Don’t Stop the Momentum on T Reform

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Today, Pioneer Institute submits testimony in support of MBTA bus maintenance and management reform at a hearing of the Massachusetts State Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight. The MBTA is proposing to outsource bus maintenance at 3 of its 9 garages, a practice which has been successful at regional transit authorities across the state.
The proposal would have minimal impact on the agency’s mechanics, who would remain in the Machinists’ union; but would free the T to make needed management improvements currently prohibited by contracts that limit the duties of Supervisors. Modernization of business practices as a result of the proposal could save taxpayers $11 million per year. Studies have found opportunities for improvement in the operation’s software system, standards, purchasing practices, and supply chain management. During the MBTA’s three-year exemption from the commonwealth’s anti-privatization law, the T has seen significant savings when private contractors have been granted oversight of warehouse operations and cash handling. These savings can be invested in critical system upgrades. Read our full testimony, and our op-eds, media coverage, and research below.

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Pioneer Institute Statement on MBTA Service Cuts

Even as MBTA ridership and revenue have been gutted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the system remains a lifeline for so many residents in the Greater Boston area, especially those working in essential services like health care or in industries most impacted by the pandemic such as the restaurant sector.  Facing a crisis of this magnitude, T leadership must first do its all to rethink how it delivers services before reflexively making cuts.

Public Comment on I-90 Allston Multimodal Project

Last year, Pioneer Institute proposed that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)  revise its Scoping Report on the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project and recommend an additional option - a modified at-grade option for the throat area - to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  The Institute believed then and continues to believe that an all at-grade design will shorten construction time, lower costs, create fewer negative economic and congestion impacts, and improve neighborhood access to parkland along the Charles River.

Clearing Boston’s Throat: What the I-90 Allston Project Portends for Metro West Commuters

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Join hosts Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer Institute’s Mary Connaughton, and guest, former Mass. Secretary of Transportation Jim Aloisi, as they discuss the I90 Allston Multimodal Project, its long-term benefits, and their concerns for the metro west commuters and communities during the project’s decade-long construction.

COVID-19 Silver Lining: MBTA Takes Advantage of Ridership Lull to Accelerate $8.5 Billion Modernization Program

Pioneer Institute congratulates the Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) and MBTA management for taking advantage of the precipitous ridership declines due to the COVID pandemic to dramatically accelerate ongoing construction projects.

A Time to Build

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The MBTA is taking advantage of anemic low ridership from the…

Open Letter to MassDOT Board Regarding I-90 Allston Multimodal Project

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Read Pioneer's Open Letter to MassDOT on the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project, Boston, MA National Environmental Policy Act Review Scoping Report: All At-Grade Option and 8-lane Turnpike – Throat Area

Survey Suggests Demand for Telecommuting After COVID-19 Crisis

Citing an avoidance of the commute and more flexible scheduling, nearly 63 percent of respondents to Pioneer Institute’s survey, “Will You Commute To Work When The COVID-19 Crisis Is Over?” expressed a preference to work from home one day a week, and a plurality preferred two to three days a week, even after a COVID-19 vaccine is available. Respondents cite social isolation as the biggest drawback of remote work. The survey was conducted from April 22nd to May 15th, and received responses from over 700 individuals.

It's Time for the MBTA to Actively Engage Riders to Understand Their Commuting Plans

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The MBTA should conduct a survey of mTicket app users regarding their future plans. Some may never work in offices again. Some will certainly do some workdays in the office and some at home. Others will be in offices and back to business as usual at some point. Using their responses, the T can calculate ridership and determine projected revenue.

Study Highlights Transit Agency Best Practices in Response to COVID-19

The MBTA is taking a number of important steps to mitigate risks associated with the coronavirus, but some transit agencies around the country - from Philadelphia to San Francisco - have done significantly more, according to a new study that highlights the best practices of U.S. transit systems in response to COVID-19.

WILL YOU COMMUTE TO WORK WHEN THE COVID-19 CRISIS IS OVER?

How will you look at commuting in the future? This survey will ask over 30,000 people how their attitudes and habits will change. Please be part of our work to understand the changing world around us.

MassDOT’s West Station design plans fall one track short

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In 2014, MassDOT proposed the construction of West Station, a…

Open Letter to MA Governor Charlie Baker Regarding Boston Commuters from Points West

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In an Open Letter to the Massachusetts Governor, Pioneer Institutes presents its concerns about the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project, and its impact on those who will be most affected during the project’s construction

A Control Board Equipped for the Next Phase of MBTA Reform

In a new policy brief out today, Pioneer Institute calls on the Massachusetts Legislature to extend the life of the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board beyond the current fiscal year ending on June 30, and adjust it to address the agency's new challenges.

Pioneer Urges MassDOT to Reconsider At-Grade Throat Option for I-90 Allston Multimodal Project

Pioneer's new Public Comment calls on the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to revise its Scoping Report on the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project and recommend an additional option to the Federal Highway Administration.

VIDEO: Reduce Carbon Emissions with Perq!

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In the final video of a new three-part animated series, Pioneer Institute explores how the MBTA's commuter benefit program called Perq saves you money, lowers your tax burden, and shortens your commute - all while helping the planet.

VIDEO: Attract & Retain Top Employees Through Perq!

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In part two of a new three-part animated video series, Pioneer…

Study Finds Revived Merit Rating Board Taking Steps to Carry Out Statutorily Mandated Duties

The Merit Rating Board’s recent adoption of a regular meeting schedule, and related resolutions, are important steps in light of that Board’s 1976 governing statute.