RTAC Letterhead


Draft Memorandum for the Record

Regional Transportation Advisory Council Meeting

December 8, 2021, Meeting Minutes

2:30 PM–4:10 PM, Zoom

Scott Zadakis, Vice Chair, representing the National Rural Transit Assistance Program

Meeting Agenda

1.    Introductions

Scott Zadakis called the meeting to order at 2:30 PM. Members and guests attending the meeting introduced themselves. (For attendance list, see page four.)

2.    Perspectives on Regional Transit Authorities—Colette Aufranc, Wellesley Select Board, and Meghan Jop, Wellesley Executive Director of General Government Services

Colette Aufranc presented aspects of Wellesley’s recent piloting of microtransit. She gave details about current services and future plans of the pilot and stressed the need to keep microtransit services as simple and convenient as possible.

C. Aufranc summarized how microtransit can provide a more seamless rider experience by focusing on key learnings about regionalization, simplified fare collection, mobile app experiences, marketing efforts, website updates, and data sharing and analysis across different microtransit pilots.


S. Zadakis, C. Aufranc, David Montgomery, Town of Needham, and John Strauss, Town of Burlington, discussed how Wellesley is currently funding its microtransit pilot through the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA), which is the primary decision-making body. They discussed that MWRTA is developing a microtransit mobile app, but that other municipalities, such as Newton and Salem, are using a national vendor called Via.

J. Strauss and M. Jop discussed how Wellesley microtransit pilot fares are not currently subject to surge pricing because services are limited to weekday hours only.

Franny Osman, Acton Transportation Advisory Committee, Andy Reker, City of Cambridge, and C. Aufranc discussed the impact and efficiency of microtransit services versus circular, fixed-route services.

Alexis Walls, Massachusetts Public Health Association, and C. Aufranc discussed the impetus to adopt a microtransit solution in Wellesley and how mobile device data can be used to identify and address gaps in transportation needs.

3.    Trucks at the Southampton Street Bottleneck—Bill Kuttner, MPO Staff

Bill Kuttner explained that PM peak traffic queues are a persistent problem in the South Bay area near the key freight junction at Widett Circle. He presented some analysis of data he had gathered about daily and peak period traffic flows, especially trucks versus private autos. His major conclusions included the following:

·       Unrestricted northbound use of the Boston Bypass Road is not a contributing problem.

·       Adding unrestricted southbound use by private autos would exacerbate PM queues.

·       Trucks are not a major problem during peak PM queues.

·       Queues in South Bay area will be reduced only by adding Interstate 93 capacity.


F. Osman and B. Kuttner discussed how completion of the proposed North–South rail link would shorten peak traffic queues but would not eliminate bottlenecks in areas with no alternate route.

A. Reker and B. Kuttner discussed the effectiveness of studying queues versus reliability of travel times. A. Reker indicated that Cambridge, Boston, and other area cities have shifted their thinking to prioritize safety rather than capacity of major highway systems.

4.    Chair’s Report—Lenard Diggins, Chair

L. Diggins discussed a recent Congestion Management Process Committee meeting, which focused on bike parking at MBTA stations. He described a presentation to the MPO board by Betsy Harvey, MPO Staff, on ten years of Blue Bikes in the Boston area. L. Diggins also mentioned MPO staff’s publication “Managing Curb Space in the Boston Region: A Guidebook” and having the authors present at a future Advisory Council meeting.

5.    Old Business, New Business, and Member Announcements

L. Diggins wants to further explore asking Advisory Council members to serve as subject matter experts on their specialty topic. L. Diggins mentioned asking F. Osman to be subject matter expert on regional transit associations and asking Jon Seward, MoveMassachusetts, to take the lead on Big Ideas.

6.    Adjourn

A motion to adjourn was made by MoveMassachusetts (J. Seward) and seconded by the Acton Transportation Advisory Committee (F. Osman). The motion carried.



Member Municipalities

Representatives and Alternates

City of Cambridge

Andy Reker

Town of Needham

David Montgomery

Town of Weymouth

Owen MacDonald


Member Citizen Advocacy Groups

Representatives and Alternates

MBTA Ridership Oversight Committee (ROC)

Lenard Diggins

Acton Transportation Advisory Committee

Franny Osman

American Council of Engineering Companies

Fred Moseley

Boston Society of Civil Engineers (BSCES)

AnaCristina Fragoso


Jon Seward

National Rural Transit Assistance Program

Scott Zadakis


John McQueen

Boston Society of Architects

Schuyler Larrabee


Agencies (Non-Voting)



Rachel Fichtenbaum




Other Attendees


Jen Rowe

City of Boston

Alexis Walls

Massachusetts Public Health Association

Julia Sheehan

Massachusetts Public Health Association

Dan Martin

Town of Brookline

John Strauss

Town of Burlington

Sandy Lasky

Town of Sudbury

Meghan Jop

Town of Wellesley

Colette Aufranc

Town of Wellesley

Steve Olanoff

Town of Westwood

Matthew Petersen


Andree Entezari


B Casey


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Matt Archer

Bill Kuttner


The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) operates its programs, services, and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and related statutes and regulations. Title VI prohibits discrimination in federally assisted programs and requires that no person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency), be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that receives federal assistance. Related federal nondiscrimination laws administered by the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, or both, prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, sex, and disability. The Boston Region MPO considers these protected populations in its Title VI Programs, consistent with federal interpretation and administration. In addition, the Boston Region MPO provides meaningful access to its programs, services, and activities to individuals with limited English proficiency, in compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation policy and guidance on federal Executive Order 13166.

The Boston Region MPO also complies with the Massachusetts Public Accommodation Law, M.G.L. c 272 sections 92a, 98, 98a, which prohibits making any distinction, discrimination, or restriction in admission to, or treatment in a place of public accommodation based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or ancestry. Likewise, the Boston Region MPO complies with the Governor's Executive Order 526, section 4, which requires that all programs, activities, and services provided, performed, licensed, chartered, funded, regulated, or contracted for by the state shall be conducted without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, veteran's status (including Vietnam-era veterans), or background.

A complaint form and additional information can be obtained by contacting the MPO or at http://www.bostonmpo.org/mpo_non_discrimination. To request this information in a different language or in an accessible format, please contact

Title VI Specialist
Boston Region MPO
10 Park Plaza, Suite 2150
Boston, MA 02116

By Telephone:
857.702.3700 (voice)

For people with hearing or speaking difficulties, connect through the state MassRelay service:

·       Relay Using TTY or Hearing Carry-over: 800.439.2370

·       Relay Using Voice Carry-over: 866.887.6619

·       Relay Using Text to Speech: 866.645.9870

For more information, including numbers for Spanish speakers, visit https://www.mass.gov/massrelay.