T has extra $1.2b: How would you spend it?

Agency is holding off, saying it lacks organizational capacity

IT HASN’T RECEIVED a lot of attention, but the MBTA has an extra $1.2 billion in untapped capital funds at its disposal. The agency’s five-year capital spending plan has $9.4 billion in funding sources but only $8.2 billion in planned spending. T General Manager Steve Poftak said in May that he would like to spend

DeLeo ups T ante, pledges long-term fix

Speaker says the MBTA system is in crisis

SAYING THE MBTA is “in crisis,” House Speaker Robert DeLeo said the House is willing to work with Gov. Charlie Baker on a short-term fix but remains focused on a long-term plan and the revenue to make it a reality. The Winthrop Democrat, who often sees eye to eye with Baker on financial issues, issued

Special fare for low-income T riders gains momentum

Some control board members back more commuter rail discounts

MBTA GENERAL MANAGER Steve Poftak said on Monday that the agency intends to research how to implement a special, less expensive fare for low-income people, but he said the scope and parameters of the study need to be worked out. “The intent is to study it. It’s just a question of the depth of the

Poll: Massachusetts voters feeling strain from transportation challenges, support policy changes including new funding

Half of those with commutes over 45 minutes say they’ve recently considered changing jobs; 30% have considered leaving their area altogether

Full report and topline (PDF) Crosstabs (PDF) Massachusetts voters, especially those who commute to work, are paying emotional and economic tolls as they negotiate the state’s crowded and strained roads and public transit systems. A new statewide registered voter survey from The MassINC Polling Group finds voters feel urgency toward action, including raising new funds

Baker comes up with South Coast Rail financing

Completion date moved back a year to late 2023

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER followed through on a first-term campaign promise on Monday by dedicating more than $1 billion in state bond funds to the South Coast Rail project, which is now expected to be completed after his second term ends. The funding commitment followed three cost and schedule reviews of the commuter rail project and

Mayors, city managers forming commuter rail coalition

Driscoll: ‘There needs to be a voice for commuter rail and its riders’

MAYORS AND CITY MANAGERS across eastern Massachusetts are forming a coalition to advocate for the MBTA’s commuter rail system. Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, who is active in forming the coalition, said the commuter rail system often gets overlooked in discussions about transportation even though its impact is enormous in many communities. “It’s the lifeblood of

Restarting the transportation funding debate

With millionaire tax shot down, what else is under consideration?

WITH THE MILLIONAIRE TAX ballot question shot down by the Supreme Judicial Court, the debate over state transportation funding is slowly starting to shift gears on Beacon Hill. Rep. William Straus of Mattapoisett, the House chairman of the Legislature’s Committee on Transportation, said it’s time to start having a debate about alternative revenue measures. He

Increasing access to economic opportunity with affordable transit

A growing number of transit agencies discount fares for low-income riders

Rising rents are pushing low-income transit-dependent households awy from strong public transit and out to Gateway Cities, where service is less frequent. These residents have just two costly options to get to back to better paying jobs in Boston: driving or taking the commuter rail. Compared to the subway, with its flat fare of $2.25

Four things we learned about Gateway City travel this summer

Understanding mobility patterns

The Googles of this world have loads of travel data to understand mobility patterns at minute detail. While most researchers and planners never get a good look at these real-time data, we do have two interesting sources of information that can help us learn more about how people travel across the state. One resource is

MPG President Steve Koczela testifies before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Revenue

On public support for regional ballot initiatives to fund transportation projects in Massachusetts

Below is MPG President Steve Koczela’s testimony about public support for regional ballot initiatives to fund transportation projects in Massachusetts. Steve testified before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Revenue on April 10, 2017. Chairmen Kaufman and Brady, members of the committee, good morning. My name is Steve Koczela and I am the President of

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