Improving Public Transportation

Conservation Matters Articles
Funding on the Move
by Laurie O'Reilly

Cars, trucks, and buses are the largest and fastest-growing contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, states are struggling to maintain public transit infrastructure, highways, and bridges in the face of scant funding and skyrocketing costs. These problems, though far-reaching, have solutions, though finding them will take investment, political will, and tenacity.

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Transportation for Massachusetts Coalition Releases Progress Report on Transportation Finance Act of 2013
by Rafael Mares

A new report released today by Transportation for Massachusetts and co-authored by CLF Staff Attorney Rafael Mares evaluates the implementation of the Transportation Finance Act of 2013 since its passage last July. The report is the first in a series of planned progress reports aimed at ensuring the new law’s success at addressing the most…

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MBTA Buses Narrowly Avoid Getting Thrown Under the Bus
by Rafael Mares

When the draft five-year Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Capital Investment Plan (CIP) came out on January 9, 2014, it was natural to look for what was missing. After all, the Transportation Finance Act of 2013 provided an average of $600 million per year to fill a state-wide transportation funding gap of at least $1…

Press Releases
Conservation Law Foundation Applauds Passage of Major Transportation Finance Law, but Warns ‘The Patient is not Healed’

Capping a year-long effort to secure major funding for Massachusetts’ ailing transportation systems, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) applauded Wednesday’s passage of a $600 million per year finance package over the next five years, but warned that the legislature will need to revisit the topic again within a couple of years to begin to solve the systems’ longstanding problems.

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When Comparing Transportation Finance Plans, Know Your Fruit
by Rafael Mares

At a time when our legislators are facing critical decisions on transportation financing, their ability to properly assess the plans on the table is being hampered by confusion about the different plans’ price tags and where the money is going to come from. Factions are forming around inaccurate characterizations of the different transportation plans, so…

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MA Transportation Funding Framework: More (or really less) to the supposedly budget-minded proposal than meets the eye
by Rafael Mares

On Tuesday, the Massachusetts House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means jointly announced a transportation finance framework. Upon close review, there is more (or really less) to the supposedly budget-minded proposal than meets the eye. In short, the legislature’s answer to MassDOT’s ten-year transportation plan would neither be big enough (it does not even…

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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.…