News Release

MASSPIRG, RTA Officials, Regional Community Leaders and Students Discuss Transportation Issues in Southeastern, MA at UMass Dartmouth

For Immediate Release

 

Contact: Matt Casale, 617-747-4314, mcasale@masspirg.org

North Dartmouth, MA – On Thursday at UMass Dartmouth, MASSPIRG hosted a transportation forum where RTA officials, regional community leaders, and students discussed transportation issues in Southeastern Massachusetts.

The focus of the conversation was the Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs). For several years, the RTAs have been level funded in the state budget, which has not allowed them to keep up with inflation or rising fuel, maintenance, health care, and wage costs. As a result, RTAs across the Commonwealth are considering service cuts or fare hikes.

A panel of speakers, including SRTA administrator Erik Rousseau, GATRA administrator Francis Gay, Bus Riders United Organizer Erica Cruz, and MASSPIRG staff attorney Matt Casale, discussed the challenges caused by the insufficient funding, and possible ways to move forward.

Fom left to right: Matt Casale, MASSPIRG; Erik Rousseau, SRTA; Francis Gay; GATRA (credit: Kevin Lemieux)

“We should not punish riders and communities by keeping funding levels flat at a time of rising costs,” said Casale, who laid out several potential opportunities to increase funding for the RTAs. “That starts by increasing state funding to $88 million. The goal is not to preserve the status quo, but to best serve the public by providing good transit options. Not providing appropriate funding for RTA service will have devastating consequences for residents who use and rely on buses every day.”

MASSPIRG staff attorney Matt Casale (credit: Kevin Lemieux)

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MASSPIRGis a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society. On the web at www.masspirg.org.

 

 

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