The Millennials Who Came to Save Public Transit in Boston

Politico makes the team at TransitMatters in Boston nationally famous.
October 29, 2018, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Lewis Liu

Erick Trickey writes an exposé about the team at the advocacy group TransitMatters, which, armed with detailed blog posts and careful attention to the details of a running a public transit system in a major urban area, have "disrupted" Boston's transit system.

The article begins with a story from September 2016, when a Tweet storm turned into an op-ed for Common Wealth magazine that eventually turned into systematic change on the MBTA rail system. "TransitMatters had saved the MBTA, or the “T,” as it’s known by everyone in Boston, most of the $500,000 it was spending per year on the late shutdowns," writes Trickey. "They’d also shortened the early morning journeys of countless fellow passengers."

Since then, the team at TransitMatters, namely Marc Ebuña and Ari Ofsevit (the millennials), as well as James Aloisi (the 'token baby boomer') and others, has "emerged as leading voices in the debates over how to improve Boston’s beleaguered transit system, which runs the oldest train and bus fleets among the nation’s major transit agencies and faces a $7 billion backlog of repair and upkeep work."

More successes followed that original anecdote—from overnight bus service to a new bus lane over the Charles River, TransitMatters has been a part of multiple successful advocacy efforts. "Now, in an election year, TransitMatters has gone big, with an ambitious, high-cost proposal to speed up and electrify the T’s diesel-chugging commuter rail system and a new suggestion for filling in a missing link in the subway system," according to Trickey.

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Published on Thursday, October 25, 2018 in Politico Magazine
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