Transportation for Massachusetts is a diverse coalition of Bay State organizations working together to create safe, convenient, and affordable transportation choices for everyone in Massachusetts. Our 30 members have expertise in transportation, affordable housing, social justice, public health, the environment, planning and smart growth.
We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by providing low-carbon transportation choices throughout the commonwealth. We also work to ensure that the transportation system provides a path to economic opportunity for those without cars, like youth, seniors, and low-income residents. We support maintaining and growing an affordable and robust public transportation system, completing streets with bikeways and sidewalks, and developing walkable neighborhoods around transit.
The breadth and diversity of our coalition allows Transportation for Massachusetts to be a powerful voice in making lasting, positive change to the current crisis we face in our transportation system. Our members are working everyday to make sure that there are safe, affordable, and convenient transportation choices for all residents.
This year, we successfully pushed back on the fare increases and service cuts that were proposed by the MBTA to close its $110 million deficit. T4MA and its members, through grassroots mobilization, press, and advocacy, played a critical role in pushing the MBTA to eliminate most proposed service cuts and reduce the fare hikes from 35% or 43% to 23%. These steep hikes and extensive service reductions would have been an enormous burden on working families, low-income people, and seniors. We demanded solutions that would avoid hurting those who rely on public transportation. As a result of our work and others, the legislature and the administration allocated $60 million to the MBTA and $7 million to regional transit authorities to reduce fare hikes and service cuts. This provided a temporary funding solution that cut the proposed fare increase half, greatly reduced the service cuts.
The coalition has also been influential on bringing the importance of our transportation system to the foreground of public policy discussions. Throughout the public discussion about the proposed fare hikes and service cuts, our coalition steadily called for a comprehensive funding solution in all of its communications on the MBTA’s proposed hikes and cuts. Speaker DeLeo, the Governor, the Lt. Governor, and the Senate President publicly stated that the legislature needs to develop a long-term solution to meet transportation needs. The publication of Maxed Out and our constant drumbeat on this theme in press coverage of T4MA helped elevate transportation funding as a priority for the 2013 legislative session so that the state can solve the challenges we face in ways that will benefit our economy, our quality of life, and the environment to the benefit of all residents.