Secretary James Aloisi, Executive Office of Transportation
We truly appreciate the feedback we have already received about Governor Patrick’s comprehensive reform plans. We hope this blog will be one important avenue for an ongoing discussion and want to thank those who have already submitted comments to previous posts.
One frequent question we are receiving is about regional equity. Is this only about metro Boston? How does the plan help regions outside of Boston?
The answer is that support for transportation services in every region of the state is at the core of this plan. The Governor insisted that we do no less. He said forcefully in announcing the plan that we are citizens of one Commonwealth and just as we must share in the challenges we all must share equally in the investments and benefits.
The Governor's plan devotes an unprecedented portion of new revenues for transportation needs in regions outside Boston, using a groundbreaking funding structure that ensures all regions paying into the system receive funding for services in proportion to their contribution. The Regional Benefits link on the Reform & Renew web page shows the increases in funding for targeted regional projects.
The plan spells out clearly where each penny of gas tax would be spent, including 1.5 cents to strengthen and expand Regional Transit Authorities (RTA) service for low-income and working people, 1.5 cents for targeted regional road projects outside of Boston, and 3 cents for regional rail projects in the North, South and West. The funding for regional transit authorities alone represents a 66% increase that will allow RTAs to maintain or expand services and avoid fare increases.
In addition we invest 2 cents to address the costly practice of paying for highway personnel with debt – a move that will free up much-need money for operations and maintenance. Currently, over 1400 MassHighway employees are funded with debt. We’re relying on our grandchildren to pay for today’s engineers, lawn mowers and maintenance crews. This practice must stop. Our plan will have positive repercussions across the state for roadway maintenance and safety.
We encourage you to learn more by visiting the Reform & Renew page on the YouMove Massachusetts website.