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 RECOMMENDS STATE USE VOLKSWAGEN SETTLEMENT FUNDS TO ACCELERATE ALL ELECTRIC TRANSPORTATION REVOLUTION

At a Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection public stakeholder meeting on February 15, 2018, MASSPIRG called on MassDEP to use the Volkswagen Settlement Funds to accelerate the transition to an all electric transportation system.

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Blog Post | Transportation

To Build A 21st Century America, Start Here | Jeff Robinson

The stakes in the current infrastructure debate are high. But what matters most is not the size of any federal infrastructure package, nor how it is financed, nor even how many jobs it creates in the coming years. What matters most is building the infrastructure that will enable America to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

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Media Hit | Transportation

Is the MBTA really 90 percent reliable? A consumer group is skeptical

Read the Boston Globe article about MASSPIRG's new report: How Reliable Is the T?

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

IN NEW REPORT, MASSPIRG RECOMMENDS IMPROVEMENTS TO MBTA’S METHOD FOR MEASURING T SERVICE RELIABILITY

A new report released today by MASSPIRG Education Fund recommends improvements to the MBTA’s reliability metrics that will lead to more accurate ratings. The MBTA publishes daily reliability ratings through its MBTA Performance Dashboard on www.mbtabackontrack.com. Despite customer service surveys that indicate over 40 percent of riders find the MBTA’s service unreliable, the reliability ratings published on the Dashboard often hover around 90 percent.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

How Reliable Is the T?

HOW RELIABLE IS THE T?  On its “Back on Track Performance Dashboard,” the MBTA publishes daily reliability ratings. How accurate are they? Despite customer satisfaction surveys that indicate over 40 percent of riders find the T to be unreliable, the reliability ratings consistently hover around 90 percent. This report recommends improvements to the method the MBTA uses to calculate reliability that will lead to more accurate ratings.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

New Report Finds Small Decrease in Driving Would Save Bay Staters more than $20 Billion by 2030

A new report released today documents a potential savings of more than $20 billion for the Commonwealth’s residents and state budget. Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) and the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group Education Fund released their study on the benefits of reduced driving in the Commonwealth. The report finds that even small reductions in driving would yield substantial benefits between now and 2030. 

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Media Hit | Transportation

How much can Massachusetts save from driving less?

In a report to be released Monday, researchers say Massachusetts drivers can save about $2.3 billion annually if they hit the road just one percentage point less than they’re projected to drive from 2015 to 2030.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

AMTRAK DERAILMENT HIGHLIGHTS NEED TO FUND RAIL AND TRANSIT AS HOUSE VOTES TO CUT $260 MILLION IN AMTRAK BUDGET

While it’s unclear whether the Amtrak derailment on Tuesday near Philadelphia was directly the result of inadequate maintenance and repair, the tragedy highlights the need for Congress to adequately fund transit infrastructure, repair and maintenance. 

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News Release | 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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Derailed by Debt

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) faces an uncertain financial future over the next five years. With debt service payments increasing, along with other costs, the MBTA will face sizeable budget gaps forcing the Authority to choose among unhealthy options to close these structural deficits. These options primarily include: further dramatic fare increases, service reductions, or more borrowing.

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2006 Congressional Score Card

The 2006 Scorecard looks at the most important public interest votes taken between February 9, 2005 and February 1, 2006 in the U.S. Congress. These votes determined the direction of federal policy on critical issues ranging from environmental preservation to health care to consumer protections.

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Give a Hoot

Greater Boston's Night Owl service is endangered. Budget cuts and systematic under-funding of public transportation have put the Night Owl on the chopping block this spring. This report compares Greater Boston's nighttime public transportation service with that of other similar transportation systems across the country and finds that, out of eleven comparable systems, Boston is one of only two that do not offer some form of nighttime service on weeknights.

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Blog Post | Transportation

MASSPIRG Praises Reps Who Stand Up for Public Transportation

Amendment #16 to the House Transportation bill (H.3382) would have relieved the MBTA of the Big Dig debt with which it has been unfairly burdened. See if your Representative voted the right way.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Testimony in Support of Transportation Revenue | Elizabeth Weyant

While MBTA recently experienced its highest public transportation ridership levels, our transportation system is splitting at the seams. Sustained high public transportation ridership would result in cleaner air, less dependence on oil, and less congestion on our roadways.  But without a significant investment in our transportation system, none of these benefits can be realized.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Testimony in Support of Transportation Reform and Revenue | Elizabeth Weyant

As you well know, our entire transportation system is facing a severe funding crisis.  Roads, bridges, highways, and public transportation agencies have an estimated $15-$19 billion funding deficit over the next twenty years that will be incurred just to maintain our current network.  This gap will impact every state resident as our roads and bridges deteriorate and public transit is reduced.

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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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