Better transportation means better bus service on the MBTA and on our 15 Regional Transit Authorities. And every bus rider knows that traffic is an impediment to good, reliable service. So if we want better public transit, we need our roads to work better, too.continue
The Massachusetts State Senate yesterday voted in support of a pilot program of smarter tolling that would reduce tolls at off-peak hours on certain roads, a key policy priority advanced by Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA). The provision, adopted as part of the Senate budget, will now be included in conference committee budget discussions with the House of Representatives.continue
Bicycles are efficient, economical and environmentally friendly. Bikes are for everyday transportation as well as healthy recreation. With safe cycling infrastructure and better roadway design, Massachusetts can move people around more easily, with benefits to our health, our economy and our climate.
During Bike Week, many organizations celebrate cycling and highlight events, routes and investments to improve Bay State bicycling. We are pleased to share these events, and other efforts to make Massachusetts safer for cycling, including legislation and capital investments.continue
It's common across the United States for local voters to decide whether to fund transportation projects. In Colorado, Kansas, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and many other states, cities or counties bring proposals directly to the public. Transit, roads, bikeways and more projects are often funded through locally-assessed taxes. But not yet in Massachusetts.
T4MA, MassBike, and WalkBoston
On March 18, an autonomous vehicle (AV) killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. Initial evidence suggests that the backup driver was distracted, and the vehicle did not make any attempt to avoid the collision. This should serve as a wake-up call. We believe that with the right policies and procedures in place, autonomous vehicle testing can be safe. However, it is clear that at least in some conditions, this is not yet the case.continue
At a time when the Commonwealth should be promoting public transportation, several Regional Transit Authorities that provide bus service outside of the MBTA system are actively planning service cuts and significant fare hikes to balance their budgets, in response to Governor Baker’s recommendation to level-fund state operating assistance to RTAs. While state assistance is only one of several revenue sources, four years of level funding at a time of increasing costs is causing harm to riders and communities across the state.continue
A new poll of registered voters shows strong interest in better transportation, and a willingness to invest in better mobility. Most voters don't perceive recent progress, and have a range of reactions to variable pricing to address traffic congestion. The survey of 709 voters was conducted by MassINC Polling Group and funded by the Barr Foundation.
Massachusetts must be at the forefront of the coming revolution in transportation, and ensure that we are never again ranked 45th among the states. We need to think differently about how we manage and fund all modes of travel, and imagine how innovation, sustainability, climate change, equity and other issues will impact statewide transportation decisions for the people of Massachusetts in twenty years.
By Chris Dempsey
Last year, Massachusetts was named the #1 state in the entire country by U.S. News & World Report, thanks largely to our #1 ranking in Education and #2 ranking in Healthcare. But we were ranked #45 in transportation, including placing #47 nationally in both road quality and commute time.