move to Rock Bottom Brewery for Discussion and Social/Networking

LOCATIONS

SPEAKER AND MEETING

Massachusetts State Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza
Conference Rooms 1, 2, and 3
(Green Line to Boylston Street; Orange Line to Tufts MC; or multiple buses).

Can't attend in person? Watch live on YouTube.

 

DRINKS AND NETWORKING

Rock Bottom Brewery
115 Stuart St, Boston, MA


Beer & Transit is our monthly beer summit on transit issues, a mix of lecture, discussion, and social event.

Like these events? Volunteer or join as a member and help us keep the conversation going!

Beer & Transit - 10th Aug

We're back with another Beer & Transit! This time, we're pairing it with a live podcast episode recording and bringing on two guests to talk about active transit. We've joined up with Boston Cyclists Union and featured guests Josh Zisson and Iea Toner to talk about the emotional effects of a crash, what to do after you've had a crash on a bike, the role we all play in making our streets safer.

 

We will be in Lir's upstairs space!

Since we've scrambled this together on short notice, we're making this featured event free to all, but you're welcome to donate during registration or at the door. All proceeds will support our organisations in our advocacy for a safer transport network that connects people to work, play, and each other.

Grab your tickets below!

T Board Wants All-Night Service Proposal Vetted

THE MBTA OVERSIGHT BOARD on Monday put on hold a plan to add additional bus routes to mitigate the cancellation of late-night service until a more sweeping proposal for all-night bus service can be vetted.

The T’s Fiscal Management and Control Board was intrigued enough by a proposal put forth on March 30 in CommonWealth magazine by three transportation advocates – Ari Ofsevit, Jeremy Mendelson, and James Aloisi – to put on hold a staff recommendation to add the bus routes.

In their article, the three advocates suggested expanding an existing bus service for early-morning workers to provide all-night service every day of the week. The proposal called for selected buses to run on an hourly basis during the night from most areas served by the T to a central point such as Copley Square, where passengers could make connections to their final destination. One bus route would run to Logan Airport, where nearly half of all shifts begin before MBTA service starts. The advocates said they believed the expanded service “would cost on the order of $1 million per year.”

Full article on CommonWealth and a similar article on Boston.com.

Beer & Transit - Casual Meetup - Wed 4/13

All this advocacy stuff has consumed us but we there's always time for Beer & Transit. This time it's an informal gathering: no guest speaker, just the TransitMatters crew and you. 

Wed 4/13, 6-8 pm, at J.J. Foley's, 21 Kingston St, near Downtown Crossing.

If you've been looking to get involved or are interested in transit issues or just curious about TransitMatters, come join us to talk transit in a casual atmosphere. Feel free to show up anytime.

Can't make it this time? We'll be doing more of these informal meetups so stay tuned or contact us to get involved. These events are free but a donation to support our work is always appreciated if you have some extra funds.

Our Plan for All Night T Service

WE BELIEVE THERE is an affordable pathway toward establishment of a robust late-night transit service on the MBTA, building on the T’s existing early morning bus service. Our plan would not just offer service on Friday and Saturday nights, as the recently canceled late-night experiment did, but instead offer service all night, every night, and be geared primarily toward getting people to their late-night and early morning jobs.

Read full article on CommonWealth Magazine and more info on our blog.

Thanks to repeat podcast guest Ari Ofsevit (The Amateur Planner) for designing most of the plan.

TransitMatters Advocacy Meeting - Feb 22

Interested in getting involved and working for better transit?

Please join us for our first monthly advocacy meeting. We will discuss what everyone is working on, help each other, and think about some potential advocacy actions coming up.  This is also a good time to learn more about how TransitMatters works and what we can achieve. Anyone interested in more effective transit is welcome.

When: Monday, February 22, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Where: District Hall, 75 Northern Ave, Seaport District. Silver Line to Courthouse.

Can't make it? Please become a member to support our work, and come next month.
 

MBTA suffers severe delays due to 'rail issues' on first cold day of winter - Metro

January 6, 2016

So much for "winter resiliency" ...

Tranist advocates blamed a lack of maintenance for the problems.

“The system has not been maintained,” TransitMatters Director Jeremy Mendelson said. “Service quality has declined over the years, the many cuts and fare increases have not improved. This is an infrastructure problem. The issues today were nowhere near each other and there isn’t even any snow. These issues are all preventable and it is a result of them not being adequately funded."

Read story.

It Will Take More Than a Fare Hike To Fix The MBTA - WGBH News

Jan 6, 2016

By James Aloisi

In the same week that the House Speaker announced that he would not support any tax or fee increases this year, the same week when a Commuter Rail train derailed because of apparent infrastructure issues, and when delays were rampant on the Red Line—in that same week—we were told to prepare for yet another hike in MBTA fares. Forget about the optics of all this, which are terrible. Let’s talk instead about what it says about our values as a city and as a Commonwealth.

A fare increase is not justified by improved service. The T’s winter resilience program was smart and well funded, but unreliable performance is not solely the consequence of winter snow, cold and ice blitzkriegs. As every T rider knows full well, the T’s resilience problem spans all seasons because we are burdened by the high cost of decades of disinvestment. Now we are faced with the harsh reality, affirmed by the T’s Fiscal Control Board, that it will take a sustained effort costing over $7 billion to bring the T into a true state of good repair. Until and unless we can demonstrate some tangible and sustainable improvements to service, asking people to pay more for a service that too often is unreliable is simply not warranted.

A fare increase is also an ineffective revenue-generating tool. The proposed high- and low-range fare increases do not raise anywhere near enough to make a dent in the $7 billion state-of-good repair gap. The anticipated additional $20 to $40 million in fare revenue may help reduce a projected operating deficit, but I suspect most riders would rather see the T take action to reduce costs first. The deliberate strategy of announcing a plethora of mini-scandals of overtime abuse and fare evasion raises the question: Why not fix that stuff first and then ask for a fare hike?

Nor is a fare increase warranted by a low fare box recovery ratio (the percentage of fares paying for operating costs). Recent analysis by the Frontier Group has shown that when you fairly compare the T’s fare box recovery to other systems on a mode-for-mode basis (i.e. comparing bus-to-bus, light rail to light rail), the T is just about in the middle range nationally, and actually leads in fare box recovery for light rail service. Some may say that T fares should nevertheless cover a higher percentage of operating costs, but that view leads directly to a discussion of fairness and equity.

It is time to ask why taxes are always off the table, but fare increases are not. Since 2000, T fares have doubled while the gas tax was increased by a paltry 3 cents in 2013 (the first gas tax increase in over 20 years). This is the state that refused to even adjust its gas tax for inflation, but when it comes to asking T riders to pay more money for the same unimproved service, few voices cry foul. Is this because of the perception that only (or mostly) the powerless take the T? If not, what accounts for the disparate treatment of T riders?

Full story.

James Aloisi is a former Secretary of Transportation and a principal in the Pemberton Square Group.

MBTA officials consider 2 fare-hike proposals - Boston Globe

Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack defended the decision to consider fare increases even as many riders criticize the authority’s service. She said the MBTA is looking at many ways to infuse more cash into the system, in addition to increasing fares.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/01/04/mbta-could-raise-fares-percent-percent-for-monthly-passes/EfbzCvKlWVe94sPZFM3KZL/story.html

 

Who killed late-night T? - Boston Globe

Dec 24, 2015

The T’s latest experiment with late-night transit launched with high hopes just a year and a half ago. This month, Governor Charlie Baker’s Fiscal and Management Control Board began the process of eliminating it early in the new year. As they contemplate fare hikes and other “unpopular or even painful” choices, T officials have deemed late-night service an experiment that failed.

Yet if a cash-strapped MBTA can’t keep running until bars close on weekend nights, that bodes ill for everything else the agency does. Late-night transit is at the mercy of the same aged equipment, cost structure, political currents, and tortured history that shape the T’s operations during the week.

Strip away the unfair stigma about ferrying around tipsy college students, and late night looks like this: It’s unprofitable, but it fills a niche and increases the T’s overall consumer appeal. In other words, it’s like many other services that the T provides.

So who or what brought late-night transit to this precipice? Let’s consider some of the suspects:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/12/23/who-killed-late-night/IvnxAM16phSArh7M4xFIvI/story.html

State transportation department cancels Green Line Extension contracts - Politico

State transportation department cancels Green Line Extension contracts

“The T terminated its contracts with construction manager and general contractor White-Skanska-Kiewit, project manager and construction manager HDR/Gilbane, independent cost estimator Stanton Constructability Services, and final designer AECOM/HNTB, the transportation agency announced [Thursday].” …

-- “‘The state is looking for ways to pare down the project but a lot of these are very short-sighted,’ said Jeremy Mendelson of Transit Matters, citing proposals outlined Wednesday including one that would remove a planned maintenance station in Somerville in order to lower capital construction costs for the overall project. ‘If you try to pare it down, you cut a capital cost but raise operating cost long term.’”...

Read more.