0 Office Landlords Look to Uber, Lyft to Help Lure Tenants

Traffic in Boston seaport and downtown area

Photo Credit: Boston Globe

Office landlords are constantly vying for office tenants to occupy their buildings. This is achieved through competitive rent, leasing incentives, common area upgrades and the addition of amenities. Now some landlords are looking beyond the traditional channels by helping their customers get their employees to the office without worrying about parking. Uber and Lyft could be the next line item on a landlords expense budget.

Bisnow notes, “Several New Jersey landlords are using the perk to overcome a lack of office parking, connect offices with downtowns and attract employees who do not own cars, the Wall Street Journal reports. Hugo Neu Corp. launched a program in March that offers $50 monthly credits for tenants’ employees without cars to commute to its Kearny Point office.”

You can read the full article on Bisnow.

0 Garage Space will be Transformed by Rise of Autonomous Cars

This is a true shift on how our relationship with our car will change in the upcoming years. The concept that you will drive to work and your car will park itself amongst its peers, without the vast amount of vehicle circulation space that our current public garages demand, is real and is coming to a garage near you.

Boston garage

Credit: Bisnow

From Bisnow:

Researchers predict Americans will own fewer cars within the next 20 years as automated vehicles become ubiquitous on American roadways, and developers are already preparing for the shift in future projects.

Some developers in urban centers are cutting out garages altogether to make units more affordable. Others are turning to automated parking lifts, which reduce the square footage needed per car by about 80%. These automated lots cost less to construct and can be easily repurposed if parking demand falls.

0 Self-driving Cars Create Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

Self-driving car in the street of Boston and Cambridge

Credit: Boston Herlad

Self-driving cars, who’s technology in part is being created and tested in Boston, will offer the nearly 2 million individuals with disabilities new employment opportunities.

From the Boston Herald:

In a study released by the Boston-based Ruderman Family Foundation last week, researchers found self-driving cars would dramatically improve the lives of disabled residents by making it easier and cheaper for them to travel — especially to and from a job.

“Approximately 2 million individuals with disabilities would have new employment opportunities,” the study said. “New transportation technologies have the potential to help those with disabilities enjoy the activities that those without disabilities take for granted.”

0 Boston Self-driving Cars Hit Roadblock

Self-driving car in Boston

Credit: Boston Globe

There is no easy ride for the self-driving car industry. Legislation is looking to dramatically put the brakes on this.

A recent Boston Globe article noted Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, a Pittsfield Democrat, and Senator Jason Lewis, a Winchester Democrat unveiled “a measure that would set statewide rules for the testing and use of autonomous vehicles…Among other provisions, the bill would mandate that all self-driving cars weighing under 8,500 pounds be zero-emissions vehicles, and require their operators to pay the state 2.5 cents for every mile they travel. Only freight and emergency autonomous vehicles could drive more than a mile without a passenger.”

Additional details on the battle between self-driving auto producers and state legislators is available on the Boston Globe.

0 Seaport Traffic Gets Reprieve

Seaport shuttle

Credit: BBJ

The Seaport traffic in anything but innovative. The combination of buses and potential water shuttles could offer a long-awaited reprieve.

A BBJ article notes the MCCA “received a boost over the summer when two Fallon Co. buildings — 100 Northern Ave., the new home of law firm Goodwin, and One Marina Park Drive — signed on to the service. Vertex’s (Nasdaq: VRTX) arrival adds not just hundreds more commuters, but another route: Shuttles now service riders at South Station, bringing them to and from Vertex’s 50 Northern Ave. headquarters, in addition to North Station…In the coming weeks, the agency will begin studying the potential for a water ferry service from Lovejoy Wharf, located near North Station, to the Seaport waterfront.

Additional information is available on the Boston Business Journal’s website.

0 Self-Driving Cars Hit the Streets of Boston

NuTonomy self-driving cars in Boston

Credit: wbur

On this day in Massachusetts self-driving cars will be hitting the streets in Boston.

According to wbur, “the testing will initially be confined to the 191-acre Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park, which has a simple road layout and no traffic lights. Testing will also be limited to daylight hours and good weather.”

You can read more on wbur’s website.

0 Boston Seaport a Test Ground for Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars in Boston Seaport

Credit: BBJ

Self-driving cars are going to change our relationship with the automobile far more significantly that any other change that has been introduced over the century. The days are numbered until we simply “Uber” our own car to come pick us up after work. Some car manufactures are building their own technology to compete directly with ridesharing companies.

From the Boston Business Journal:

“Boston and Massachusetts are leaders in rethinking the future of transportation, and we are grateful for their partnership and support of nuTonomy’s efforts to develop a fleet of self-driving cars to serve the public,” said CEO Karl Iagnemma in a statement.

The pilot program will be the first test of autonomous vehicles on public streets in Boston, and comes just a month after Mayor Marty Walsh and Gov. Charlie Baker signed executive orders allowing tests of the vehicles as long as they pass state inspections and have a person in the driver’s seat ready to take control if anything goes wrong. The nuTonomy test is part of the the Go Boston 2030 plan to rethink city transportation over the next decade and a half.

0 Boston Heliport will be Discussed at Mid-November Hearing

Boston has not had a heliport since 1999 and City councilors plan to hold a public hearing November 16th to discuss the topic.

Downtown Boston site for Helipad

Credit: Boston Herald

From the Boston Herald:

Boston city councilors will hold a public hearing Wednesday on plans to create a commercial heliport in the Hub after a call for more information by the councilor who helped ground plans for a similar site eight years ago.

City and state officials promised to create a commercial helipad as part of their $120 million incentive package to lure General Electric to Boston from Connecticut. But the project has stalled among concerns about corporate incentives and MassDOT budget concerns.

“Establishing a helipad would likely lead to an influx of helicopters to the area, which would impact noise, air pollution and safety concerns in our neighborhoods,” the order reads.

0 Boston to Test Self-driving Cars

Boston testing self-driving cars

Credit: BBJ

The impact this will have from city planning to garage space will be dramatic. Can you imagine “Ubering” you own car? Well, when you think about it, if your car can drop you at the office and go park itself snugly near its pears with little-to-no circulation space compared to today’s standards, this is a game changer. I currently park in the Prudential Center garage where they bring in valets during the peak hours to shuttle cars around; with self-driving cars no longer do you need to go to the valet, rather your car will come to you.

From the Boston Business Journal:

The city said the collaboration will include a year-long program focused on creating policy recommendations and supporting on-street testing of autonomous vehicles “to advance the safety, access and sustainability goals identified by the public” during a future-of-transportation initiative called Go Boston 2030.

0 Boston to NYC Acela Service May be at Risk

Amtrak Train

Credit: BBJ

Looking to go to and from NYC on the Acela? Those days might be numbered. It appears the financial obligations of various agencies are not being honored.

From the BBJ:

In a court filing this week, Amtrak signaled that it may not be able to offer rail service to riders in the Bay State unless the MBTA begins meeting its obligations under what is known as the Attleboro Line Agreement.

“MBTA’s refusal to honor its contractual payment obligations has resulted in financial harm to Amtrak, which could potentially jeopardize Amtrak’s ability to provide rail service in Massachusetts,” Amtrak said. “Amtrak depends on timely payments from MBTA for services rendered to ensure its financial stability, fund its operations, and provide service to rail customers traveling to and from Massachusetts. No business partner should have to wait over five years to receive payment on a valid, authorized, and undisputed invoice that is contractually required to be paid within 30 days.”

You can read the full article on the Boston Business Journal’s website, here.