Blog

What’s Up With Bus Bunching?

Patrick Sullivan | June 23, 2015

Ask any regular bus rider what their biggest pet peeve is, and inevitably the first response you will likely here is bus bunching. Why am I forced to wait for a late bus only to have 2 buses on the same route arrive are the same time? Why aren’t they spaced out better? How hard can it be? What is bus bunching? NewScientist explains: Public transport vehicles – underground trains, for example – set off from the start of their routes equally spaced. The problem starts when one is briefly delayed, making more time for passengers to accumulate at stations further…
Ridesharing: Then and Now

Patrick Sullivan | September 4, 2014

Uber. Lyft. Sidecar. Ridejoy. Hitch. RidesScout. Carma. These are the ridesharing apps that I can think of off the top of my head. Ridesharing (or Transportation Network) apps have become a hot (and controversial) technology that are helping to drive the explosive growth of the sharing economy. Entrepreneurs on both coasts are looking for innovative new ways to disrupt the traditional ways in which we commute. From UberX, which turns anyone’s car into a taxi, to CarmaHop, a modern take on hitchhiking, new technology is pushing us to rethinking the relationship between a car, a driver, and a passenger. For some commuters, ridesharing…
Will We Ever Have a VMT Tax in Massachusetts?

Patrick Sullivan | July 17, 2014

For as long as we have had roads, we have been trying to figure out the best way to pay for them. Over the years, a per-gallon gasoline tax has been widely adopted on both a state and federal level as the primary method in which revenue is generated to pay for highway construction and maintenance. This system worked relatively well for many decades, but improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency have significantly reduced fuel consumption. A study by the Rand Corporation found that gas consumption has decreased by nearly 50 percent since 1980, yet vehicle miles traveled have doubled, creating conditions where…
Thursday Traffic: What Gives?

Patrick Sullivan | March 31, 2014

When you commute to the same place every day for an extended period of time, you begin to notice and anticipate the ebbs and flows of traffic along the way. I’ve been either biking or driving the same route to my office in Waltham for over 3 years, so I’ve developed an acute feel for when and where to expect traffic during my journey to work. There are some things I’ve noticed that are probably universal to most people who commute in the Greater Boston area. For example, traffic is worse when school is in session between September and June.…
Are we Incentivizing Driving to Work Alone?

Patrick Sullivan | February 25, 2014

It’s likely that some people might be unfamiliar with the Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit, a commuter tax benefit that has been part of the Federal Tax Code since 1993.  The Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit provides commuters between $20-$250 dollars per month (depending upon the commute mode they use) to cover costs associated with commuting to and from work. Developed in order to promote the use of mass transit and to improve air quality, this fringe benefit was created in response to tax programs in the 1970s and 1980s that provided tax relief only for commuters that had to pay for…