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

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 | 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.  

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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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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

Fifteen Organizations Support Complaint Filed Over Eliminated MBTA Late-Night Service

Fifteen organizations have issued letters supporting the complaint filed to the Federal Transit Administration in July by the Conservation Law Foundation, Alternatives for Community and Environment and Greater Four Corners Action Coalition. The complaint asked the FTA to compel the MBTA to implement an alternative to the cancelled Late-Night Service that would reduce the disproportionately high and adverse effects cancelling Late-Night Service had on low-income and minority riders.

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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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Economic Stimulus or Simply More Misguided Spending?

The economic recovery package will present an opportunity to advance widely recognized, new transportation priorities for the 21st century. It will be up to Congress, the Obama Administration, and the states to make sure that happens. So far, however, too many of the states are off to a troubling start.

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Connecting the Commonwealth

Public transportation makes a vital contribution to Massachusetts transportation system, relieving congestion, reducing our dependence on oil, curbing pollution, stimulating the economy, and helping to sustain healthy, vibrant communities.

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Squandering the Stimulus

Nothing illustrates how the lack of transportation options hurts consumers and our economy more than the fact that, since approval of the tax rebates in February, Americans on average have already spent the amount of their stimulus checks at the pump. We can reduce our crippling dependence on oil through long-term solutions that will make it easier for Americans to drive less. Modern buses, light rail, commuter rail and other forms of transit more efficiently move passengers with less fuel.

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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 | Transportation

MASSPIRG's Kirstie Pecci speaks at MA Regional Transportation Conference | Ben Martin-McDonough

On Monday, September 15th, MASSPIRG’s Kirstie Pecci presented “Transportation and the New Generation”.

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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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