The MBTA is inviting the public to come have a look at the new Orange Line mockup car. The vehicle will be available to be viewed by the public on Tuesday, April 4th and Wednesday, April 5 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.
According to statement from the MBTA:
With a commitment to current and future public transportation investments as well as improving MBTA service, the MBTA has a $566-million contract with CRRC MA in Springfield, Massachusetts, for the design, construction, and delivery of new Red and Orange Line vehicles. The contract includes 152 Orange Line cars and 252 Red Line cars with new technology and accessibility improvements.
The vehicles will be manufactured at a brand new Springfield facility, currently under construction and due to open in the fall of 2017. The first test cars are slated to be delivered in December 2017, with continuous releases through 2022.
We may be seeing some movement on the planned launch of the innovative Safr ride-hailing app, which is very similar to other ride-hailing apps like Uber or Lyft but will offer only female passengers rides in cars driven only by women. According to the Boston Globe, Safr is now "organizing private tests in Boston and plans to launch publicly this spring, despite questions about whether its business model is legal."
In the experience of TRIPPS staff and volunteers, safety is the number one concern by far expressed by older women when the question of ride-hailing is raised. Many potential passengers are concerned about what they understand to be "inadequate" background checks as well as news stories about individual Uber or Lyft drivers who are involved in violent crimes. Others report concerns over security with their personal information collected by the app. Some older women report having used services like Uber and Lyft for transportation but only along with friends or only during the day, due to safety concerns.
Safr is attempting to address at least some of these concerns. Originally called "Chariot for Women," the company eventually changed its name to Safeher. In April 2016, the service was forced to delay its planned Spring launch due to legal concerns. Just before the planned launch, the company was facing challenges on the basis of possible discrimination against male passengers and drivers.
For many years, the Rotary Club has hosted a Dancing with the Brookline Stars event, which pairs local Brookline residents with professional dancers to perform ballroom dance routines to help raise money for both their designated charities and the rotary club. In November 2016, they hosted their fourth such annual event.
This year, Betsy Pollock--longtime president of the Brookline Senior Center--danced to raise money for innovative senior transportation support in the town.
The Brookline Interactive Groups (BIG) generously created video vignettes about each contestant and filmed the entire event. Visit the BIG website to learn more about Betsy and the other seven contestants and the charities the danced for!
The MBTA's RIDE is partnering with Uber and Lyft to test ridesharing and see if it can provide a less expensive and more reliable way for some trips, during a one year pilot which began in Boston and a few neighboring communities.
In an evening presentation to the disability community on October 27th, 2016 and attended by three TRIPPS volunteers, the General Manager of Uber in Boston heard directly from riders. The event was organized by the Disability Law Center, the Boston Center for Independent Living and the Disability Policy Consortium.
The meeting was held as an open forum and individuals using rideshare described their experiences, both good and bad, to the Uber representative. Many riders expressed appreciation for the program and hoped that it would continue. It was duly noted, however, that the service is curb to curb, not door to door, like the RIDE. Some felt that the training of drivers was uneven and one of the most frequent concerns was that service dogs were not always welcomed by Uber drivers.
The Uber general manager pledged that he would investigate these riders' issues. He also said that Uber would continue to work with the MBTA to update the rideshare app and improve the program.
This fall, TRIPPS is offering seniors in Brookline and Newton an exciting challenge: pick a destination, and travel there in a way that is new to you!
The only rule is that you must make your trip without driving yourself. You can take the T, ride a bus, call The RIDE, catch a lift with a friend, walk, bike, hail a taxi, use a ride-hailing app, hire a driver… If you need ideas or any help planning your trip, send us an email or give your friendly neighborhood TRIPPS Transit Advisor a call at 617-730-2644. We are waiting to hear from you and are eager to help you take the Challenge. ...continue reading "Take the “TRIPPS Challenge” this fall!"