Podcast 52: Winter Bike Camping in Denver

I made an appearance on this week's episode of Pedalshift with Tim Mooney, which reminded me I hadn't shared this episode from my winter bike overnight in February on my Brompton folding bike. It was perhaps more successful than Tim's most recent ride on the C&O Trail, albeit shorter, a few degrees warmer and solo (sans dog). Notice how there was no snow in Denver but about four feet at my apartment just 75 miles west (and 4,000 feet higher) in Breckenridge.

Podcast 50f: The Bike Tour comes to an end + local transit insights

Some strange twists as a train mishap leaves me walking around Northampton, Mass., and exploring/spending the night in Holyoke, Mass. This episode includes musings on transit with two old advocate friends I bumped into. Then it's off to some new adventures. Spoiler alert: I've been in Colorado since then.

INTRO: In late August I moved out of my apartment in Boston, put about 8 boxes into storage, and took a bus to Brunswick, Maine with my bike and camping gear. By popular request for tour updates, I decided to record a series of brief, daily, mostly unedited episodes to share here. Let me know what you think! More updates still coming...

Podcast 50e: Bike Touring in Vermont, Part 2, Burlington & beyond

I made it to Burlington! It's one of those places you always read about and want to experience for yourself. I did a fantastic loop around Lake Champlain, dealt with churches and the police, and spent a few days back in town decompressing before continuing west.

INTRO: In late August I moved out of my apartment in Boston, put about 8 boxes into storage, and took a bus to Brunswick, Maine with my bike and camping gear. By popular request for tour updates, I decided to record a series of brief, daily, mostly unedited episodes to share here. Let me know what you think!

Podcast 50d: Bike Touring in Vermont, Part 1

An update from my fall tour of northwestern Vermont: starting in Rutland and heading north to Burlington and beyond. Not quite as hilly as the rocky Maine coast but even better views and more ferries.

INTRO: In late August I moved out of my apartment in Boston, put about 8 boxes into storage, and took a bus to Brunswick, Maine with my bike and camping gear. By popular request for tour updates, I decided to record a series of brief, daily, mostly unedited episodes to share here. Let me know what you think!

Podcast 51.2: Free Transit follow-up with listener feedback (Fixed Missing Audio)

Here is some listener feedback on free transit. First I chat with transportation activist Eli Damon from Northampton, MA, who wrote in about free transit and also shares some insight into the transit environment in Western Massachusetts. Then I read a listener email.

UPDATE: Corrected version. The previous file was missing the interview due to an editing error. If you downloaded the show in the first few days, try this one instead. Hopefully the repost will make it appear in iTunes again. Thanks to listener Dan for pointing out the error.

Podcast 50c: Bike Tour of Coastal Maine, Part 3

At long last, here is Part 3 of my bike tour of Coastal Maine in September. This episode included Acadia National Park and the final days before a two-week hiatus.

INTRO: In late August I moved out of my apartment in Boston, put about 8 boxes into storage, and took a bus to Brunswick, Maine with my bike and camping gear. By popular request for tour updates, I decided to record a series of brief, daily, mostly unedited episodes to share here. More episodes coming soon!

Podcast 51: The Case for FREE Public Transit Everywhere

Despite its tremendous value and egalitarian mission, public transportation remains the only essential public service that charges a fare. The only reason we still collect fares is because we always have, ever since the early days of horse-car transit. Now, user fees make up only a small portion of total revenue yet create a significant barrier to people of all incomes and lifestyles, slow down transit and cost millions to collect -- all without any justification.

I explain why cities and towns everywhere should provide free transit services and debunk the five main arguments for the status quo.

Note: I have come to these "radical" ideas throughout my years of transit service planning and advocacy. Please listen to the episode before sending me hate mail. Thanks! But please do send me your thoughts and I will gladly share them (anonymously if you'd like).

Riders wait in line to pay. Buses spend up to 30% of their travel time waiting, collecting fares.

Riders wait in line to pay. Buses spend up to 30% of their travel time waiting, collecting fares.

Comments? Suggestions? Please visit CriticalTransit.com or email feedback@criticaltransit.com. Follow me Twitter @CriticalTransit and follow and support my work in Boston via TransitMatters.info. Your support goes a long way!

Podcast 50b: Bike Touring, Part 2: Coastal Maine

This episode covers from Belfast to Blue Hill, one day before reaching Bar Harbor.

INTRO: In late August I moved out of my apartment in Boston, put about 8 boxes into storage, and took a bus to Brunswick, Maine with my bike and camping gear. By popular request for tour updates, I decided to record a series of brief, daily, mostly unedited episodes to share here. Note that at the time of upload, I have completed my tour in Burlington, Vermont, and I will be compiling and uploading the remaining episodes very soon.

Podcast 50a: Bike Touring, Part 1: Coastal Maine

In late August I moved out of my apartment in Boston, put about 8 boxes into storage, and took a bus to Brunswick, Maine with my bike and camping gear. This episode covers from Brunswick to Belfast.

By popular request for tour updates, I decided to record a series of brief, daily, mostly unedited episodes to share here. Note that at the time of upload, I have completed my tour in Burlington, Vermont, and I will be compiling and uploading the episodes very soon.

CT 49 - MBTA, News, Fares, Solutions & Why Everyone Depends on Transit

Recent MBTA news and advocacy battles encouraged me to record a podcast to counter the dominant narrative. Let's review what's causing this mess and how to stop the bleeding and operate a reliable and effective network.

Why a well functioning and affordable T should matter to everyone, because we all depend on transit even if we never use it (some of the reasons). And right now it's neither.

The population of Boston has increased 10 percent since 2004 and T ridership is up 30 percent on major lines, causing severe overcrowding, yet no significant improvements have been made since at least 2000, and service quality is declining. People cite transit as a primary reason the want to live in big cities.

The MBTA is chronically underfunded, promoting inefficient operating practices such as a reliance on overtime, deferred maintenance and an inability to plan for upgrades. Instead of addressing these problems, the control board has chosen to vilify transit workers.

Rapidly rising rents and declining wages have forced large numbers of people to move to places with slow, infrequent and expensive transit service. We have repeatedly cut service and raised fares on these "low ridership" services, while ignoring others with great potential.

Fares impact everyone, including those most vulnerable to rising costs, middle class riders who are more likely to choose other options, and everyone impacted by increase traffic on our streets (i.e. everyone). Bus, subway and commuter rail fares have more than doubled since 1991, while the gas tax has increased only 3 cents. Like transit, roads and highways are heavily subsidized, yet only transit riders are being asked for more. Governor Baker says a fee is a tax, but apparently not if it's a transit fare.

Finally I discuss several alternatives to raise revenue -- focusing on better and faster service -- without increasing the fee for users. But no efficiencies will fill the $7 Billion budget gap -- and that's just to reliably run what we have, never mind desperately needed upgrades. A transit network is a valuable public service, not a business, and it's time we started treating it like one.

Comments? Suggestions? Please visit CriticalTransit.com, email feedback@criticaltransit.com. Follow me on Facebook and especially Twitter @CriticalTransit and follow and support my work in Boston via TransitMatters.info. Your support goes a long way!