Monday, June 11, 2012
To increase efficiency, time; But will it mean the end to "bunching"?
The saying goes: Less is more. And for the MBTA, less should also mean faster and far more efficient. This past Thursday, the MBTA came to the Beech Street Center to give residents of Belmont and Watertown a preview of its plan to make one of the transportation authority's busiest bus lines – the number 73 route from Harvard to Waverley squares via Cambridge, Watertown and Cambridge – better by means of subtraction. A nice-sized audience of more than 70 residents – about a quarter from Watertown and the rest from Belmont – came to hear from MBTA consultant Kurt Steiner, transportation planner for Boston-based McMahon Associates, on the changes coming to the 13th busiest line in its system, serving approximately 2,400 users a day. The MBTA …
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Beech Street Center meeting will discuss changes to the Waverley bus and the long-awaited reconstruction of Belmont Street/Trapelo Road.
In one week, on Thursday, June 7, the MBTA will be coming to Belmont as part of its Key Bus Route Improvement Program to gather information on how to improve the 73 bus line that travels from Harvard Square into Watertown, through Belmont to Waverley Square. The meeting will he held at the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St. at 7 p.m. The Belmont Street/Trapelo Road Reconstruction Project, which has been in the works for nearly a decade, will also be discussed at the meeting. T officials will discuss relocating or even eliminating bus stops while seeking the public's feedback on the proposed improvements. MBTA officiials will present recommendations for stop consolidation and additional amenities for riders that have been developed from …
Monday, May 14, 2012
Alliance at Saturday's Town Day promoting effort, selling sponges to raise funds.
Many residents believe that the most identified image of Belmont is the one that thousands of drivers transverse everyday: the century-old stone railroad bridge at the intersection of Common Street and Concord Avenue that is the entry to Belmont Center. A traffic magnet during morning and evening rush hours for drivers and commuters who use the MBTA rail system to and from Boston, the iconic overpass bridge is seen by countless commuters each weekday and to anyone who travels to Belmont's business and restaurant hub. It's hard not to pass by or under the bridge sometime during an average week. But as a popular thoroughfare with two dozen rail trips a day, the bridge – built in 1907 – has suffered through years of fumes, grime, neglect and …
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 …
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 …
Belmont's state Sen. will be seeking answers to service reductions to Center buses
Thursday, March 29, 2012
The MBTA staff has released is recommendations about fiscal 2013 to the MBTA Board. In a nutshell, the MBTA clearly got the message that service cuts were unacceptable. The staff recommendations call for relatively minimal service cuts: 99.7 percent of MBTA annual trips are unaffected. In addition, fare increases are limited to only approximately 23 percent overall. We are still studying the staff recommendation, but it appears that very few of the service cuts that my constituents have expressed concern about were recommended. Most routes in my district are unaffected. Michael Buckley on my staff will be posting additional details on my web site. We have posted a complete list of the recommendations by route. For a financial overview of…
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Buses through Belmont Center and late night/weekend commuter rail will continue.
The good news: Belmont commuters will continue to have their buses through Belmont Center and their late night and weekend rail service. The bad news: those same commuters will need to dig deeper into their pockets for that extra quarters to pay for those trips. The MBTA announced a series of recommended fare increases, service cuts and administrative changes Wednesday morning to close its $185 million budget gap in fiscal year 2013. [See the full proposal] Also view a pdf file of the changes on this web page. Belmont walks away from the proposal relatively unscathed, as the MBTA is not recommending any cuts to bus routes that run through town. State Sen. Will Brownsberger told residents earlier this month that cuts were unlikely to occur…
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.
Monday, March 12, 2012
To be held this Thursday at Belmont Town Hall.
Since being proposed late last year, public reaction to plans by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's to close its growing funding deficit has been overwhelmingly negative. Under two proposals, major price increases and large service cuts would be imposed on the system's riders. And the prospective cuts will impact Belmont; in one senario, all bus lines serving Belmont Center will be ended as will late night and weekend commuter rail service at Belmont's two stations. In either case, price hikes are expected. State Sen. Will Brownsberger will be holding a forum Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m. on the MBTA’s proposed service cuts on Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m. in the Selectmen’s Room at Town Hall. All residents are invited to come…
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Eliminated and reduced services, higher fees hurts more than commuters.
Waiting in the cold at the corner of Moore and Leonard streets in Belmont Center, Geoff Jones of Snake Hill Road looks down Leonard for the number 74 bus that travels from the Center to Harvard Square, a trip Jones takes each workday. "It's by far the most convenient means for me to travel (and) it's best for the environment for which I am very committed," said Jones. Not only does Jones take the bus to his job at Harvard, he and his family use the nearby Belmont MBTA Commuter Rail station to travel to appointments in Boston and, on the weekends, to attractions such as the Museum of Science and the harbor. "I use it all around and appreciate it. It's one of the reasons we decided to live in Belmont," said Jones. Yet the modes of transit …