T4MA Statement on MBTA Track Improvement Program 2023-2024
November 9, 2023 - "Today, the MBTA announced its plan for a Track Improvement Program set to be implemented throughout 2024. Considering the safety challenges and the slow zones that have beset the system of late, a plan of this breadth has been anticipated. The communication of a comprehensive, systemwide, year-long plan to address track issues is crucial and appreciated. We hope this signals a new level of transparency with the public for the MBTA especially as the work progresses. This allows impacted communities to plan their trips and activities ahead, and for municipalities to prepare for these shutdowns, ensuring riders’ lives are not disrupted greatly.
T4MA and our members will continue to hold the MBTA to their obligation to provide accessible mitigation measures and abide by their service delivery policy. The MBTA needs to increase and improve safety to restore the confidence of their riders. Track improvement of this scale will need funding, and we are aware that the MBTA is facing a financial cliff. Information on how this will be funded, and how this can be folded into existing projects or potentially impact other MBTA projects are both valuable and crucial.
In providing mitigation service, we expect that the MBTA will keep its commitment to accessibility, span, availability and reliability of service. Affected riders, particularly those who have limited transit options, would have to contend with substituting their usual rapid transit commute to shuttle buses that would have to go through already congested roadways. The goal would be to provide service during these shutdowns that would not further discourage core riders to use public transit. Likewise, we expect the MBTA to work closely with municipalities at the soonest opportunity to ensure that appropriate preparations are made for instance, around bus lanes, bus stops and road traffic management.
We look forward to seeing a robust, accessible and transparent communication plan that would inform the public of the progress of the track work, provide detailed and plain language directions, and alert them in real time of changes to the diversion plan as and when they happen. Consistent, accessible, and reassuring wayfinding signs should also be in place to help riders navigate through the modifications of their transit experience."
Reggie Ramos, T4MA Executive Director
Statement from Transportation for Massachusetts regarding Governor-elect Maura Healey, the approval of the Fair Share Amendment, and the Work and Family Mobility Act.
November 10, 2022 - "Transportation for Massachusetts congratulates Governor-elect Maura Healey for her historic victory as the next governor of Massachusetts. Governor-elect Healey’s campaign led on creating a safer, more accessible and equitable transportation system in Massachusetts, and we look forward to working with her administration to advance this work as she begins her tenure as governor.
With the passing of Question 1, the Fair Share Amendment, it is clear the voters of Massachusetts want an improved transportation system. This new revenue will support the Commonwealth in making a down payment on the decades of underinvestment in our statewide transportation network infrastructure. We look forward to working with the legislature and advocating for thoughtful spending on upgrades to our public transit systems, understanding public transit is a lifeline for numerous residents to access services, jobs, healthcare, and economic opportunities – all the things that make Massachusetts a welcoming place to live and work. The new revenue will also allow us to create safer streets for residents to reduce and hopefully eliminate traffic fatalities and repair our roads and structurally deficient bridges – all of which is long overdue.
Massachusetts voters also want safer roads for some of our most vulnerable road users by the passing of Question 4, keeping the Work and Family Mobility Act in place. Keeping the right for immigrants to obtain drivers licenses by testing and carrying insurance not only means that immigrants can legally drive to places they need to go, it also means more folks on the road know the rules and both people inside and out of the car are kept safe on our streets."continue
T4MA Statement on the FTA Safety Management Inspection Report
August 31, 2022 -- MBTA riders deserve a system that is safe and reliable on a day-to-day basis, but that also looks to the future with long-term improvements. The Federal Transit Administration report makes clear that the Baker Administration and MBTA leadership have instead created a false choice between capital and operations funding -- shortchanging operations and diminishing rider and employee safety.continue
Elected officials, transit advocates call for suspending fares for all MBTA riders during Orange, Green Line shutdowns
Data shows thousands of Orange Line riders will still pay under T’s current plan; uniformly free service will promote transit usage over driving
Elected officials, advocates, and riders are calling for suspending fare collection across the entire MBTA system during the month-long shutdowns of the Orange Line (beginning August 19) and the Green Line north of Government Center (beginning August 22).continue
Transportation for Massachusetts is pleased to award grants to twelve organizations around the Commonwealth working to improve mobility for underserved populations. Thank you to the Barr Foundation for their ongoing support! This is the fourth grant cycle for Transportation Justice grantmaking. More information is available at t4ma.org/tj_rfp.
Grants have been awarded to...
- Action for Equity
- Bikes Not Bombs
- Coalition for Social Justice
- Community Economic Development Center
- Greater Four Corners Action Coalition
- Groundwork Lawrence
- Institute for Human Centered Design
- Mattapan Food & Fitness Coalition
- The Bike Connector
- The Welcome Project
“It is disappointing that the House chose to exclude from the final transportation bond bill a low-income fare program that would help thousands who are struggling with the burden of transit costs and the high cost of gasoline, is proven to increase transit ridership, and is supported by more than 80 percent of people across the Commonwealth. More than 90 percent of low-income MBTA riders don’t qualify for the limited existing low-income programs – for youth and seniors. This current system is simply not equitable. We will advocate vigorously for a low-income fare program as the bill moves to the Senate.”
“MBTA Orange, Red and Blue Line service cuts are disappointing but not surprising to the riders, advocates, and employers who for years have been calling on state leaders to fully fund the system our region deserves.
Short-sighted underinvestment in the day-to-day staffing and operations of the MBTA must end now. The FTA report is crystal clear: the T needs more people and resources.
Governor Baker must take responsibility for the MBTA and prioritize meeting the FTA deadlines and restoring service as swiftly as possible – while the legislature must act now to ensure the MBTA has the personnel and infrastructure needed for safe, reliable service into the future.”
Transportation for Massachusetts applauds Governor Baker’s filing of a $9.7 billion bond bill to leverage incoming federal funds from the recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The broad outlines of this legislation -- to help modernize and electrify our transit systems, repair our bridges and roads, and incentivize electric vehicles – have the potential to improve people’s lives in every corner of the state.
We encourage the state legislature to take up this bond bill and hold hearings as soon as possible. Massachusetts is now competing with other states for discretionary federal grant funding that is included in the IIJA. The sooner the legislature enacts this bill, the sooner we can leverage this urgently needed funding.
While Governor Baker has made a decision to withdraw from the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative, the goals of TCI remain as important as ever.
For the sake of the entire Commonwealth -- but particularly our environmental justice populations that have been most adversely impacted by transportation pollution and by the COVID-19 pandemic -- reducing carbon emissions and tailpipe pollution must remain a high priority, and the Commonwealth’s laudable climate goals must be backed up by decisive action.continue
“We welcome and thank incoming Chair Betsy Taylor and all members of the new MBTA Board of Directors for their commitment to public transit. They have their work cut out for them. Our statewide coalition looks forward to working with the MBTA Board and staff to address critical issues around safety, equity, affordability, climate resilience and modernization. We also expect the Legislature to support the resources necessary to ensure that the MBTA fulfills its essential mission,” said Josh Ostroff, Interim Director at Transportation for Massachusetts.