Bruce Mohl Editor, CommonWealth

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

ARTICLES By Bruce Mohl

T notes: Red Line ridership slow to recover

Mayors launch push for commuter rail pilots

RED LINE SERVICE is back to normal in the wake of the June 11 derailment at the JFK/UMass Station, but ridership still hasn’t fully recovered. Data released on Monday indicate Red Line ridership overall was off 5 percent during the summer compared to last year and was down 2.5 percent in September. Charts released by

State agency offers $500,000 in place-making funds

MassDevelopment matching crowd-sourced money

MASSDEVELOPMENT IS OFFERING a total of $500,000 in matching grant money over the next 3 ½ months to municipalities and nonprofits seeking to launch creative place-making projects across the state. The money is part of a nearly four-year effort by the authority to revitalize downtowns and commercial districts by combining state and crowd-sourced funds. MassDevelopment

Lawrence eliminates fares on 3 bus routes

Once fanciful idea of free service picks up steam

IN A BID TO BOOST public transit ridership, Lawrence on Monday started allowing residents to ride three downtown bus routes for free. The city is providing $225,000 to the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority to offset the fare losses from the bus routes for the next two years. The routes – 34, 37, and 85

T urged to experiment with income-based commuter rail fares

MassINC also backs lower prices for reverse commuting, off-peak travel

THE MBTA SHOULD EXPERIMENT with income-based fares and cut charges for reverse-commuting and off-peak travel, the think tank MassINC argues in a new policy brief. The brief doesn’t advocate for specific commuter rail fares, but notes that the cost of travel between most Gateway Cities and Boston is way too high. The fare cost as

T has extra $1.2b: How would you spend it?

Agency is holding off, saying it lacks organizational capacity

IT HASN’T RECEIVED a lot of attention, but the MBTA has an extra $1.2 billion in untapped capital funds at its disposal. The agency’s five-year capital spending plan has $9.4 billion in funding sources but only $8.2 billion in planned spending. T General Manager Steve Poftak said in May that he would like to spend

Special fare for low-income T riders gains momentum

Some control board members back more commuter rail discounts

MBTA GENERAL MANAGER Steve Poftak said on Monday that the agency intends to research how to implement a special, less expensive fare for low-income people, but he said the scope and parameters of the study need to be worked out. “The intent is to study it. It’s just a question of the depth of the

What’s in your electricity bill?

There’s a lot more than just the cost of power

It’s a simple question – what charges are contained in your electricity bill?  But the answer isn’t that simple. Indeed, there’s a lot more going on with your bill than you might think. In CommonWealth’s latest Reel Deal explainer video, we show how your electricity bill has become a major driver of state energy policy.

Baker comes up with South Coast Rail financing

Completion date moved back a year to late 2023

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER followed through on a first-term campaign promise on Monday by dedicating more than $1 billion in state bond funds to the South Coast Rail project, which is now expected to be completed after his second term ends. The funding commitment followed three cost and schedule reviews of the commuter rail project and

Mayors, city managers forming commuter rail coalition

Driscoll: ‘There needs to be a voice for commuter rail and its riders’

MAYORS AND CITY MANAGERS across eastern Massachusetts are forming a coalition to advocate for the MBTA’s commuter rail system. Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, who is active in forming the coalition, said the commuter rail system often gets overlooked in discussions about transportation even though its impact is enormous in many communities. “It’s the lifeblood of

A voter guide to Question 1

This Reel Deal video helps sort out complicated ballot measure

The second installment of CommonWealth’s new video explainer, the Reel Deal, is a voter guide to Question 1, which would establish mandatory nurse-to-patient staffing ratios across Massachusetts. The question has become one of the most contentious issues on the November 6 ballot and a topic of dinner table conversations across the state. Our explainer video,

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