A new report released last week by Transportation for Massachusetts, a broad coalition of which CLF is a founding member, details the origins and scope of the transportation financing crisis in Massachusetts. Written as a primer to achieve better understanding among decision-makers, taxpayers and transportation users, “Maxed Out” provides illuminating background amidst an increasingly urgent call for solutions to one of the Commonwealth’s most pressing problems. The report emphasizes that the lack of revenue to maintain the Commonwealth’s transportation system in its current condition, let alone meet future needs, jeopardizes jobs, the environment, and the quality of life across the state.
The report details how the state’s long dependence on borrowed money unsupported by new revenue to pay off the debt has left all pieces of the state’s transportation network increasingly unable to fund operations, maintenance or construction projects. Citing a recent analysis by the Transportation Advisory Committee to MassDOT, the report states that “45 percent of the combined annual operating budgets of MassDOT and the MBTA will go to pay off debt, not to operate and maintain current systems, let alone expand them.”
The release of “Maxed Out” and another transportation financing analysis also released last week by the non-partisan think tank, MassINC, follow recent remarks by Lt. Governor Tim Murray that “everything is on the table” when it comes to solving the transportation financing problem in the state.