Matt O’Malley’s Busy Day: Dockless Transportation, Supporting Locked Out National Grid Workers and Mobile Infrastructure

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District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley had a very busy Wednesday!

Jamaica Plain's city councilor introduced hearing orders on a dockless bike and scooter share, investing and expanding Boston's wireless infrastructure and offered a resolution in support of locked out National Grid employees.

Let's take those one at a time.

Dockless Transportation

Dockless bike and scooters have been popping up in Boston, Cambridge and elsewhere. Some municipalities are seizing them and removing them from the streets as they are aimlessly hanging out around and getting in people's ways. In Boston, Blue Bikes, a docked bike share system, has a contract with the city that adds up to a monopoly, because it prohibits bikeshare competition.

But O'Malley sees an opportunity with dockless transportation.

“As dockless bikes and electric scooters grow in popularity and appear on our streets, Boston can coordinate uniform rules to encourage innovation, ease congestion, and ensure all modes of transportation are safe,” said O’Malley. He added that Boston can address dockless transportation to
help shape the new transportation option as it emerges.

“Electric scooters could give our residents an easy and straightforward experience that improves quality of life by providing essentially door-to-door transportation,” said O’Malley. “I hope we can get out ahead of this issue and craft sensible regulation for Boston that addresses the concerns and benefits of dockless transportation, looks at what other cities have done to help their residents move around, and embraces innovation so that this new form of transportation can be an option in Boston.”

There will be a hearing on this matter in the fall.

Investing Mobile Infrastructure

O'Malley is an avid tweeter (quite possibly the greatest tweeter of the current Boston City Council), so you know he's using Boston's mobile infrastructure.

In his call for a hearing, he notes that the current 4G mobile infrastructure will soon be outdated as 5G technology is expected by 2020. He added that current connections speeds are "already slow or non-existent in crowded spaces," which aren't just about convenience, but it's also a public safety issue.

“It’s high time we treated mobile infrastructure like the essential public utility that it has become and will continue to be for our growing city” said O’Malley.

O'Malley's chief of staff, Bill MacGregor, tweeted an important statistic about how having an up to date mobile infrastructure is a public safety issue.

Supporting Union Workers of National Grid

Councilor O'Malley joined District 2 City Councilor Ed Flynn in offering a resolution in support of the locked out United Steelworkers (USW) Local 12003 and 12012-04. The resolution passed unanimously.

On June 25, National Grid locked out more than 1,250 workers of those two unions, and negotiations have been ongoing.

“These are men and women who are working for a company who have
seen their profits grow exponentially, yet they are not supporting the highly skilled workers who perform vital public safety issues," said O'Malley. "As a City and Commonwealth, we must ensure that these locked out workers are not only given their right to work back, but also a fair contract.”