Happening today:

8:45 a.m. | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu attends Boston's National Bike to Work Day Festival. | City Hall, 1 City Hall Square, Boston

9:30 a.m. | Sip some coffee with Boston Mayor Michelle Wu at the Downtown/West End Coffee Hour. | City Hall Plaza, 1 City Hall Square, Boston

2 p.m. | Redistricting debate resumes for the Boston City Council's Committee on Civil Rights, which holds a hearing on electoral maps. | Iannella Council Chamber, 5th floor, City Hall, Boston

5:30 p.m. | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu attends We Are Boston, the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement's annual reception to celebrate Boston's rich cultural diversity. | 101 Huntington Avenue #1300, Boston

Taylor Swift plus thousands of fans plus the MBTA. What could possibly go wrong? The Swift Express leaves the station starting tonight.

In Massachusetts, the MBTA has completely sold out of special-event train tickets for added commuter rail trains scheduled around the concerts to get attendees back and forth from Gillette.

Foxboro has been preparing for the three-day concert series from Friday to Sunday, May 19-21 for weeks. Events and concerts at Gillette Stadium always bring droves of people to the area, but the Taylor Swift shows can bring fans flocking to the area days in advance.

This one brings an added boon for the region’s troubled public transit system, which — like many other regional transit agencies — has struggled to rebuild ridership lost to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first set of special-event MBTA train tickets sold out very quickly, according to the MBTA. Then an additional round of 3,230 additional tickets made available through its app sold out in less than 90 seconds. The app reached a peak of 20,000 requests per minute to buy train tickets, the MBTA said.

After Swift’s shows in Atlanta last month, Jimmy Kimmel Live! Hosted a segment of inspired comments on Twitter about how the fans were going to single-handedly rescue public transit.

Swift fans tripled MARTA ridership that weekend, moving nearly 140,000 riders from the four stations surrounding the concert venue.

It was a similar scene in Philadelphia earlier this month during Swift’s tour stop there. Like the MBTA, the city’s transit system added late-night trains to handle the additional riders and counted a combined 27,000 fans entering the subway station next to Lincoln Financial Field in the hour after the shows let out.

One hopes this will be a bright spot on the recently cursed track record of the T and perhaps inspire more people to hop aboard. As of Friday, weekday service had only rebounded to 58 percent of pre-pandemic ridership on subway and bus, according to TransitMatters.

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8:45 a.m. | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu attends Boston’s National Bike to Work Day Festival. | City Hall, 1 City Hall Square, Boston

9:30 a.m. | Sip some coffee with Boston Mayor Michelle Wu at the Downtown/West End Coffee Hour. | City Hall Plaza, 1 City Hall Square, Boston

2 p.m. | Redistricting debate resumes for the Boston City Council’s Committee on Civil Rights, which holds a hearing on electoral maps. | Iannella Council Chamber, 5th floor, City Hall, Boston | Livestream

5:30 p.m. | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu attends We Are Boston, the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement’s annual reception to celebrate Boston’s rich cultural diversity. | 101 Huntington Avenue #1300, Boston

House-Senate backroom infighting goes public with committee split

What’s typically kept as secretive, backroom dealings for doing business in the Massachusetts Legislature has spilled into public view as infighting between two chairmen for one of Beacon Hill’s joint House-Senate committees, reports The Boston Globe’s Samantha J. Grossman. The result? Two versions of the Joint Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy Committee will convene separate hearings to hear public comment on the same set of bills.

The Boston Globe

Mass. Air National Guard scolded alleged leaker multiple times for copying classified info before arrest

Massachusetts Air National Guard officials scolded 21-year-old service Jack Teixiera, accused of leaking classified government documents multiple times, for copying sensitive information that he was not supposed to be viewing, according to new court filings. Prosecutors and lawyers for Teixeira filed new arguments Wednesday ahead of a Friday court hearing in Worcester where a magistrate judge is expected to decide whether Teixeira should remain behind bars for the foreseeable future, reports Chris Van Buskirk for The Boston Herald.

The Boston Herald | WBUR

Calls coming for Arroyo to step down for involvement in Rollins investigation

At least one Boston city councilor and a conservative advocacy group are calling for Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo to resign after two federal investigations tied him to alleged election meddling by U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins, reports Walter Wuthmann for WBUR. The reports found Rollins attempted to influence the race for Suffolk County District Attorney in 2022 by leaking negative information about interim D.A. Kevin Hayden, in an effort to help Arroyo, her preferred successor to the office.


Rachael Rollins could face Mass. Bar investigation

U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins appears unlikely to face federal prosecution for her “extraordinary abuse” of power, despite investigators determining she lied under oath and violated a federal ethics law multiple times, reports Matt Stout for The Boston Globe. But the troubled U.S. attorney who is expected to resign today,  could still face great legal exposure before the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, up to revocation of her license, experts say.

The Boston Globe

Krafts open giant new facilities near I-495 for packaging businesses

Nearly 20 years in the making, the Kraft Group’s packaging business, Rand-Whitney, has opened two large facilities in Boylston. The company’s cardboard boxes spiked in demand with the COVID-fueled boom in e-commerce, reports Greg Ryan for The Boston Business Journal. Robert and Jonathan Kraft, Gov. Maura Healey and other officials were on hand for a ribbon-cutting for a 375,000-square foot plant for Worcester-based Rand-Whitney and a neighboring 325,000-square-foot warehouse for Unified2 Global Packaging Group on Thursday.

Boston Business Journal

Worcester could face massive deficit from Polar Park

Despite city claims that Worcester’s Polar Park for the Worcester Red Sox would pay for itself over time through new development and tax revenue, a new report reveals the project could create a $40 million to $60 million deficit, reports Trea Lavery for MassLive. Project costs are reaching nearly $160 million, including the land purchase — significantly more than the original projection of $86-$90 million.


Just do it: Markey urges Biden to invoke 14th Amendment on debt ceiling

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey on Thursday became the latest progressive lawmaker to call on President Biden to use his executive authority and invoke the 14th Amendment to unilaterally end the debt limit crisis, a move Markey says is necessary to ensure progress on addressing climate change is not lost. Republicans want to claw back major portions of Biden’s climate legislation and to loosen permitting regulations for fossil fuel-powered power plants as part of a larger agreement on the debt.


Do over? Hull mulls fixes after fire disrupts municipal election 

Election officials in Hull are searching for a way forward after a court said that some 100 votes cast during two extra hours of voting added after a house fire on election day blocked traffic from getting to the polls cannot be counted. Peter Blandino of the Patriot Ledger reports a Plymouth County Superior Court judge found that “there exists a very real likelihood that citizens were disenfranchised” amid the chaos and that a new election appears to be the only “just remedy” available.

The Patriot Ledger

Recall efforts are latest development in North Brookfield feud over drag show 

Some North Brookfield residents are not done battling a plan to hold a drag show during an upcoming Pride event, with petitions now circulating in the Worcester County town to cancel the planned show and to recall the two select board members who voted to allow it to go forward after initially rejecting permission. 


Another reports sounds alarm on population, wealth leaving state 

A new Pioneer Institute report says the state saw $4.3 billion worth of adjusted gross income to other states in 2021 as the number of people leaving the state grew in recent years–and top earners are leading the exodus. Based on Census data, the study is just the latest data point fueling a debate on the Bay State’s competitiveness.

Salem News

Weekend political and policy talk shows

Keller@Large | 8:30 a.m. Sunday | WBZ-TV | Political analyst Jon Keller interviews Keri Rodrigues, president of the National Parents Union, to talk about parent access to school information, controversies over sex-ed curriculum, layoffs in Brockton schools and how communities are spending federal school aid.

On The Record | 11 a.m. Sunday | WCVB-TV | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu is the guest this week. Topics will include the fallout from the Rachael Rollins investigation, school safety and the role of police, and strategies to create more affordable housing. Sharman Sacchetti and Ben Simmoneau host. Democratic Political Analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican Political Analyst Rob Gray join the roundtable discussion.

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Erin Tiernan was a Editor and Author of MASSterList