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

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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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

Massachusetts to Spend VW Settlement Money on Electric Buses and EV Charging Infrastructure

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) released a draft plan that proposes using the first $23.5 million the state is receiving as part of the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal settlement on electric vehicle infrastructure. The plan dedicates $11 million for the purchase of new, all-electric buses, $5 million for the expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and reserves the rest to be used on other projects that will help electrify the state’s transportation network.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

MASSPIRG Statement on Regional Transit Authority Budget in Fiscal Year 2019 Spending Plan

The Massachusetts State House issued a compromise spending plan that funds the Regional Transit Authorities at $88 million, which would be enough to help stave off proposed service cuts throughout the state. 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 | U.S. PIRG | Transportation

New Report Identifies Nine Wasteful Highway Projects Across the Country

Highway projects are notorious for wasting taxpayer dollars. Now, a new report by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group identifies nine wasteful highway expansion projects across the country, slated collectively to cost at least $30 billion.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Highway Boondoggles 4

America's infrastructure is in rough shape. Many of our roads, bridges, and transit systems are aging and in need of repair. Yet, year after year, state and local governments propose billions of dollars' worth of new and expanded highways that do little to reduce congestion or address real transportation challenges, while diverting scarce funding from repairs and 21st century priorities. This report profiles nine highway projects that epitomize the need for a fresh approach to transportation spending.

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News Release | Transportation

Highway Administration Reinstates Clean Air Rule In Response to Lawsuit

In a victory for climate and clean air, the Federal Highway Administration responded to a lawsuit brought by U.S. PIRG, NRDC, and the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of Clean Air Carolina by reinstating a federal requirement that state and local planners track and curb carbon pollution from cars and trucks on the national highways, which is a major contributor to climate change.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

In Response to Lawsuit, Highway Administration Reinstates Transportation Clean Air Rule

In a big win for climate and clean air, the Federal Highway Administration today responded to a lawsuit brought by environmental groups by reinstating a federal requirement that state and local planners track and curb carbon pollution from cars and trucks on the national highways, which is a major contributor to climate change.

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Media Hit | Transportation

Boston's seaport eyed for testing new traffic management system

MASSPIRG's Matt Casale appeared on Fox 25 Boston to talk about the city's new traffic management system. 

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Media Hit | Transportation

Boston's rush hour is starting earlier, lasting longer

MASSPIRG Staff Attorney Matt Casale appeared on Boston 25 News on September 5 to talk about our traffic problem.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

WITH MASSACHUSETTS PLEDGING TO COMPLY WITH GOALS OF PARIS AGREEMENT, NEW REPORT FINDS $75 MILLION IN VOLKSWAGEN SETTLEMENT FUNDS COULD HELP ACCELERATE ALL ELECTRIC TRANSPORTATION REVOLUTION

A new report from the MASSPIRG Education Fund finds that $75 million from the Volkswagen (VW) settlement is headed to Massachusetts to help clean up the country’s transportation system and strongly recommends using the funds to purchase electric vehicle fast charging stations for highways along with an aggressive expansion of all-electric transit buses to replace aging, dirty, diesel buses. The report finds the state could supply between 112 and 224 additional fast charging stations, and could purchase around 79 all-electric, zero-emissions buses, reducing dangerous pollution and saving money, all while accelerating market transformation to an all-electric transportation system. 

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Do Roads Pay for Themselves?

A new report released today from MASSPIRG disproves the myth that road-building is paid for by user-fees, showing that gas taxes cover barely half the costs of building and maintaining roads.

 

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A Track Record of Success

Drawing lessons from other countries, a new study from MASSPIRG shows that high-speed rail can boost our economy, save energy, curb pollution and provide a popular alternative to congested roads and airports.

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The Road Work Ahead

Neglected maintenance of roads and bridges acts as a constant drain on our economy and a scourge on our quality of life. Rough and rutted roads cause accidents, damage vehicles, trigger traffic jams that lead to countless hours of delay, and waste money Americans need for other expenses.

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The Right Track

The Obama administration’s recent decision to award $1.2 billion in high speed rail funds to the Northeast Region is the first step towards a stronger, faster rail system that will reduce congestion, oil use, and carbon emissions, but there is much still to be done.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Millennials Want More Public Transportation | Sean Doyle

A new poll shows that access to public transportation is “very important” for Millennials in considering where to live and where to work.  The results support our research over the past few years that found Millennials are driving less than older generations and are more prone to walk, bike, or take transit to get where they need to go.

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Blog Post | Transportation

How Deadly are Your State’s Roads? | Sean Doyle

A new report by Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute shows which states have the safest and most dangerous roads.  Here's how the states rank and what we can do about it.

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Blog Post | Transportation

The Facts We Need to Build a Thriving Transportation System | Kirstie Pecci

The Governor and his Special Panel have identified a number of reforms to the MBTA around areas like procurement, financial planning and customer service that warrant serious attention. However, the Governor’s bill is ignoring some of the key information we need to understand if we want to build a thriving public transportation system.  

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Blog Post | Transportation

11,000 Bay Staters Agree: WIND, RAIN OR SNOW, THE TRAINS SHOULD GO! | Kirstie Pecci

MASSPIRG and T4MA presented Governor Baker with 11,000 thousand signatures on a petition calling for more inverstments in the MBTA in front of the State House. 

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Blog Post | Transportation

Sign our Petition: Wind, Rain or Snow, the Trains Should Go! | Kirstie Pecci

Make your voice heard! After the MBTA's breakdown in the snowy conditions this month, it's clear we must address the chronic underfunding of our public transit system. Add your name to this petition to let the Governor and Massachusetts State Legislature know that we need reliable public transportation, roads and sidewalks.

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Blog Post

Despite claims to the contrary, new highway lanes are likely to place Massachusetts on the wrong side of a traffic congestion "tipping point."

News Release | MASSPIRG

 

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

Blog Post

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). 

News Release | MASSPIRG

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.

Blog Post

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.

Transportation | MASSPIRG

MBTA is starting to transform transportation

Across the country, the transition to electric buses is picking up speed. Nearly 200 new electric and hybrid buses are hitting Greater Boston's streets this summer.

 

Transportation | U.S. PIRG

Volkswagen settlement scorecard

Volkswagen was caught cheating emissions laws and settled with federal authorities. The settlement included nearly $3 billion for the Environmental Mitigation Trust. How well does our state rank on plans for investing VW mitigation trust funds in clean transportation projects?

 

Transportation | MASSPIRG

Electric buses make their way through Massachusetts

MASSPIRG gave three communities a glimpse into the cleaner, healthier future that awaits them with a transition to zero-emissions buses.

 
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