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 Green Line Extension Project Gets Boost

Boston Green-line extension project

Credit: GreenlineExtension.eot.state.ma

Boston is home to the old subway in the county, the Green Line, which will be extended by 4.7 miles from Lechmere Station to Somerville and Medford.  This opened at the end of the 19th century and was built to allow ordinary street cars to operate below ground which is dramatically different than subways of today.

The busiest Green Line stop is Park Street station, which is the intersection of the Green, Orange and Red Lines in the heart of Downtown Crossing.

Banker & Tradesman recently reported that the “U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx yesterday joined Gov. Deval Patrick and other Bay State officials to formally announce a $996 million federal grant to extend Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Green Line light rail service from East Cambridge to Somerville and Medford…The Federal Transit Authority announced its intention to provide nearly $1 billion for the $2.3 billion project in December. State funds will cover the remaining cost.”

You can read the full article on B&T.

0 Office Rents Influenced by Proximity to Bike-Share Kiosks

Bike-share in Boston

Credit: CityPhile

So as you consider where you would like to locate your new office what often comes up is area amenities.  One such amenities is Bike-Share, and if you plan on being near one, expect to pay a premium in your office rents.

From Banker & Tradesman:

“Boston has the highest percentage of residents who walk to work of any major U.S. city at 15.1 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Bike commuting is a small but rapidly growing niche, rising from 1 percent in the 2000 census to 1.7 percent in the community survey, which spanned the years from 2008 to 2012….Hubway has a variety of payment plans designed to appeal to everyone from tourists to everyday commuters, ranging from $85 for an annual membership to a $6 pass for 24-hour access. Ridership has topped 500,000 trips since this year’s program began April 2, with a fleet of 1,300 bikes at 139 stations in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville, according to Alta spokeswoman Emily Stapleton.”

0 Parking App Haystack Gets Boot by Boston City Council

Car gets parking boot

Credit: ExpiredMeter

Information is power, but the Mayor’s office has shut down Haystack in the city of Boston.

Eric Meyer, CEO of the Baltimore-based company, offered a statement in reaction to the vote, which was posted on the BBJ:

“Although we think that Ordinance 1310 should not apply to Haystack (as Haystack does not sell, lease or reserve public parking spots), it seems clear to us that City Council has passed Ordinance 1310, at least in part, to challenge and end Haystack service in the City of Boston. We believe that taking actions against new ideas and passing legislation based upon hypothetical concerns that have not materialized in the actual implementation of the Haystack app is premature and does nothing to help solve Boston’s acknowledged parking issues. The passage of this ordinance is a step in the wrong direction for parking innovation, and for innovation of every kind. Nonetheless, it is our company’s mission to solve parking issues collaboratively. Accordingly, Haystack will suspend service in Boston this week until further notice in the hopes of engaging with the Office of New Urban Mechanics and local lawmakers to identify a modified approach to parking issues that can be supported by City Hall.”

0 Boston Roadways Lag Behind the Real Estate

Allston Interchange project

Credit: MassDOT

This major intersection was last updated 49 years ago on February 18, 1965.  The requirements of our roadways are vastly different now and we need to take a proactive look toward the next 50 years as Boston and Cambridge continue to grow in both workforce and population.

Banker & Tradesman reports that “recently, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation convened a task force of about 50 members to advise the state on the redesign for the “Allston Interchange,” the spaghetti bowl of ramps and tollbooths in the middle of the rail yard adjacent to the Charles River and a neighborhood of houses and businesses.”

Additional information on the Allston Interchange is provided in the B&T article, here.

0 Smart Parking Meters Coming to Boston

Parking meters in Boston

Credit: Boston Globe

Do you have a $10 roll of quarters in your car for the City of Boston parking meters?  If not, you’re not alone.  Boston’s new app would take the place of change and allow you to pay with your smart phone.

According to the Boston Globe, “the city’s Transportation Department is developing a smartphone application that would eliminate the scramble for cash, by using an iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry to pay for a metered parking slot. ‘Two things people have in their pockets: They have a credit card. And they have a cellphone,” interim Transportation Commissioner James Gillooly said. “We aspire to have everybody use a credit card or pay by phone.'”

Additional details on Boston’s smart parking initiative, jump over to the Boston Globe’s website.

0 App for On-street Parking in Boston

Organic parking app in Boston

Credit: Boston Business Journal

How would you like to Uber a parking space?  App is trying to make it happen.  Not too sure the Massachusetts driver would be willing to wait for the next owner of the space to show up and claim it.  If I don’t have the App and see the person getting into their car and pull up behind them the old fashioned way can I claim it?

The BBJ described the app as follows:

“Developed by former Harvard Graduate School of Design professor Kostas Terzidis, the app lets drivers with a coveted space name their own price for a space. Then a driver, using the app, can claim the space by clicking it on a map and paying for it within the app using a credit card or bitcoin. The driver seeking the space can anonymously message or call the driver who has the space and let them know they’d like it. They can also watch the driver approach the space on a map within the app, much like users of Uber can watch their ride arrive. The person who has the space would wait until the other driver arrives and then the space swap would take place.”



0 Boston Cab Union Protests Uber

Uber in Boston

Credit: Boston Business Journal

Do you Uber when you are touring office space for lease in Boston?  Well, yes.  Will Uber be here tomorrow or with the Cab Union prevail?

The Boston Business Journal reported that “the union, representing 1,400 cab drivers, is calling on Boston Mayor Marty Walshand Police Commissioner William Evans to order all UberX and UberXL for-hire vehicles off the streets of Boston until the city can regulate and license all Uberdrivers and cars.”

Follow the link to view the full BBJ article for details on the Cab Union Uber protests.

0 Mobile App Brings Real-Time Ride Options to Boston

Mobile transportation app

Credit: Boston Business Journal

What’s the fastest way to get there?  I  was leaving my office on Boylston Street Last week headed to the corner of High and Federal.  My route was my standard one: hop on the T at Back Bay and head to Park Street then walk through Downtown Crossing down Summer to High.

As I walked across Exeter Street at Boylston Street, I noticed a motorcycle rider on a Ducati, felt the warm day air, and thought, Spring is burgeoning.  As my trip progressed, I walked in front of 100 Summer Street and noticed the same rider on the same bike.  Was my way quicker or did the rider stop for a coffee at Flat Black?  Not sure, but I was rather impressed that the T scored the same speed as a motorcycle.

If you’re unsure of the best route or means for a particular trip, check out RideScout, and see what’s your quickest path to your Boston destination.

The BBJ describes RideScout’s functionality, which is now available in Boston and Cambridge:

“The app aggregates ground transportation services including public transit, private options and social ride-share that allows users to search and compare options in real-time..,Users of the app can find and connect with Zipcars, Hailo taxis, Hubway bike share, MBTA bus and rail services.

Additional details are available on the Boson Business Journal.

0 Fidelity to Sell Boston Coach

screenshot of Boston coach

Photo Credit: Boston Coach

Do you Uber, hail a cab to schedule a car service when going to Logan Airport or appointments in Boston? Since Ned Johnson founded Boston Coach some 28 years ago, much has changed in how we procure our transportation, but little has changed about our transportation itself. What will be the next innovation?

According to an article on the Boston Globe, “the Boston-based mutual fund giant­ said it is selling the company to Harrison Global of Waltham, an owner of chauffeured limousines, car services, and taxis. Fidelity said Harrison intends to retain BostonCoach’s headquarters in Everett, as well as its drivers and other employees, numbering more than 560 nationally. BostonCoach employs about 275 people in Massachusetts.”

To read more about the sale of Boston Coach by Fidelity, continue on to The Boston Globe.