Coalition of Over 20 Organizations Forms to Promote Safe, Reliable and Convenient Transportation Options for Massachusetts Residents
John Walkey, Transportation for Massachusetts, 857.205.9932
Karen Wood, Conservation Law Foundation, 617.850.1722
BOSTON, MA August 4, 2011— As budget woes continue to strain the Commonwealth’s ability to maintain its aging transportation system and constrain its vision for the system’s future, more than twenty Bay State organizations have formed Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) to advocate for alternative financing and improved accountability in pursuit of a modern transportation system that works for Massachusetts. T4MA brings together a broad cross-section of historically disconnected organizations in the areas of transportation, regional planning, affordable housing development, public health, environmental advocacy, environmental justice and smart growth that will use their diverse experience and collective influence to bring about a safe, convenient, reliable and affordable transportation system for the people of Massachusetts.
John Walkey, field organizer of T4MA, explained, “On behalf T4MA, we thank Mr. Mullan for his dedicated service and welcome Mr. Davey to his new position. We look forward to working with him to ensure that the Commonwealth will create and maintain a 21st century transportation system that is at the heart of a thriving economy. The jobs and economic prosperity the State hopes to sustain cannot be built on top of an underfinanced and crumbling transportation system.”
Walkey continued, “Among our transportation imperatives are to reduce the amount of pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions, from the transportation sector and to ensure that our transportation system serves all residents of the Commonwealth fairly and equitably. T4MA is committed to finding innovative ways to finance transportation and ensuring that the money is spent wisely in the interest of a healthy economy, healthy communities and a healthy environment for Massachusetts.”
T4MA works to:
- Build for prosperity over the long-term. A strong and competitive economy depends on access to jobs, schools, cultural and recreational sites. T4MA works to build a transportation system that supports and connects our communities, and helps make them better and healthier places to live and work.
- Spur investment in transportation improvements and get the best return on those investments. T4MA seeks innovative ways to fund transportation—both to maintain the existing system and to expand it to meet our needs over the next 50 years—while ensuring that everyone benefits from these public investments.
- Provide people in every part of the Commonwealth safe, convenient and affordable choices. The coalition advocates for more and better public transit that meets the needs of riders, as well as communities and streets designed for use by car, pedestrian, bicycle, bus and rail traffic.
T4MA was formed in November of 2009 with the support of the Barr Foundation, as part of its efforts to decrease vehicle-related greenhouse gas emissions by improving transportation quality and options. In November 2010, the group convened a blue ribbon summit with the Dukakis Center at Northeastern University to develop transit financing ideas. In January 2011, the coalition worked with Representative Carl Sciortino, Jr. who introduced the Transportation Economic Development and Ridership Act (House Bill 2660) in the Massachusetts House with more than 20 co-signers. The bill seeks to increase transit ridership and create alternative revenue streams to sustain a safe, affordable and convenient transportation system across the Commonwealth. T4MA members have continued to reach out to other advocates around the State to better understand the transportation needs of the entire Commonwealth.
T4MA recently wrote to the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, pointing out that the federal government must continue to help fund transportation at a meaningful level and that the federal transportation reauthorization proposal of the House of Representatives would cost Massachusetts jobs and essential federal matching funds.
The members of Transportation for Massachusetts include: Alternatives for Community & Environment, Conservation Law Foundation, Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, Environmental League of Massachusetts, Fairmount/Indigo Line CDC Collaborative, Livable Streets Alliance, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations, MassBike, Massachusetts Public Health Association, Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance, Mattapan Community Development Corporation, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, On the Move, Progressive Business Leaders Network, Somerville Community Development Corporation, Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation, T Riders Union, Urban Edge, and WalkBoston.
Other organizations wishing to join the coalition should contact John Walkey, field organizer for T4MA at 857.205.9932, or by email at email@example.com.