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Proposed Transit Reform Bill Hurts All Commuters

May 20th, 2015

Photo by Alan Light. CC-BY-2.0.

However you travel around Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker’s proposed MBTA reform bill would hamper your commute. Baker’s special panel on the MBTA has called for both revenue and reform to improve the ailing transit system. While the governor’s proposed legislation aims to improve the MBTA’s efficiency and accountability, it paves the way to steep fare hikes and service cuts, placing an undue burden on low- and middle-income riders and forcing some commuters off the T and back into their cars, out of either convenience or necessity.

But if you think that Baker’s transit reform bill would impact only MBTA riders, you would be wrong. The legislation, as proposed, would slash much-needed funding not only to the MBTA, but to the entire Massachusetts transportation system, including roads, bridges, regional buses, bikeways, and sidewalks.

As CLF Senior Attorney Rafael Mares explains, by repealing important provisions of the state’s landmark Transportation Finance Act of 2013,

The funding cuts in the Governor’s bill add up to $581 million over six years. Those cuts wouldn’t be just for public transit, however. Funds for bridge and road repair and other parts of the state’s transportation system are impacted, too. Given that the Transportation Finance Act left a funding gap between what it authorized and what is actually needed, this additional revenue cut will mean the operations of the statewide transportation system will suffer and maintenance will have to be deferred. And that’s not good news for any of us, whether we drive, walk, bike, ride the bus, or take the train to work every day.

Click here to take action today and urge Massachusetts legislators to support the equitable, reliable, and safe transportation system the people of Massachusetts deserve.