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Tired of broken trains and three-hour commutes? Sign this petition.

From the group Transportation for Massachusetts:
By now, you’ve seen plenty of articles, pictures, and tweets about the MBTA’s breakdown in this week’s snowstorm, along with mammoth traffic jams, detours and delays across the state. After many years of underfunding transit maintenance, upkeep and upgrades, a crisis like this was bound to happen.

Our elected officials need to hear from residents frustrated with the state’s massively underfunded public transit system. Will you add your name to the growing list of MA residents who want reliable and safe public transportation, roads, and sidewalks?

For workers, students, families, seniors and visitors all across the state, our MBTA and regional transit service must be improved and maintained to operate regardless of the weather. Winter conditions have exposed the worst of our transit systems, but regular riders know that we face unreliable bus and train service every day. Can you sign this petition and make sure the Governor and state legislature hear your voice?

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Potential MBTA service cuts and fare increases could be brutal for Somerville

Tsad.jpg

The MBTA, attempting to deal with painful deficits, announced plans to raise fares and cut services. Two scenarios are presented, both of which are ugly. Scenario 1 relies more on fare increases, while scenario 2 focuses on cuts to service, including the elimination of 6 important Somerville bus routes: 80, 85, 90, 92, 95, and 96.
Key links:

Somerville Patch: “Your Thoughts: Fare Hikes, Maybe Bus Eliminations Coming to Somerville”

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Buses, Transportation News
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Urban Ring on hold

Somerville Journal: “Urban Ring bus route and I-93, Mystic Avenue improvement projects scrapped due to Regional Transportation Plan cuts”
“We take no pleasure in the dramatic cutbacks included in the new Regional Transportation Plan, but they represent a realistic assessment of funds currently available, and likely to be available in future years,” said Draisen who also serves as vice chairman of the Boston Region MPO which allocates federal transportation dollars. “Everyone should recognize that the state’s transportation system is woefully underfunded. We are over-burdened by years of debt, and the value of the gas tax – unchanged since 1991 – has not kept pace with inflation.”

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Buses, Transportation News
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State wants to reduce Urban Ring in Somerville

Urban Ring map
The EOT has just filed a Notice of Project Change for the Urban Ring which revises the Preferred Local Alternative to run directly to Sullivan Square from Everett, down Route 99, completely eliminating Medford and mostly eliminating Assembly Square in Somerville, which now would get a backwards spur off of one of the bus routes but lose the direct connection to Logan and is removed from the mainline of the Northern Tier which is proposed to be built. This is strange as the Urban Ring ridership projections for Wellington (5,800) and Assembly Square (5,200) had far exceeded those projected for Sullivan Square (2,700) in the recently filed Urban Ring Phase 2 Revised Draft EIR / Draft EIS. Stay tuned for more updates.

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Buses, Transportation News
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Urban Ring recommendations

Boston Metro: “Urban Ring project is no urban legend”
State transportation officials have unveiled their vision for Phase II of the ambitious Urban Ring project that would create rapid transit MBTA bus service. After 18 months of narrowing down route options, they have settled on their recommendation.
Urban Ring map

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Buses, Transportation News
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Urban Ring map

What’s the latest thinking on the Urban Ring and where it will go? There’s a newly released Locally Preferred Alternative Alignment on the official project site. It’s basically Bus Rapid Transit, and in Somerville it would serve Inner Belt, parts of East Somerville, and Assembly Square. View the map (PDF).

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Buses
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Somerville bus survey results

This summer and fall, STEP conducted a survey of Somerville residents to gather information on current MBTA bus service. The results are in:
– Many Somerville residents depend on bus service for a variety of needs.
– Though satisfied overall with bus routes and stop locations, people are generally dissatisfied with frequency of service.
– Bus routes with the highest satisfaction include the 88, 87, and 80.
– Bus routes with the lowest satisfaction include the 95, 90, and 92.
– The most important improvements are better adherence to schedule, more trips, and bus schedules posted at stops.
– Reliability is the top reason for those who don’t use buses.
Somerville bus survey
Keep reading for more details on the survey findings. You can also download the PowerPoint presentation.

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Buses
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Take the Somerville Bus Survey!

STEP is sponsoring a survey of current bus service in Somerville. This is your chance to be heard!
Take the Bus Survey

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Buses, Transportation News
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Bus transit and land use study

This article examines the effect of land use, socioeconomics, and bus transit service on transit demand in the Twin Cities. The findings suggest that vertical mixed-use is important close to transit access and retail plays an important role up to a quarter mile from transit service.
Bus Transit and Land Use: Illuminating the Interaction (PDF)

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