Broadside: Mass. Gov.’s transportation plan

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NECN.com | January 23, 2013

(NECN) – Wednesday morning’s Green Line fire wasn’t just an inconvenience for MBTA riders – it was also an opportunity for Mass. Governor Deval Patrick to make a point about his new budget.

The budget includes more than $1 billion in new transportation spending, some of which would be used to upgrade the antiquated MBTA system.

The Governor’s transportation plan comes at an average cost of $1 billion more a year in taxes and fees. It includes big-ticket projects, such as a $1.8 billion commuter rail extension to Fall River and New Bedford known as the South Coast Rail.

James Stergios and Stephanie Pollack have been combing through the Governor’s transportation plan with professional eyes.

Stergios is the executive director of the Pioneer Institute, and Pollack is the associate director at the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, which is part of the Transportation for Massachusetts Coalition. Read More

Patrick vows new funds for roads, rail

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By Eric Moskowitz | The Boston Globe | January 4, 2013

Governor Deval Patrick said Friday that he will unveil a proposal later this month to raise the necessary money through taxes or fees to fix the state’s financially beleaguered transportation network.

Patrick declined to say how he would raise the money or how much he would seek. Past reports have identified an annual gap of roughly $1 billion between what the system needs and what the state raises and spends.

But his comments add to a growing sense of inevitability on Beacon Hill that residents will be asked to pay more to repair the state’s crumbling infrastructure and confront years of red ink.

Legislative leaders who previously embraced a policy of “reform before revenue” appear to be shifting from asking whether more money is needed to asking how to raise that money and where to spend it. Read More

Illinois company in final stages of bidding to make high-speed rail cars for Amtrak

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By Alejandra Cancino | Chicago Tribune | September 28, 2012

A rail manufacturer based in Illinois is in the final rounds of bidding to build 130 high-speed passenger rail cars for use on Amtrak routes in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and California.

The order would total $352.3 million.

The bid was submitted by Sumitomo Corp. of America and Nippon Sharyo U.S.A., which opened a $35 million passenger rail car plant in Rochelle in July.
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Car-free commuting push pays off in Kendall Square

image from http://articles.boston.com/2012-07-25/metro/32828703_1_kendall-square-bike-racks

By Eric Moskowitz | The Boston Globe | July 25, 2012

Doug Taylor used to get to work the way most Americans do, driving alone. Then he switched jobs to one of the many Kendall Square companies that offer financial incentives for employees to leave their cars at home. After trying the commuter rail, the 48-year-old Medford resident soon discovered he could pocket even more by biking.

Though Taylor had not owned a bicycle since high school, he now pedals 12 miles most days, taking the T occasionally, driving rarely.

“I enjoy the freedom of doing it and the exercise,” said Taylor, associate ­director since January of an economic research group at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals. “Between riding the bike and the amount of walking I’ve done to and from [the T], I’ve actually lost 12 pounds.” Read More

Catalan president talks public transit, economy

Artur Mas, president of Catalonia, Spain

By | news@Northeastern | June 21, 2012

Artur Mas, the 129th pres­i­dent of the gov­ern­ment of Cat­alonia, Spain, said on Wednesday morning at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity that his com­mu­nity of roughly 7 mil­lion people strives to emu­late Mass­a­chu­setts’ eco­nomic success.

“We can learn from each other,” Mas said. “Of course we would love to have your [gross domestic product] and are envious of your uni­ver­si­ties and research centers.”

Mas addressed more than two dozen mem­bers of the North­eastern com­mu­nity and a con­tin­gent of reporters who gath­ered in the Raytheon Amphithe­ater for a trans­porta­tion sem­inar with Cat­alonian experts from gov­ern­ment and the pri­vate sector. Later in the after­noon at the BIO Inter­na­tional Con­ven­tion in Boston, Mas signed an agree­ment with Mass­a­chu­setts Gov. Deval Patrick to expand Catalonia’s inno­va­tion part­ner­ship with the state.

The World Class Cities Part­ner­ship, an ini­tia­tive of Northeastern’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, hosted the event. The goal of the WCCP is to bring together civic, busi­ness and aca­d­emic leaders from cities throughout the globe for the pur­pose of cre­ating sus­tain­able social change through policy research, and the devel­op­ment and imple­men­ta­tion of best-practice solu­tions to common challenges. Read More

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