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Focus 40 Kickoff Event, held on May 24 at Northeastern University’s Curry Student Center.

Focus 40 Kickoff Event, May 24, Northeastern University’s Curry Student Center.

MassDOT Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash are planning for transportation and economic demands of the year 2040 – and they want your ideas. They launched the Focus40 project on May 24 to develop a 25-year strategic vision for MBTA investments. Focus40 will address today’s capital needs, as well as anticipating the transit needs of Greater Boston in the year 2040.

At the kickoff event, more than 200 stakeholders heard from Secretaries Pollack and Ash on the Baker Administration’s approach to planning for the future. Technological, transportation, and developmental changes that have occurred over the past 25 years are a reminder of the challenges in predicting what Greater Boston will look like in the year 2040.

You can help! Please take the Transit Priorities Survey by July 31!

We want to hear your thoughts on how the MBTA should prioritize different types of transit investments for bus, rapid transit, commuter rail, paratransit and ferry service. The survey is available in English, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese.

The kickoff event featured discussion about mode options and personal vehicle ownership, opportunities for the private sector to partner with public agencies on transit, and technologies that have changed the way we travel. Panelists offered views on how the MBTA should prepare for changing demographic trends, sea level rise and extreme weather. Audience members raised questions about lessons learned from the past 25 years, and the Commonwealth’s financial capacity to maintain system reliability and expand the system’s footprint. (see the project website for more details).

Open house and panel attendees also had an opportunity to tell MassDOT what they think about these issues by leaving comments and sharing priorities through a real-time poll. More than 40% said they most increased their use of transit over other modes in the past five years, and more than 28% suggested that urban population growth is the most important trend the MBTA should plan for.

The Focus40 project team thanks members of the public who took part in this important conversation. For more information on Focus40, visit the project website. If you have any questions or comments, please contact MassDOT’s Project Manager, Scott Hamwey, at 857-368-9800 or via email at focus40@dot.state.ma.us.

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