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.
MassDOT Highlights New Travel Time Technology: Free Mobile app posted on Jan 18
MassDOT today announced that a total of 146 “GoTime” signs, which provide real-time traffic travel times, are now activated on highways throughout the Commonwealth and that a new mobile app with GoTime data is now available which will allow drivers to see real-time travel information before …Continue Reading MassDOT Highlights New Travel Time Technology: Free Mobile app
MBTA: Framingham/Worcester Line Commuter Rail Schedule Public Meetings Set posted on Jan 18
The MBTA will hold three public meetings for people to share comments and suggestions about proposed Framingham/Worcester Line Commuter Rail scheduling changes. The meetings will be held in Newton on January 31, in Worcester on February 1, and in Natick February 6 as follows: …Continue Reading MBTA: Framingham/Worcester Line Commuter Rail Schedule Public Meetings Set
Fall River: Route 79 Braga Bridge Project Completion Overview posted on Jan 17
MassDOT invites you to review the final fact sheet for the Fall River Route 79 Braga Bridge Improvements Project. The work reached substantial completion in fall 2016 with the reopening of all lanes on the Braga Bridge. This landmark project offered significant long term enhancements: …Continue Reading Fall River: Route 79 Braga Bridge Project Completion Overview