FY2017 House Budget: Transportation Issues

Much of the current focus on transportation policy is at MassDOT and the MBTA, with the consideration of the 5-year plan to invest in transportation projects. But this week, the House of Representatives will consider its Fiscal Year 2017 budget with many line items and amendments that will affect transportation across the state. (We will update this page as the week continues)

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How would you spend $14 billion?

The MassDOT/MBTA draft Capital Investment Plan (CIP) is out for public comment, and your voice matters as Massachusetts decides its transportation spending priorities. 

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Comments on Capital Investment Plan

The five-year draft Capital Investment Plan is a significant program for repairing and improving the transportation infrastructure of the Commonwealth. On March 16, the MBTA's Fiscal and Control Management Board and the MassDOT Board received a presentation describing the proposed plan, which will be released as a draft on April 11. Our coalition submits this letter as the CIP is considered over the coming weeks, with observations about the proposed plan, several questions, and a look ahead as we consider the long range transportation needs of the entire state. 

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Transportation For Massachusetts Applauds Commuter Benefit Provision

Transportation for Massachusetts, a statewide coalition of 58 member organizations working for a modern transportation network, applauds the Commuter Benefit provision in recent federal legislation that will ensure permanent parity for public transportation and bike commuters.

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Statement on Governor Baker’s Control Board Decision to Raise Fares by 9.3%

We are deeply disappointed by the Baker Administration’s decision to increase fares by nearly 10%. Raising prices won’t rebuild the MBTA. It will push over six million riders off transit next year, moving our region backwards. Governor Baker’s Control Board has made the choice to significantly increase fares, despite poor service and despite having adequate savings and state funding to close its budget gap. 

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The Five Percent Solution

Governor Baker’s MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board will soon vote on fare increases. The Control Board should settle on an increase of no more than 5% for three simple reasons. It comes down to respect, responsibility, and doing what is right.

 

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Time is not right for large T fare hike

[Cross-posted from Commonwealth Magazine]

By Vivian Ortiz and Charlie Ticotsky

The MBTA asked the public what it thinks of the agency’s proposal to raise overall transit fares by as much as 10 percent and the cost of some passes by as much as 23 percent. And the public has spoken:

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26 organizations urge the MBTA to hold fare increase to 5%

26 members of the Transportation for Massachusetts Coalition have co-signed a letter urging the MBTA to respect the 5% cap on fare increases.  Let's Keep Fares Fair!

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A 10% fare hike for the T is too much

Anything above 5% is a social inequity

By Dr. Katherine Gergen Barnett, writing in CommonWealth

As the bitter cold has returned to the streets of Boston, I have been driven into the warmth of the T more than once on my bike commute home from the hospital. The scene there is familiar – workers weary at the end of the day, parents with children swaddled in snow pants, young adults making their way. The English language is wrapped into many other languages, many of which I now recognize from my 11 years working at Boston Medical Center, New England’s largest safety net hospital.

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In Boston, Student MBTA Passes Are an Equity Issue

[From The Huffington Post]

By Ayele Shakur

On Tuesday, February 2, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) will hold a Public Hearing to unveil its proposal to hike Student T Pass fares from $26 to $32 per month. It's no secret that the T is suffering from significant financial and structural problems, including a $242 million budget deficit and aging trains that often fail to run in cold and snowy conditions. But many parents are already struggling to send their children to school, and finding the extra money for a fare hike seems like an unfair burden.

 

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