Noah Jacobson ’22

A Better City, Boston, MA

This summer I was an intern for the Boston-based nonprofit advocacy organization A Better City (ABC) that advocates for infrastructure changes and policies in the Greater Boston area promoting equity and sustainability. My specific work focused on two main projects: congestion mitigation for the Allston I-90 project and flexible/promotional fare options for hybrid workers post-pandemic.

Meeting with Keolis and MBTA representatives about flexible fare options.

The Allston I-90 project is an upcoming reconstruction of a major highway interchange in the heart of Boston, with major repercussions if not mitigated properly. The entire Greater Boston area faces unbearable congestion if proper steps are not taken to reduce the impact of the Allston project. My work focused specifically on boosting capacity and service along the Commuter Rail lines to offer a viable alternative to driving for the duration of the Allston project and thereafter. I researched parking availability and demand, third track construction and electrification costs, ADA accessibility of the stations, and the cost of rail fares vs. the cost of driving and parking in Boston. This culminated in an ongoing paper with recommendations for mitigating measures 
that will hopefully be published soon.

My second project was to develop and propose flexible and promotional fares for the Commuter Rail given that nearly a third of commuters are expected to be working in a city office less than five days per week this upcoming fall. Using existing fare products as a base, I constructed several flexible fare options which my supervisor and I fleshed out and pitched to Keolis and MBTA representatives. These fares are also a part of an ongoing paper to be published soon, which focuses on welcoming back riders this fall with promotional and flexible fares that encourage increased ridership.

Heading into this summer, I knew that I had an interest in the niche nexus of sustainability, infrastructure, and transportation. This internship confirmed that this nexus is the key area that I am interested in, and the area that I plan to pursue post-graduation. My time with ABC was incredibly fulfilling, both in terms of production and the importance of the work we did. Knowing that I have an organization dedicated to this niche that wants to help me succeed is very valuable for me in my future career pursuits. I hope someday to be able to work with A Better City again. Overall this summer has been a fantastic learning opportunity, and I’ve produced a lot of work that I am proud of.

I would like to thank the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for their help in my internship pursuits, particularly with the career trek where I met Kate Dineen, Executive Vice President of A Better City, who offered me this internship. I would also like to thank the Class of 1972 for supporting my summer internship.