Monday, July 16, 2012
How would you rate the on-time performance of the Needham Commuter Rail line?
The Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail Company said the Needham line had a 96.9 percent contractual on-time performance rate in June. The MBCR said it has a contractually stipulated required goal of 95 percent. The MBCR said in a press release that "accounting for factors within MBCR's control the Needham line has exceeded its contractual OTP (on-time performance) goal of 95 percent in every month in 2012." For the year, the Needham line has been on time 96.8 percent of the time and reached its highest rate of 98.2 percent in February. How would you rate the commuter rail's timeliness of meeting its stated schedule?
Saturday, June 30, 2012
It will cost more to ride the T starting this weekend—and some routes will have decreased service.
On Sunday the MBTA's fare increases start. They're being imposed—along with service cuts—to close the transit agency's $160 million budget gap. Most of those service cuts also begin Sunday. In Needham, the local Commuter Rail line will be cut on Saturdays beginning July 7—delayed one week because of the July 4 events planned in Boston. The Needham Line already does not run on Sundays. There are other changes, like an increase in the surcharge for getting your Commuter Rail ticket on the train (if the station where you board has ticket machines). THE RIDE will add a more expensive $5 zone starting Oct. 1. For a complete list of changes taking place on the MBTA system beginning Sunday, visit this T link or check out the PDFs attached to this…
Monday, June 25, 2012
The local Commuter Rail trains will continue operating through the weekend to accommodate visitors during the Tall Ship and Fourth events.
The Commuter Rail's Needham Line will continue to operate through the upcoming holiday weekend, as plans to eliminate weekend service have been postponed until July 7. The Saturday service cut was part of the final plan approved by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in April in an effort to close a projected $161 million deficit in the 2013 fiscal year. The plan called for other cuts on various Commuter Rail and bus lines and an across-the-board fare increase. The changes were set to take place on July 1 with the start of the new fiscal year. While the fare increases are set to begin as scheduled, weekend service on Needham and other lines will not be eliminated until one week later. "A normal Sunday service will operate on …
Friday, May 25, 2012
The MBTA is looking far and wide for a company to run its Commuter Rail service.
Before the MBTA shells out billions on a new long-term, Commuter Rail service contract, it is first spending nearly $3 million on an international search to attract the best applicants, according to the Boston Herald. The T is looking for a company to run its Commuter Rail service operations over the next five to possibly 30 years, as its current, roughly $250 million-per-year contract with the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. (MBCR) expires June 2013. MBCR plans to bid aggressively for the new deal, according to the Huffington Post. The company, which has been in place since 2003, has received some criticism during its tenure, primarily for weather-related delays. However, MBCR officials defended their record in January. Half of …
Thursday, April 5, 2012
The plan, effective July 1, includes a 23 percent rise in fares and a cut in service.
When the vote was heard, the room filled with the shouts of "Shame on You!" That was the initial public reaction on Thursday to the MBTA's approval of a plan that aims to boost fares 23 percent and cut service back to help rectify a $161 million deficit. MBTA board members approved the plan in a 4-1 vote, which would raise most subway fares by 30 cents, bus fares by 25 cents, and commuter rail fares by at least $1.25. The new fares are effective July 1. There's been a mix of reaction from Patch readers over the issue, even since the MBTA's first two proposals, which looked to increase fares by up to 43 percent and make drastic cuts to service on the commuter rail at night and on weekends. So, now that the new plan has been approved, what …
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
The MBTA faces a budget deficit heading into the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
After all of the talk, public hearings, and protests over the past three months, the MBTA Board voted Wednesday afternoon to boost fares 23 percent and cut back service in an attempt to close a projected $161 million deficit in the next fiscal year. Board members approved a plan in a 4-1 vote that would raise most subway fares by 30 cents, bus fares by 25 cents, and commuter rail fares by at least $1.25. Meanwhile, some cuts in service—mainly involving bus routes, The Ride and the Commuter Rail—were also approved. Locally, weekend Commuter Rail service on the Needham Line will be cut, but Bus 59 will continue to operate on its usual schedule. Many people showed up at Wednesday's hearing on Beacon Hill and were given a chance to talk …
Thursday, March 29, 2012
The MBTA is offering a 23 percent increase to help deal with a budget downfall.
In a most recent update on Wednesday, the MBTA has proposed a 23 percent fare increase to help offset an ongoing budget defecit, according to a Boston.com report Thursday. Under the new proposal, commuter rail single trip and monthly passes would increase an average of 29 percent, depending upon the zone of travel. Bus fares with a CharlieCard would increase from $1.25 to $1.50, while a bus-subway LinkPass would increase from $59 to $70. Those using CharlieCards on the subway would pay $2 instead of the current rate of $1.70. If approved, the new plan would be effective July 1, and would not include hefty service cuts proposed under the original plan. But what do you think about the new proposal? Is this better or worse than what was …
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Updated proposal would preserve the town's Bus 59 route and include a 23 percent fare increase across the board.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced an updated budget plan today that would eliminate weekend Commuter Rail service in Needham but preserve the local bus route, Bus 59, that many people working and living in town rely on daily. The new plan, announced in a news release posted at 11:30 a.m. on mbta.com, serves to close a $185 million gap in the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s budget for fiscal year 2013. Along with limiting the service cuts originally proposed, the new plan includes an average fare increase of 23 percent, as opposed to the 35-43 percent increase outlined in the original proposal. The final proposal will be submitted for MBTA board approval by April 4 and is the result of more than two …
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Riders are calling out for other passengers to be penalized for taking up too much space.
A number of frustrated MBTA riders have recently urged Transit Police to take action against passengers who take up extra space on crowded trains and buses, according to a Boston Herald report Monday. The main issue, according to disgruntled riders, is with passengers who take up an extra seat with a back pack, umbrella or other parcel. Unlike New York City, where "seat hogs" are fined $50 for taking up extra space, no such fee is enforced in Boston, according to the Boston Herald. But what if Transit Police did start cracking down on such passengers? Do you think those passengers should be fined? Let us know in today's poll and submit your thoughts in the comments section below.
Friday, March 2, 2012
Selectmen are seeking a lease from the MBTA for 2 miles of abandoned tracks
Needham could have a new two-mile recreational path within the next few years if plans for the Bay Colony Rail Trail move forward as projected. On Tuesday, Feb. 29, selectmen unanimously voted to authorize Town Manager Kate Fitzpatrick to send a letter to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which owns approximately two miles of abandoned railroad tracks running through Needham, requesting that the MBTA consider drawing up a lease for the property. Tad Staley, founder of the nonprofit Bay Colony Rail Trail Association, said the MBTA has expressed interest in the reuse of the property for this purpose and in the past has leased land for similar projects for $1 per year over 99 years. Needham is one of several communities looking …