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Building a Better T: Fourteen-Day Red Line Diversion Begins June 18

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image008The MBTA announced a fourteen-day full closure of the Red Line between Braintree and Quincy Center Stations beginning Thursday, June 18, to allow for accelerated infrastructure work to take place. During this accelerated work, shuttle buses will replace service between Braintree and Quincy Center for fourteen consecutive days, including both weekdays and weekends, beginning at the start of service June 18 through the end of service on Wednesday, July 1. During that time, Zone 1A Commuter Rail fares will also temporarily be accepted at Braintree Station.

“The work accomplished during these fourteen days allows for numerous improvements, including increased safety as a result of track work and enhanced accessibility through elevator work to take place at Quincy Adams,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “Our main focus is always safety, especially as riders begin returning to the system during the first phases of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan, and our shuttle plan including measures that promote social distancing. We’re also offering temporary Zone 1A fares at Braintree during this shutdown and hope riders consider the Commuter Rail as another available travel option. We understand that these diversions can be inconvenient, but this service suspension allows us to expedite critical work, completing it over a month faster than planned.”

This work comes as part of the MBTA’s plan to quicken the pace of infrastructure projects in 2020 and the MBTA continues to assess other projects that can be further accelerated. This Red Line work was previously scheduled to be accomplished through a series of early access and weekend diversions later this year, and doing the work now allows its completion at a time when ridership on the Red Line continues to be decreased. The MBTA recognizes that riders do continue to take essential trips as the Commonwealth moves through its reopening plan. The MBTA’s shuttle plan includes measures to promote social distancing that protect MBTA riders and workers. The MBTA will carefully monitor ridership levels on shuttle buses, adjusting service levels if needed.

Red Line construction is part of the MBTA’s $8 billion Building a Better T program to replace subway fleets, modernize stations, and upgrade tracks, signals, and switches. The MBTA launched its 2020 Infrastructure Acceleration Plan in February 2020 aimed at improving service, safety, and reliability on faster timelines through temporary shutdowns and diversions in service. The 2020 Plan will deliver projects eight years faster than originally planned, and will result in track replacement, upgraded intersections, and station improvements. Previous and current accelerated work in 2020 includes:

  • Track work, harbor tunnel repairs, and additional infrastructure improvements successfully accomplished during a fourteen-day shutdown of the Blue Line from Bowdoin to Airport in May 2020;
  • Track and signal replacement work currently taking place during two nine-day shutdowns of the Green Line D branch, which started June 6 and lasts through June 14 and again from June 20 through June 28.

More Information about The Work:

Work accomplished during this fourteen-day shutdown includes:

  • The replacement of 3,500 ties;
  • Concrete repairs and South Shore Garage work;
  • Elevator structure work including the construction of a machine room at Quincy Adams that enhances accessibility at the station;
  • Improved safety through Red Line track replacement, resurfacing, and ballast work that will remove a long-standing speed restriction; and
  • Bridge inspections and any related repairs.

Accomplishing this work during these fourteen consecutive days allows this work to be finished about a month and a half sooner than previously planned. Taking full advantage of this temporary shutdown, work crews will also perform the overhaul of twenty-two fare gates as well as the cutting and clearing of trees and vegetation adjacent to Red Line track areas.

Temporary Zone 1A Fare Information:

During the shutdown in Red Line service from Quincy Adams to Braintree, the MBTA will temporarily accept Zone 1A fares at Braintree Station, allowing customers to ride between Braintree and South Station on the Commuter Rail for the same price as a CharlieCard subway fare. In an effort to provide additional social distancing measures as well as ease crowding onboard shuttle buses, this temporary Zone 1A fare provides another travel option for riders affected by the temporary Red Line shutdown. Customers heading inbound from Braintree to South Station and outbound from South Station to Braintree need only show the conductor their CharlieCard or CharlieTicket. Monthly passes and mTickets will continue to be accepted. The MBTA will continue to closely monitor ridership levels with additional seating capacity made available on Commuter Rail trains if needed. A one-way Zone 1A commuter rail fare is $2.40.

Shuttle Bus Information:

Accessible shuttle buses will stop at all stations between Quincy Center and Braintree.

Commuter Rail Information:

In an effort to fully utilize the shutdown of the Red Line track in this area during this time period, weekend Middleboro and Kingston/Plymouth Commuter Rail trains will terminate/originate at Braintree during the weekends of June 20-21 and June 27-28. Commuter Rail customers may utilize the Red Line shuttle between Braintree and Quincy Center and further Red Line service to South Station during these weekends.

In compliance with the Commonwealth’s Reopening Massachusetts Report, riders are also reminded that face coverings are required while onboard shuttle buses. Additionally, in an effort to promote social distancing and protect the health and safety of MBTA riders and bus operators, ridership on shuttle buses is limited to twenty passengers. The MBTA is also operating additional shuttle buses than originally planned with a robust fleet of shuttles on standby to accommodate ridership demands as needed.

Following track work, the MBTA typically implements speed restrictions as a safety precaution, and customers should expect these to last for several days while the T monitors the proper settlement and consolidation of new track and stone ballast. Speed restrictions are lifted once engineers have confirmed proper settlement has occurred.

For more information, please visit mbta.com/RLwork, www.mbta.com/BBT2020.

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Tags: MBTA

Source: https://blog.mass.gov/transportation/mbta/building-a-better-t-fourteen-day-red-line-diversion-begins-june-18/

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Rivian adopts mobile service model for maximum convenience

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Rivian Service promises to provide a proactive and personal approach to mobile vehicle service. Rivian seems to have developed an intricate mobile service model to make vehicle care more convenient for R1T and R1S owners.

Over-the-air updates will support Rivian’s mobile service model to optimize a vehicle’s performance continuously. Most of the over-the-air updates will take place at night, making it more convenient for owners.

The company’s mobile service will also be backed by Rivian Remote Care, enabling the company to perform comprehensive diagnostics from afar. With Rivian Remote Care, technicians can proactively identify most vehicle problems even before the owner notices them.

Credit: Rivian

“We’re remotely diagnosing vehicles and pre-ordering parts if needed. By the time we arrive for your mobile service appointment, we’re ready to resolve your issue on the spots,” said Edwin, a Rivian Service technician.

Rivian will have a fleet of mobile service vans ready for deployment at any time. Rivian mobile technicians can attend to calls at an owner’s home, workplace, or anywhere service is needed within the United States and Canada. Rivian plans to expand its mobile services as it reaches other markets.

Rivian technicians will also bring vehicles that need extensive care to service centers and return them to owners afterward. The company will provide a loaner to owners while their cars are cared for at the service center. Rivian has not specified what vehicles will be used as loaners.

Rivian plans to open over 40 service centers in the United States and Canada soon. More service centers are planned for the future as Rivian grows. The company has also established a network of Rivian-owned and Rivian-certified collision centers for bodywork and exterior damages.

Rivian Service seems to go hand-in-hand with the company’s warranty coverage. Rivian’s warranty system is also quite intricate. It includes a Comprehensive Warranty, a Battery Warranty, a Drivetrain Warranty, and a Perforation Corrosion Warranty.

The Teslarati team would appreciate hearing from you. If you have any tips, email us at [email protected] or reach out to me at [email protected].

Rivian adopts mobile service model for maximum convenience

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Source: https://www.teslarati.com/rivian-mobile-service-details/

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Lucid Motors, Rivian sued by Illinois car dealers for direct sales

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Lucid Motors and Rivian were sued by the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, and some individual franchised auto dealerships in the state for selling vehicles directly to consumers.

The numerous plaintiffs are accusing both Rivian and Lucid of violating state laws that require new vehicles to be sold through franchised dealerships. The direct-to-consumer sales platform has become popular with electric car companies, especially Tesla who has never operated through dealerships. While each of the aforementioned automotive companies does have showrooms in operation to display their products, they do not have salespeople or sales managers who negotiate prices with customers. The costs are the same for everyone, a strategy that has alleviated a lot of stress from the car buying process.

In May 2019, the dealers, the Secretary of State, and Tesla entered an agreement that would consent to the automaker obtaining no more than 13 dealer licenses in Illinois. This allowed showrooms to sell vehicles to customers, but it only applies to Tesla and not to Lucid and Rivian.

The new lawsuit against Rivian and Lucid alleges the Secretary of State of “turning a blind eye to Rivian’s unlicensed sales operations,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

“We have no choice but to file this lawsuit, both to protect consumers as well as the hundreds of franchised dealers across the state who contribute to the local economy,” Pete Sander, the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association President, said. Sander represents more than 700 auto dealers that operate over 2,300 franchises across the state.

Credit: Lucid Motors

The Illinois Vehicle Code and the Illinois Motor Vehicle Franchise Act were cited in the lawsuit. These mandate that all vehicle sales to the public “must be made through licensed and independent franchised” dealers.

Lucid operates out of California and has its main production facility in Arizona. The company recently opened a sales studio in Oak Brook, a suburb of Chicago that is home to several large corporations like Ace Hardware and Blistex. However, Rivian is based in Normal, Illinois, and the lawsuit seems to affect it more than Lucid simply because of the company’s base location.

The Illinois Attorney General’s office issued “an informal opinion” last summer that stated new automotive manufactures are not expressly required by law to establish franchised dealerships to sell their cars. This gives companies like Rivian and Lucid the opportunity to sell their products directly to customers unless the lawsuit filed by the numerous plaintiffs moves forward. A spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office said they would review the complaint when it comes to their office.

Lucid Motors, Rivian sued by Illinois car dealers for direct sales

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Source: https://www.teslarati.com/lucid-rivian-lawsuit-direct-sales-ban-illinois/

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Elon Musk’s Starlink Beta meets opposition from India’s industry body

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It appears that Starlink is facing a challenge in India, a country expected to receive coverage from the satellite internet system sometime next year. 

The opposition against Starlink was initiated by the Broadband India Forum, which has written a request to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The forum asked the bodies to block SpaceX from pre-selling the beta version of the satellite internet service in the country. 

As noted in a report from The Economic Times, TV Ramachandran, the industry body president, argued that SpaceX does not have the necessary license or authorizations from the government to offer its beta services in India. 

The Broadband India Forum represents companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Hughes, and Microsoft. In its request, the forum asked the bodies to “urgently intervene to protect fair competition and adherence to existing policy and regulatory norms.” It also noted that SpaceX seemed to be “non-compliant to existing guidelines” in India.  

Explaining further, the forum added that Starlink does not have its own ground stations in the country, nor does it have the satellite frequency authorization from the ISRO and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). According to the forum, these are needed for a company to be allowed to offer beta services in India. 

SpaceX, for its part, has not issued a statement about the matter. In a statement to the Times, a senior TRAI official has stated that the issue brought up by the Broadband India Forum “would be examined.”

SpaceX is currently offering pre-orders for the beta version of Starlink in India for a fully refundable deposit of $99 (about Rs 7,000). The satellite internet service is poised to compete with other satellite communication services such as the Bharti Group and the UK government-owned OneWeb, which is also expected to launch its services sometime in 2022. Competition may also be coming in the form of Amazon’s Project Kuiper, which is yet to provide internet services, even in beta form. 

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Elon Musk’s Starlink Beta meets opposition from India’s industry body

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Elon Musk to become board member of Endeavor Group Holdings: SEC Filing

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk will join the Endeavor Group Holdings Board of Directors ahead of the group’s Initial Public Offering, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission says.

Musk, 49, currently spends his time with Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company, but will join the Endeavor board in the coming months, the filing says. He is currently listed as a “Director Nominee.” However, the filing describes what Musk’s eventual position will be.

“Mr. Musk is currently a director nominee and will become a member of our board of directors at or prior to the pricing of this offering,” the filing says. “Mr. Musk was selected to serve on our board of directors because of his professional background and experience running a public company, his previously held senior executive-level positions, his service on other public company boards and his experience starting, growing and integrating businesses.”

Endeavor includes several well-known brands under its parent company, including talent agencies WME and IMG, and premier mixed martial arts promotion Ultimate Fighting Championship, most commonly referred to as the UFC. The UFC was purchased by Endeavor’s WME-IMG joint venture in July 2016 for $4.2 billion.

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Endeavor had attempted to launch an IPO in the past but pulled the plug on the effort at the last minute in the Fall of 2019 when market conditions were unfavorable. The company may have sensed it wouldn’t reach its fundraising goal, according to Deadline, and opted to wait for better economic circumstances.

It also skipped 2020 as a possible date for its IPO due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Despite pulling in less of a profit compared to 2019, CEO Ari Emanuel stated the company remained resilient despite the tough circumstances and is attempting to initiate an IPO in the coming months.

“As challenging a year as 2020 was, it underscored the strength, creativity, and resilience of our people who mobilized time and time again in the face of overwhelming odds,” Emanuel wrote in the S-1 filing. “We made difficult decisions but worked as a team to find creative solutions and best position the business for the future.” The company reported $3.5 billion in revenue last year, down $1.1 billion from 2019.

The filing for the possible Endeavor IPO indicates the company wants to raise $100 million, but this number could ultimately change.

As long as Endeavor can raise the correct capital and it avoids any other dicey economic uncertainties, it will trade under the “EDR” ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange.

Elon Musk to become board member of Endeavor Group Holdings: SEC Filing

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Source: https://www.teslarati.com/elon-musk-endeavor-group-holdings-boardmember/

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