Transportation News

Transportation News
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Report on transportation financing crisis

Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) has released “MAXED OUT: Massachusetts Transportation at a Financing Crossroad.” The overview is straightforward: “The people and economy of Massachusetts depend upon the state’s network of rails and roads, but the transportation system is living largely on borrowed time and borrowed money. Faced with a crushing burden of debt, the system lacks the revenue to maintain its current condition, let alone meet future needs.”

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Transportation News
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Boston Globe: Importance of mass transit to Boston’s growth

“Boston’s success depends on T”
“Now, however, the T’s budget woes go far beyond the Green Line and Silver Line projects. They’re so massive that they’re calling into question the way we build the city and plan for its future.”

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Transportation News
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State publishes 2011-2014 TIP

The Transportation Improvement Program is an annual report that describes and prioritizes transportation projects expected to be implemented during this four-year period, including a financial plan showing the revenue source or sources. Projects of interest to Somerville include the Green Line extension, Beacon Street, Broadway, the Community Path extension, and I-93. Download the TIP (PDF).

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Transportation News
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Capuano pushes for change in transit funding

Dedham Transcript: “Capuano, Jackson join labor in push for transit funding change”
Joined by Rev. Jesse Jackson, U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano highlighted a proposal he’s cosponsoring that would permit public transportation systems in urban regions with more than 200,000 residents to use federal dollars for operating costs.
Unfortunately, he also said, “It doesn’t make sense to build a shiny new Green Line extension if the rest of the Green Line falls apart.”

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Transportation News
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New report on true costs of housing and transportation

Housing and transportation costs
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing released the findings of an important real estate report which, for the first time, calculates the combined costs of housing and transportation for families living in the Boston region. According to the report’s findings, the average working household in the Boston region spends over $34,000 a year – or 54 percent of their income – on the combined costs of housing and transportation.

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Transportation News
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Scary report on MBTA safety issues

Boston Globe: “Report finds T’s riders at risk”
A decade of systemic neglect and mounting financial problems has left the MBTA with public safety issues that are far more serious than previously revealed and swiftly growing worse, according to a devastating independent report.
AP: “Study: Mass. transit passenger safety put in peril”
D’Alessandro told The Associated Press on Wednesday he would not ride the portion of the Red Line between the Alewife and Harvard stations.
Download the report (PDF).

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Buses, Transportation News
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Urban Ring on hold

Somerville Journal: “Urban Ring bus route and I-93, Mystic Avenue improvement projects scrapped due to Regional Transportation Plan cuts”
“We take no pleasure in the dramatic cutbacks included in the new Regional Transportation Plan, but they represent a realistic assessment of funds currently available, and likely to be available in future years,” said Draisen who also serves as vice chairman of the Boston Region MPO which allocates federal transportation dollars. “Everyone should recognize that the state’s transportation system is woefully underfunded. We are over-burdened by years of debt, and the value of the gas tax – unchanged since 1991 – has not kept pace with inflation.”

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Transportation News
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New report: Public transit demand is up but funding is down

A new report released by Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance, the MASSPIRG Education Fund, and Transportation for America demonstrates that while demand for public transportation is on the rise, funding for transit across America is vulnerable and insufficient. In 2008, public transportation ridership rose 4 percent, with the largest number of trips taken since 1956, while the total number of miles driven fell by 3.6 percent. Yet across the country, a massive wave of enacted or proposed fare hikes coupled with anticipated service cuts demonstrate how precarious our transit financing system really is. Check out the report: “Stranded at the Station.”

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Transportation News
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State Rep. Denise Provost on transportation financing

Somerville News: “Transportation Finance and Reform – Part 1 “
Although EOT says that it is still “committed” to building the Green Line extension to Route 16, its official plans call for a scaled-back project, and is conditioned on federal grant funding.

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Transportation News
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T fare hike proposed

Boston Globe: “T riders face nearly 20 percent fare hike”
Commuters who depend on public transportation could soon pay nearly 20 percent more to ride buses, trains, and trolleys under a wide-ranging fare proposal unveiled yesterday.

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