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The Loop Transit System by SomClimateAction

Please find below the judging results for your proposal.

Finalist Evaluation

Judges'' ratings


Judges'' comments

SUBJECT: Your proposal has been selected as a Finalist!

Congratulations! Your proposal, The Loop Transit System, in the Atypical Ideas for Carbon Neutrality in Somerville contest, has been selected to advance to the Finalists round.

Be proud of your accomplishment – more than 350 proposals were submitted and only a very small number have been advanced through these two rounds of judging.

As a Finalist, your proposal is eligible for the contest’s Judges Choice award, as well as the contest’s Popular Choice award, which is determined by public voting.

If you haven’t already, you will soon receive an email from the Climate CoLab staff with details about the voting period. If you don’t receive that email within the next day, or have other questions, please contact the Climate CoLab staff at

All winners will be announced the week after the voting period ends, on September 12, 2015 at midnight Eastern Time.

Both Judges Choice and Popular Choice will receive a special invitation to attend selected sessions at MIT’s SOLVE conference and present their proposals before key constituents in a workshop the next day, where a $10,000 Grand Prize will be awarded. A few select Climate CoLab winners will join distinguished SOLVE attendees in a highly collaborative problem-solving session. Some contests have additional prizes given by the contest sponsor.

Your proposal identified an issue that we feel is very important for both climate change and livability in Somerville. It raises issues of how an alternative transit system that serves Somerville should interact with the MBTA and whether a more dynamic approach to routes and schedules might bridge the gap.

Thank you for your work on this very important issue. We’re proud of your proposal, and we hope that you are too. Again, congratulations!

2015 Climate CoLab Judges

Semi-Finalist Evaluation

Judges'' ratings


Judges'' comments

SUBJECT: Your proposal has been selected as a Semi-Finalist!

Congratulations! Your proposal, "The Loop Transit System" in the Atypical Ideas for Carbon Neutrality contest, has been selected to advance to the Semi-Finalists round.

You will be able to revise your proposal and add new collaborators if you wish, from July 1st until July 16, 2015 at 23:59pm Eastern Time.

Judges' feedback are posted under the "Evaluation" tab of your proposal. Please incorporate this feedback in your revisions, or your proposal may not be advanced to the Finalists round. We ask you to also summarize the changes that you made in the comment section of the Evaluation tab.

At the revision deadline listed below, your proposal will be locked and considered in final form. The Judges will undergo another round of evaluation to ensure that Semi-Finalist proposals have addressed the feedback given, and select which proposals will continue to the Finalists round. Finalists are eligible for the contest’s Judges Choice award, as well as for public voting to select the contest’s Popular Choice award.

Thank you for your great work and again, congratulations!

2015 Climate CoLab Judges

Innovative transportation--including more ride sharing and clean vehicles--are critical to Somerville's future economy, environment, and quality of life.

This is an interesting combination of public-private partnership that sounds like a Loop version of Uber. It seems like the proposal is getting at transportation to areas that the T doesn't serve efficiently. Private car ownership could make the Loop more cost-effective as the Loop would not have to pay to maintain its fleet (in theory). In terms of removing 85% of cars/truck traffic, the Loop would have to be implemented in conjunction with a time-of-use toll for driving. See London's Congestion Charge as an example. This proposal could cover a lot more ground if it incorporated other communities, as people using this service will undoubtedly be headed for destinations outside of Somerville, and staff could be located at a regional organization like the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. The big question is: what rate Loop drivers will need to charge to make it profitable?

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Maureen Barillaro

Jul 7, 2015


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Thanks for selecting this proposal and your feedback! We have added a list of possible policies that the city can determine to help move people to the new system, including time-of-use toll, in the "what actions do you propose" section. We agree that this could cover more ground if incorporated with other cities, but the general idea is that this service is regular and reliable for Somerville residents doing business within Somerville, so we want to make sure our residents needs are met, first and foremost. We can certainly see it expanding to other cities and a hub and staff at a regional organization makes a lot of sense. We've included that this could be a pilot city and then expand, in the "key benefits" section. We have not answered the question of the "rate" because we do not yet know the routes and how many vehicles are needed to achieve the goal. That is where a data analyst and transportation experts come in. We know that the rate must be close to and preferably less than the MBTA. We would like to add that this proposal is more about starting the discussion about alternative public transportation and how to make it a reality with different options available. The city should look to this proposal for ideas to start the research and move into pilot programs to find out what will work best, then grow the system from there.