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.
MBTA: Weekend Service on 3 Commuter Rail Lines Begins December 27 posted on Dec 19
The restoration of weekend Commuter Rail service on three lines will begin next Saturday, December 27. The Kingston/Plymouth and Greenbush lines will see the return of Saturday and Sunday service and the Needham Line will resume Saturday service after a two year absence. “MassDOT is …Continue Reading MBTA: Weekend Service on 3 Commuter Rail Lines Begins December 27
Fairhaven Bike Train Program Recognized posted on Dec 18
The Town of Fairhaven was recognized alongside the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program by Cape Cod’s NPR station, WCAI, for their bike train program. A bike train is a fun way for elementary and middle school students to get to school while being …Continue Reading Fairhaven Bike Train Program Recognized
South Station Expansion: DEIR Comment Period Through December 24 posted on Dec 17
Posted by: Matthew Ciborowski, South Station Project Manager, MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning I was pleased to meet with more than 60 people who participated in an Open House and Hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the South Station Expansion project on …Continue Reading South Station Expansion: DEIR Comment Period Through December 24