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This is where Salem’s city ride service expands next

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from WBUR’s daily morning newsletter, WBUR Today. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, sign up here.


Welcome to the first WBUR Today of June, aka Pride Month! In case you missed it, here are a few ways you can celebrate in Boston this month.

Let’s get started with today’s news:

Skip town: Salem’s government-run ride service, the Salem Skipper, is expanding. On Thursday, city officials announced that the service will offer out-of-town rides to the neighboring communities of Danvers and Beverly. Since its inception in 2020, the program has provided more than 260,000 local rides for Salem residents.

  • How is it different from the big ride-hailing apps? An average ride on the Salem Skipper costs about $2 (and only $1 for students, seniors, and people with disabilities). Mayor Dominick Pangallo said people of all ages use the service to go to school, make doctor appointments and more. “This is a very strong case study for an innovative model for a regional transportation option that is not a fixed route like a bus or train,” Pangallo told WBUR’s Amy Sokolow. “It fills an unmet need, especially for people who may not be able to cycle or walk easily.”
  • How does Salem pay for it? The service expansion is funded by a $2.3 million Federal Transit Administration grant, which was secured in 2022 by U.S. Representative Seth Moulton.

A bankruptcy judge from Texas Steward Health Care is scheduled to review plans to sell its hospitals today as part of the company’s ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. Steward’s debt and lease obligations currently total $9 billion, according to the company’s lawyers.

  • What’s happening today: Judge Christopher Lopez will consider how and when the hospitals — including seven in Massachusetts — can be sold. Steward has proposed a rapid timeline for having its hospitals auctioned by the end of June, but Ross Martin, a law professor at Boston College, told WBUR’s Deborah Becker that he thinks the geographic diversity of the hospitals and the complicated nature of the auctions could lead to delays may result.
  • What’s next? We are waiting. After the hearing, “we will have a much clearer picture of where this case is going,” Jay Westbrook, a law professor at the University of Texas, told Deb. “And I would be surprised if the judge doesn’t slow things down a little bit.” In the meantime, Steward is looking for additional resources to keep the facilities running during the bankruptcy. Deb has more on this and Lopez’s background as a well-known bankruptcy judge.

A new time limit for families the stay in the state shelter system that was originally scheduled to take effect last Saturday has been postponed. The state Office of Housing and Livable Communities says families who have been in a shelter for nine months will be notified in early July that they have 90 days to leave.

  • Why the delay? Gov. Maura Healey’s administration said it had not yet finalized regulations or formal guidelines for the length-of-stay policy approved by the state Legislature, so they need some more time.
  • The big picture: Lawmakers and Healey instituted the nine-month restriction to ease pressure and control spending on the family childcare system. The system has been limited to 7,500 families since last year and hundreds of families are on a waiting list.

You can visit now John F. Kennedy’s birthplace home in Brookline. Last Saturday, the John F. Kennedy National Historic site opened its doors to the public for the first full season since 2019, following a series of renovations and updates to make the house more accessible. Visitors can stop by Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., through October 30, to learn more about JFK and his upbringing.

PS – Attention Connecticut residents living in Greater Boston: It will soon be easier to get your hands on New Haven-style charred pies. Sally’s Apizza is opening two new locations in Dorchester and Concord. We’ll wait and see if these spots are the same sauce-cesvol as the chain’s Woburn location. (Sorry.)

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