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Boston transportation plan hinges on public transit, ride shares

One big flaw

Boston is expected on March 7 to unveil a long-term transportation plan that focuses on boosting public transit, ride-sharing options, and the Hubway bike-share system.

The plan also sets so-called “aspirational goals” such as a bus stop or a rail station within 10 minutes of every home and a reduction in commute times of 10 percent.

And there are calls for coordinating different modes of transit to speed commutes. For instance, new direct bus service would whoosh riders from the South Boston waterfront to North Station “in tandem with ferry service” and along exclusive lanes.

The plan certainly is ambitious—necessary, too, given the city’s population growth (30,000 residents during just the past three years) and its notoriously bad traffic.

However, there is an inherent flaw in the whole scheme: Transportation and transportation policy does not stop at the city’s edge. A lot of what Boston wants to do over the long-term is predicated on state actions, particularly those of the MBTA.

Still, the city plans to work with the state as well as with private developers to move Boston toward a future less dependent on cars and more on public transit.