September 16, 2021 -- Public transit is an essential service, a public good, and the backbone of our state economy. Years of reports and studies have established that in order for Massachusetts to be competitive and to serve all residents, we must have a modernized transit network that is equitable, efficient and environmentally sustainable. The Governor and the State Legislature are entrusted with this responsibility.
The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation report makes clear, and the pandemic has exacerbated the reality, that we do not yet have a dedicated, adequate state funding plan to support the public transit investments and operations needed to serve the public, and we will soon face the economic, social, and environmental consequences of this lack of preparation.
The report also shows that the Governor, Legislature, and MBTA should begin to address this crisis now, rather than waiting for the buses and trains to run off the fiscal cliff that lies ahead. Cuts to service and fare hikes to balance budgets are not the answer: public transit must be affordable and accessible to everyone if we are to live in a just and society with equitable access to opportunity.
Massachusetts must adequately fund its statewide transportation system through dedicated, sustainable transportation revenues. It must be a high priority for the legislature and the Governor to commit to the overdue and critical task of funding public transit. We cannot wait until we reach a fiscal cliff.