July 2019 Newsletter
Check-in Raffle Prizes
2 Urban Adventours Gift Certificates for Free Bike Tours or Rentals
A Kryptonite bike lock
2 $10 Commuter Benefits Cards (used to pay for transportation expenses, including MBTA passes)
2 Patagonia T-Shirts
Check out Green Streets’ Founder & President Janie Katz-Christy’s blog on her airplane-free trip to the West!
Janie traveled by train and bus, using the following resources to book her trips to various cities and landmarks:
WanderU.com For Janie's advice on train travel, click here.
Maps.google.com For more resources on T and commuter rail
local community websites check out this information on our website.
July’s Theme: Trains
This month, we are celebrating trains of all kinds - the subway, commuter rail, and railroad services! Take advantage of the $10 Commuter Rail weekend passes that can take you to the beautiful beach towns of Newburyport, Rockport this summer, and Manchester by the Sea.
July Question of the Month:
Our July Question of the Month pertains to T construction and delays and to your green travel to weekend and/or vacation destinations:
Would you be willing to give up access to some portions of the T for an extended period to facilitate quicker upgrades to the system?
Share any green travel tips and modes you've taken or plan to take for upcoming weekend and/or vacation travels
Whether shutting down the T more often for construction will lead to recognized improvements in the near future is open for debate. New Red and Orange Line infrastructure are scheduled to be tested this year and completed by 2023. The MBTA announced that train cars and stations will be more spacious and modernized. Hopefully these improvements will reduce delays, enhance safety, and lead to increased ridership.
June and July were tumultuous months for train riders due to a 6.7% fare increase and the Green and Red Line derailments.
Many T riders and city councilors are infuriated at what they see as the slow pace of T repairs and improvements. Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu organized a 2-day protest against the fare hikes and circulated the hashtags #UnfairHikes and #BostonTParty around social media.
Wu published an op-ed in the Boston Globe proposing that the T fare be free, proclaiming that free public transit is necessary for “economic mobility, racial equity, and climate justice.” The MBTA anticipates a decline in ridership, especially among low-income riders, due to the fare hike. Fare hikes are also likely to increase the number of cars on the road and will challenge the City of Boston’s goal to be carbon-neutral by 2050.
Governor Charlie Baker has proposed increased spending on T construction by $50 million to speed up repairs, which would entail more weekend and night construction.
Responses to June Questions of the Month on Delays
Your responses to last month's question about the impact of the Red Line derailment on your commutes shows that almost half of you saw delays in your commute and almost 40% of subway riders experienced more than 20 minute delays.
Read more about the impact and this incident on our commuters and workplaces on our latest blog.
Improvements to the Commuter Rail
On-time service on the commuter rail has improved over the last couple of years according to passengers and transportation experts. The most common complaint about the commuter rail continues to be the infrequent service outside of the morning and evening rush hour windows. The State’s Transportation Department is the midst of a 2-year Rail Vision study to “identify cost-effective strategies to transform the existing Commuter Rail system into one that better supports improved mobility and economic competitiveness in Greater Boston.” The Rail Vision advisory team has come up with seven improvement alternatives, including increasing the frequency to every 15 minutes between key stations or within the inner core (15 miles from downtown Boston), electrifying trains, and adding shuttle service along the Grand Junction path (future West Station to Kendall square).
Thinking about trying out the commuter rail for your commute? Check out our map of June’s commuter rail riders to get a sense for how long commutes take. Markers represent home zip codes - click on them to see length of commutes. Colors represent different business areas.
Events (Many more listed here!)
Pre Walk/Ride Day
Thurs, Jul 24: Last Day to submit comments to DCR re less cars on Memorial Drive!
Walk/Ride Day - July 26th
Free yoga classes, free ice cream, free coffee, and other free and discounted goodies throughout our region
8 - 9am: Somerville Bike Committee's Whole Foods Commuter Breakfast
7 - 9am: Ferris Wheels Bike Shop's Pancake Breakfast Celebrating Bikers, Walkers, & Friends
5:30pm: Critical Mass Bike Ride to celebrate biking, Copley Square
Post Walk/Ride Day Events
Fri - Sun, Aug 16-18: 12th Annual Boston GreenFest & Tech Festival
Fri - Sun, Aug 9 - 11: Amherst Pioneer Valley Bike Ride, UMass Amherst
Sat, Aug 24, 12-6 PM: 18th Annual Riverfest Seaside Music Festival, Gloucester
Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:30 - 6:30 Boston Public Market, City Hall Plaza
Last week for Cambridge Participatory Budgeting ideas!
Be a role model! Spread Awareness About Commuting Options!
Share a picture of yourself on social media with one of these signs or your own (based on how you plan to commute on Friday, or another day near then). Post to social media and tag #walkrideday!
We will raffle off 5 bike benefits stickers to all those who submit a photo with a flyer.
And, of course, thank you to our retail partners, raffle donors, and ongoing sponsors!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@WalkRideDays) for more theme-related facts, cartoons and stories. Share your commuting photos and stories with us on our website or by tagging #walkridedays or #walkrideday on social media.
Have a great rest of your day, week, and weekend, and please stay in touch!
Janie Katz-Christy, Director
Sophie Schmitt, Associate Director
Mikaela Lessnau, Communications Intern