STEP is a community group dedicated to improving transportation in Somerville, MA. We advocate for the Green Line extension, a more livable city, and public health issues.
Gov. Baker has framed discussion about the MBTA as a false choice between repairing the existing system versus any expansions such as the Green Line Extension. His remarks at a business breakfast Thursday are typical:
“I get that people like the shiny balls, OK? But the million people who ride that system? They need us to focus on reliability and resilience,” Baker told the room at the Intercontinental Hotel. He said, “People can talk about building it to here and there and everywhere. But if we don’t get it right on the core system… it’s going to be incredibly hard to grow the ridership.”
The Green Line Extension isn’t just a “shiny ball.” It’s critical to the lives and economic future of our residents and region.
Read more: “Baker talks jobs, MBTA” (Worcester Business Journal)
STEP is a member of the Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA), coalition that works to maintain and improve transportation across the Commonwealth. T4MA has just launched a petition drive to ask the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board to protect T riders by limiting fare increases and maintaining T service.
T4MA wants to send a clear message that the FMCB should respect the intent of the fare cap in the 2013 Transportation Finance Act (increasing fares by no more than 5% every two years), and that cutting MBTA service puts us on the wrong track.
We encourage you to sign the petititon and pass it on to friends!
From the group Transportation for Massachusetts:
By now, you’ve seen plenty of articles, pictures, and tweets about the MBTA’s breakdown in this week’s snowstorm, along with mammoth traffic jams, detours and delays across the state. After many years of underfunding transit maintenance, upkeep and upgrades, a crisis like this was bound to happen.
Our elected officials need to hear from residents frustrated with the state’s massively underfunded public transit system. Will you add your name to the growing list of MA residents who want reliable and safe public transportation, roads, and sidewalks?
For workers, students, families, seniors and visitors all across the state, our MBTA and regional transit service must be improved and maintained to operate regardless of the weather. Winter conditions have exposed the worst of our transit systems, but regular riders know that we face unreliable bus and train service every day. Can you sign this petition and make sure the Governor and state legislature hear your voice?
The Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership is writing you to urge you to VOTE NO on Ballot Question 1 on Election Day, November 4, 2014. By voting no you want the legislation passed in 2013 indexing the gas tax to inflation to remain in effect.
After many years of advocacy and terrific community support, Somerville is benefiting from major transportation improvements. The new Orange Line station at Assembly Square is open. While the MBTA and MassDOT are committed to extend the Green Line Extension and Community Path these projects could be delayed or even jeopardized if the Commonwealth does not have a stable source of funding for transportation infrastructure.
Boston Globe: “Patrick proposes bigger gas tax in transit plan”
In rejecting the transportation financing measure the Legislature sent him, Patrick countered with a proposal to further increase the gas tax in 2017 if Massachusetts Turnpike tolls expire as scheduled….”I have said I would accept the Legislature’s $800 million a year as a big step forward, so long as that number is real. This bill does not achieve that,” Patrick said.
WBUR: “Patrick Seeks Change In Transportation Bill”
Boston Magazine: “Gov. Patrick Shoots Down Latest Transportation Funding Proposal”
Boston Globe: “State lawmakers approve transportation funding plan; Patrick threatens veto”
“State legislators have voted to approve a compromise transportation funding plan that will raise taxes to fund investment in the state’s transportation department, but Governor Deval Patrick said the amount raised by the bill is not enough.”
Good news on the Community Path! During Tuesday’s station design meeting about Washington St and Union Square, the Green Line Extension design team announced that they will design the entire Community Path extension all the way to NorthPoint in Cambridge. Previously, the State had committed to designing the Path only to Washington St. Keep reading for more details from Friends of the Community Path.
Comments on H.3382, An Act relative to transportation finance
The Honorable Conference Committee Members:
I am writing as a citizen of the Commonwealth and as President of the Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership (STEP) to urge you to provide the full revenue needed to restore the Commonwealth’s transportation system to a state of good repair, and to meet the critical maintenance needed on an ongoing basis so we do not face the same funding deficit in a couple of years. We strongly urge ending the practice of using bond funds to pay the salary of operating employees, and support providing sufficient funds for transportation expansion projects. Such projects are needed to maintain a competitive economic climate for the state and to serve our aging population with adequate transportation services.