Rafael Mares

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Not Much Fat in the Governor’s “Ambitious” Transportation Funding Plan
by Rafael Mares

My son’s third grade class is looking for “juicy” adjectives, and I found one.  Again and again, journalists are describing the Massachusetts Governor’s 21st Century Transportation Plan, which proposes to raise revenue for our chronically underfunded transportation system, as “ambitious.” Not the kind of “ambitious” your mother admired in you when you were a college student, but the…

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Read My Lips: We Need More Money for Transportation
by Rafael Mares

When Governor Deval Patrick stood before the Legislature and the people of Massachusetts last week to offer a bold proposal to raise $1 billion per year to fund critical investments in transportation, he struck a skillful balance between the pragmatic and the visionary, appealing to us as both taxpayers and investors in a thriving Commonwealth.…

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Response to OpEd: The Real Fast Track to Trouble
by Rafael Mares

Rafael Mares, staff attorney at Conservation Law Foundation, authored the following letter to the editor of the Boston Herald in response to Charles Chieppo’s op-ed on July 3, entitled “Fast Track to Trouble“. In his op-ed, Charles Chieppo accurately states that the “T is a cornerstone of the regional economy and a lifeline for countless people.” (Fast…

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Logan Airport Silver Line Service: A Test For More to Come?
by Rafael Mares

The Boston Globe yesterday reported on the fact that Silver Line buses between the Airport and South Station will be free starting tomorrow for a period of at least ninety days. You are probably wondering how the MBTA can afford giving away rides. Isn’t the T still staring a $161 million operating budget deficit for FY13…

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MBTA Balanced Budget for FY13: Are we there yet?
by Rafael Mares

They say that passing legislation is like making sausages. That may be true, but sometimes it is more like waiting for the bus. Almost two months ago, the board of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) approved a balanced operating budget for the coming fiscal year, which includes revenue sources that still need legislative approval. Today, the Boston Globe reported about the continuing lack of a resolution. How much progress has been made?

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MBTA Approves Scenario 3: Now Legislature Must Do the Right Thing
by Rafael Mares

The MBTA voted today to approve “Scenario 3,” the proposal put forth last week to close the $159 million budget gap the T is facing this fiscal year. The plan is a lot better than the draconian fare increases and drastic service cuts that it initially proposed and we commend the MBTA for listening to the public and all stakeholders’ concerns to get to a 23% increase with minimal service cuts that is within the range of reasonableness, given the T’s desperate financial straits.

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Some of us use the MBTA. All of us need it.
by Rafael Mares

In response to the MBTA’s proposed fare hike and service cuts, CLF today issued an action alert calling upon people to contact Massachusetts legislators and the Governor to share their concern about the MBTA’s future, and for Massachusetts’s environment. Some of us use the MBTA, but all of us need it and so here’s what…