Posted by Jeffrey Mullan, MassDOT Secretary & Chief Executive Officer
Last week, I wrote that I would devote the next few weekly messages to a conversation about the Commonwealth’s transportation system. The key point from last week’s message is that transportation reform is here to stay, and that our focus on efficiencies, savings and continual improvement is how we must do things both now and in the future.
This week's point concerns a potential decrease in Federal funds available for transportation in the future. Most of you know that the reauthorization of Federal transportation funding has expired and that a debate on a new law is underway. You may also know that the Highway Trust Fund, which was designed to provide all of our Federal highway aid and much of our Federal transit funding, has not had enough money in it to support all of the Federal aid that has been authorized by law for several years. To make up the difference, Congress has authorized the use of general fund revenues. Based on the current debate, it now seems likely, but not certain, that this subsidy will end. Based on the best information available, if that happens, we are projecting that we would lose $135 million annually in Federal highway funds and $57 million in Federal transit funds.
We will continue to push for the best outcome possible, but also need to be realistic about the challenges faced by the Congress that we read and hear about every day. If we are not successful in maintaining funding, we will have fewer resources available and will fall further behind. Regardless of how it turns out, 2011 looks to be a watershed year for transportation policy and investment at the Federal level.
Plan Ahead for Memorial Day Weekend Travel posted on May 24
MassDOT encourages travelers to plan ahead and travel safely during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The heaviest traffic is observed during Thursday, Friday, and Monday afternoons and early evenings. Drivers are encouraged to make travel plans accordingly and if possible avoid peak traffic volumes between …Continue Reading Plan Ahead for Memorial Day Weekend Travel
MBTA: Hoverboards Not Allowed posted on May 24
Effective immediately, hoverboards are prohibited on all MBTA property, including stations, buses, subways, trains, and commuter boats. MBTA subway and bus personnel, along with Keolis Commuter Rail staff have been informed that customers with hoverboards shall not be permitted to bring such devices into MBTA …Continue Reading MBTA: Hoverboards Not Allowed
MBTA General Manager DePaola Retirement posted on May 24
Frank DePaola, P.E., who has served as General Manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) since February 2015, announced to staff that he plans to retire after his current appointment expires on June 30. Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack thanked DePaola in a letter …Continue Reading MBTA General Manager DePaola Retirement