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…
The Red Line Extension That Never Was

Patrick Sullivan | January 30, 2015

The Red Line has the highest ridership of any of the MBTA’s rail lines. Stretching North to South from North Cambridge through Downtown Boston and then branching off into Mattapan and Braintree, nearly 273,000 daily unlinked trips are taken on the Red Line’s 21 route miles. The Red Line was the last of the four subway lines to open, with service between Harvard Square and Park Street commencing in 1912. Since 1912 the Red Line has been extended many times, with the most recent expansion coming in 1985 with the opening of the line's northern terminus, Alewife Station. The story of the Red…
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…
The Problem with Fare Payment

Patrick Sullivan | May 14, 2014

Over the past several months, The Atlantic Cities has released a series of featured articles exploring the future of transportation in America. The series has touched upon an exhaustive variety of innovations that have the ability to dramatically change the ways in which we commute, and has provided fresh commentary on topics such as ride sharing, urban design and transportation infrastructure. In short, “The Future of Transportation” Series has become required reading for transportation wonks like myself. A recent article in the series from Susan Shaheen and Matt Christensen explores the impact that open data and smart phones will have…