January 6, 2021 (BOSTON, MA) – Late last night, Massachusetts legislators passed a transportation bond bill that will authorize funds for several critical transit priorities, decriminalize fare evasion, and require a low-income fare program. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement in response.
“Transportation is an essential service and it’s about time our leaders treat it like one,” said Staci Rubin, Senior Attorney at CLF. “Funding these transformational projects and decriminalizing fare evasion will have a profound impact on communities that depend on public transit every day. Riders of color have been disproportionately targeted with criminal fare evasion charges for decades, and this welcome change is long overdue.”
The bill includes the authority to issue bonds for critical initiatives like the Better Bus Project, Red-Blue Connector, bus and rail electrification, and the Allston Multimodal Project, which will unite train, bus, and pedestrian connections in the neighborhood. It increases fees for Uber and Lyft to raise revenue to invest in public transit and safer streets, as well as decriminalizes fare evasion.
CLF experts are available for further comment.