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 Education Fund | Transportation

Electric Buses Drive Healthier Communities

If the MBTA transitioned its entire fleet of diesel buses to all-electric vehicles, it could significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions each year and reduce toxic air pollution that creates a public health hazard. A new report from MASSPIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group, “Electric Buses: Clean Transportation for Healthier Neighborhoods and Cleaner Air,” shows that a full transition to electric buses in we could avoid an average of 55,000 tons of climate-altering pollution each year -- the equivalent of taking over 10,000 cars off the road.  

> Keep Reading
Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Electric Buses: Clean Transportation for Healthier Communities and Cleaner Air

Buses play a key role in in our nation’s transportation system, carrying millions of children daily to and from school and moving millions of Americans each day around our cities.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

MA House Votes to Continue to Underinvest in Regional Transit Authorities

On Thursday, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted to continue to underinvest in the Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs).  While the House’s amendment to the state budget bill increases funding from $80 to $82 million for fiscal year 2019, that still falls far short of the $88 million requested by the struggling RTAs and transit advocates.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

MA House Votes to Continue to Underinvest in Regional Transit Authorities

On Thursday, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted to continue to underinvest in the Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs).  While the House’s amendment to the state budget bill increases funding from $80 to $82 million for fiscal year 2019, that still falls far short of the $88 million requested by the struggling RTAs and transit advocates.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

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

On Wednesday, the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee released its fiscal year 2019 budget recommendation, which decreases funding for the Regional Transit Authorities to $80 million. This comes despite the urgent requests from  public transportation advocates and the RTAs, for adequate funding at a level of $88 million.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

MASSPIRG Statement on Funding for Regional Transit Authorities in Massachusetts FY18 Budget

 

On July 7, the House and Senate sent a $40.2 billion budget to Governor Baker’s desk. The legislation avoids tax increases and mostly holds spending flat at state agencies for fiscal 2018. Although the regional transit authorities (RTAs), as well as advocates, had recommended funding the RTAs at $86 million, in the budget on the Governor’s desk, RTAs, which provide public transit services throughout the Commonwealth, receive only $80.4 million.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

Senate Bill Aims to Rollback Clean Car Standards

Today, Senators Blunt (R-MO), Moran (R-KS ), Young (R-IN), Stabenow (D-MI), Peters (D-MI), and McCaskill (D-MO) introduced a bill to amend vehicle standards, also known as the “Blunt Clean Cars Rollback”.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

Regional Transportation Bill Clears MA Legislative Committee

A state house committee passed a key regional transportation initiative, a major step in improving and expand regional transportation options. The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Revenue reported favorably on the Regional Transportation Ballot Initiative bill (S.1551), introduced by Senator Eric Lesser (East Longmeadow).

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Media Hit | Transportation

MA transportation system is falling behind

Massachusetts transportation infastructure in need of significant repair and investment.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

New National Safety Council Data Show 20% Percent Increase in Motor-Vehicle Fatalities in Massachusetts Compared to 2015

 

New data released from the National Safety Council (NSC), a nonprofit, non- governmental public service organization chartered by Congress to promote health and safety in the United States, found a troubling increase in the number of motor-vehicle fatalities during the first half of 2016.

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What We Learned From the Stimulus

Stimulus money invested in public transportation projects created twice as many jobs as highway projects, according to a new report released today by MASSPIRG, in conjunction with the Center for Neighborhood Technology and Smart Growth America.

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Greasing the Wheels

The United States has 73,000 crumbling bridges, but year after year, startlingly few federal transportation dollars go to fixing them.

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Stranded at the Station

With both the demand and the pay-off so high, now would seem to be the time to build on this success and expand transit options, yet the opposite is happening. State and local budget cuts have put public transit agencies everywhere under tremendous pressure, forcing them to eliminate service, raise fares and lay off workers. While the depth of the funding crisis is the result of the unusually severe economic downturn, the cuts to this essential service underscore a basic truth: The funding base for building and operating public transportation is insufficient and vulnerable.

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Massachusetts and the Stimulus

June 29th marks the 120-day deadline for states to commit at least 50% of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA) $26.6 billion in transportation funds. It provides a vantage point to examine how states are using he money, with a particular focus on the $438 million apportioned to Massachusetts.

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Private Roads, Public Costs

A growing number of states are considering arrangements in which a private operator provides an up-front payoff or builds a new road in return for decades of escalating toll receipts. The report assesses these deals and identifies a number of problems.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Kirstie Pecci talks about the problems with MBTA on BNN News | Kirstie Pecci

Kirstie Pecci, Staff Attorney with MASSPIRG, talks about reasons for recent severe problems in MBTA service, as well as progress toward addressing problems, as tracked in a report by Transportation for Massachusetts.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Transportation: Historic Snowfall Reveals We Have a Long Way To Go | Kirstie Pecci

This week Transportation for Massachusetts, the Conservation Law Foundation and MASSPIRG released their second progress report on funding and reforms created by the Transportation Finance Act of 2013. The report, Keeping on Track: Our Second Progress Report on Reforming and Funding Transportation Since Passage of the Massachusetts Transportation Finance Act of 2013, evaluates the progress made and the challenges that have arisen since enacting that law.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Staff Attorney Kirstie Pecci discusses "The Next MASSDOT" with Chris Lovett of Boston Neighborhood Network News | Kirstie Pecci

Kirstie Pecci, Staff Attorney for MASSPIRG, talks about the transportation vision assembled for Governor Charlie Baker in "The Next MassDOT" on BNN News with Chris Lovett

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Blog Post | Transportation

Federal government awards $996 million grant to expand Green Line | Kirstie Pecci

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced a $996 million grant to the MBTA to expand the Green Line 4.7 miles from East Cambridge to Somerville and Medford.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Vote No on Question 1 | Ben Martin-McDonough

Vote NO on Question 1 to make sure Massachusetts continues to invest in its roads, bridges, and public transporatation.

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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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