Let's Get Moving

IT'S TIME TO INVEST IN TRANSPORTATION ACROSS THE STATE—Massachusetts is being held back by a transportation system from the mid-20th century. With a larger, longer-term investment in public transportation, we can improve the quality of our lives, wherever we live in the Commonwealth.

In Massachusetts, the demand for transportation options is growing much faster than the supply. Why? Since the Eisenhower Administration, Detroit and Big Oil have dominated the decision-making, resulting in more highways, more traffic, and more dependence on foreign oil.

From the Berkshires to the Cape, our transportation needs are simply not being met. Our roads and bridges are crumbling and unsafe, our children suffer from above average asthma rates, and our work force spends on average 48 hours a year stuck in traffic. 

And even though Boston ranks 4th in the nation for average weekday ridership on rapid transit, we’re still 6th worst in the nation for congestion and 8th worst in the nation for air pollution.

When demand for better public transportation is skyrocketing, and yet 70% of Massachusetts commuters still commute to work alone in a car, it’s time for a change.

21st Century Transportation In Every Corner of Massachusetts

Massachusetts is considered by  many to be  the most progressive and well-educated state in the country, leading the way on so many important ideas and ideals, but we’re still getting around on a transportation system from the mid-20th century. 

With a larger, longer-term investment in public transportation, we can improve the quality of our lives, wherever we live in the Commonwealth.

So MASSPIRG is building support across the Commonwealth for a new path in which transportation is at the top of the decisionmakers’ list.

We need to invest in public transportation, sidewalks, and bike paths to help everyone in Massachusetts get around and to make our state:

  • Cleaner
  • Healthier
  • More accessible
  • Equipped to build an economy for the 21st century

 

Issue updates

News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

Gov. Baker’s congestion report marred by recommendation to add new highway lanes

 

In a rebuke to the long awaited study Gov. Baker released this morning --- “Congestion in the Commonwealth”--- MASSPIRG Staff Attorney issued a critical statement. 

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Blog Post | Transportation

Testimony in Favor of 100 Percent Renewable Energy and Electric Vehicle Fleets | Matt Casale

Our testimony, delivered to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy on July 23, 2019, in support of "An act to transition Massachusetts to 100 percent renewable energy" (HB2836 and SB1958) and "An act to promote zero-emission vehicle fleets by 2035" (HB2872 and SB1929). 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

New state budget is a step in the right direction for Regional Transit Authorities, but more resources are needed

The House and Senate members of the budget conference committee unveiled their compromise budget Sunday for fiscal year 2020, which has now been passed by both the House and Senate. As part of that agreement, now heading to Gov. Baker’s desk, the Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) will receive $87 million in base funding and an additional $3.5 million for one-time grants.

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Blog Post | Solid Waste, Transportation

Before we spend $2 trillion, report recommends a 'Blueprint for Tomorrow'

For all of us who rely on our roads and public transit, and our water, sewage and power systems, the agreement reached by President Trump and Democratic congressional leaders in May to commit $2 trillion to infrastructure should be good news.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Make VW Pay, Transportation

Some states are spending funds from VW 'Dieselgate' settlement on diesel

When it comes to clean transportation, most U.S. states are underutilizing funds from Volkswagen’s nearly $3 billion settlement with federal authorities for violating emissions standards.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

Massachusetts agrees to tackle transportation emissions through regional collaboration

Today, Massachusetts joined eight other states and Washington, D.C. to announce that they will create and implement a region-wide policy to curb emissions from transportation, now the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. The announcement marks the next step in the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) process, and represents significant, bipartisan movement towards eliminating the pollution that is causing global warming and harming public health.

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News Release | Transportation

Ditching diesel isn’t just good for public health and the environment -- it’s affordable

Getting rid of that black cloud of exhaust behind our buses, and the negative health and environmental effects that come along with it, is easier than it may seem. According to a new report from MASSPIRG Education Fund and Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center, electric buses are not only cleaner and healthier than diesel buses, but transit agencies and school districts have many affordable options at their disposal to adopt them.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

MASSPIRG denounces federal proposal to stall Clean Car Standards

 

Americans stand to breathe more polluted air as a result of a rollback announced today by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler proposed to roll back the “Clean Car” fuel economy standards, which, if left in place, would eliminate more than 2 billion metric tons of emissions.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

Final 2019 State Budget Includes Increase in Regional Transit Investment

Today, Governor Charlie Baker signed a state budget for fiscal year 2019 that funds the Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) at a total $88 million, which represents the first significant increase in RTA investment in several years. The RTAs provide essential public transportation services to over 32 million riders across the Commonwealth, but have been forced to propose service cuts due to rising costs coupled with, until now, stagnant funding.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

MASSPIRG and Over 20 Organizations Send Letter to Governor Baker in Support of Investment in Regional Transit

MASSPIRG and over 20 organizations representing diverse communities throughout the Commonwealth delivered a letter to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker in support of investmet in the Regional Transit Authorities, which provide bus services throughout the Commonwealth. The letter urges Governor Baker to fund the Regional Transit Authorities at $88 million for the next year. Read the letter here.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

What's at Stake

A one percentage point decrease in driving below current growth rate projections would yield substantial economic, environmental, and public health benefits between now and 2030. Those benefits are expected to reach $2.3 billion a year, by 2030, and would be more than $20 billion cumulatively over the period. These savings would chiefly come from less money spent at the pump, less money spent on car collisions, less money spent on vehicle repair, and less money spent on road repair.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Who Pays For Roads?

Many Americans believe that drivers pay the full cost of the roads they use through gas taxes and other user fees. That has never been true, and it is less true now than at any other point in modern times. Today, general taxes paid by all tax- payers cover nearly as much of the cost of building and maintaining highways as the gas tax and other fees paid by drivers.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Keeping On Track

Keeping on Track provides you with updated information about the financial state of the Commonwealth's transportation system, completed statutory requirements, missed deadlines, and improvements made through new transportation investments.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

The Innovative Transportation Index

This report reviews the availability of 11 technology-enabled transportation services – including online ridesourcing, carsharing, ridesharing, taxi hailing, static and real-time transit information, multi-modal apps, and virtual transit ticketing – in 70 U.S. cities. It finds that residents of 19 cities, with a combined population of nearly 28 million people, have access to eight or more of these services, with other cities catching up rapidly.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

The Next MASSDOT

Massachusetts is at a pivotal moment with regard to transporation. In recent year, the Commonwealth has taken the first steps toward reversing the transportation system's long slide into debt and decay. Long-awaited reforms to transportation agencies are under way. Long-deferred projects to repair and modernize our transportation system are finally moving forward.

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Blog Post | Transportation

MASSPIRG Supports Important Road Safety Legislation | Matt Casale

In 2018, across the U.S., 6,227 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes. This is the largest annual number of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. since 1990. In 2017, across the U.S., 777 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes. There is no question that we need to do more to keep people on our roads safe. On March 28, MASSPIRG submitted testimony to the State House's Joint Committee on Transportation in support of important legislation that will make our roads safer.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Our 'Driving into Debt' report highlights the impact of risky auto loans and car ownership

Talk about a captive market: For most of us, it's next to impossible to work, shop or go to school without a car. Auto lenders are taking full advantage.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Northeastern states band together to tackle transportation pollution

How is the Northeast taking on the largest source of planet-warming, climate-changing pollution?

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Blog Post | Transportation

“A Big Step in the Right Direction”: Regional Public Transportation Gets a Boost

On July 26, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a budget providing $88 million in funding for the state's Regional Transit Authorities, which provide a lifeline for people living in Springfield, Worcester, Lowell, New Bedford and towns in between.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Transportation

The Trump Administration’s Flawed Reasons for Rolling Back Clean Car Standards | Matt Casale

The Trump administration is making some pretty outlandish claims to justify its roll back of the nation’s most effective program at fighting climate change. Asserting that stronger fuel economy standards make our roads less safe, the administration moved last week to weaken Obama-era clean car standards -- but their claims just aren’t true.

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News Release | MASSPIRG

Today, nearly all of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) buses run on fossil-fuels, contributing to global warming and health-harming air pollution. That could soon change: the Massachusetts State Senate is considering a bill requiring that the MBTA purchase only electric buses starting in 2030 and that all MBTA buses be electric by 2040.

News Release | MASSPIRG

New Jersey passed groundbreaking legislation to clean up the state's transportatation system, while similar legislation remains pending in the Massachusetts State House.

News Release | U.S. PIRG

Twelve states plus Washington, D.C. released new details today about a program to reduce global warming emissions from transportation. The Transportation and Climate Initiative will create an enforceable and mandatory limit on transportation pollution, and will generate funding that could be invested in cleaner alternatives. 

Blog Post

Along with the Zero Emission Bus Coalition -- a collective of environmental, transit, labor, community, and public health organizations dedicated to accelerating the electrification of public transit - we delivered this letter to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack and the Chairman of the MBTA’s Fiscal Management and Control Board, Joseph Aiello calling for a clear commitment to transition the MBTA to all-electric buses. 

Blog Post

Walkers and bikers are getting killed at alarming rates -- at a time when we need this type of transportation more than ever. 

Transportation

Massachusetts Legislature considers bill to require MBTA to go electric

The Massachusetts Senate is considering a bill that would require the MBTA to fully transition to electric buses by 2040. The effect would be staggering: 55,000 tons of greenhouse gases would no longer be emitted each year — the equivalent of taking more than 10,600 cars off the road. MASSPIRG is urging the Legislature to pass this vital bill.

 

Transportation

12 states just announced plans to transform our transportation system

Transportation is the single largest source of carbon emissions in the U.S.—but Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, D.C., just released a plan to change that, called the Transportation Climate Initiative.

 

Transportation

Transportation advocates call on Gov. Baker to invest in electric buses

Responding to the MBTA's plan to replace much of its aging fleet with diesel-hybrid buses, MASSPIRG 21st Century Transportation Director Matt Casale and a coalition of transportation advocates called on Gov. Baker to up the state's commitment to clean electric buses.

 

Transportation | U.S. PIRG

2018 was the deadliest year for cyclists since 1990

Seventeen pedestrians and two cyclists were killed every day, on average, in traffic crashes in 2018. PIRG Transform Transportation Campaign Director Matt Casale explains that cyclists face a dilemma: walking or biking are convenient and pollution-free modes of transportation, but they're also dangerous in a world that's been built car-first.

 
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