Healey’s Transportation Plan Would Restructure MBTA and Expand Regional Rail & Buses

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In full transparency, the following is a press release from the Healey for Governor campaign submitted to SOURCE media.

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BOSTON – Maura Healey today, August 16, announced her transportation plan, if elected Governor of Massachusetts.

As MBTA safety failings have put riders and our economy at risk, Healey has called for aggressive action to update and enforce safety standards, recruit new staff, and address outdated and dangerous infrastructure. Her new plan builds on this vision in a number of key areas: overhauling MBTA governance and safety standards, including appointing a Transportation Safety Chief; harnessing federal and state funds to update infrastructure and fund capital projects; ramping up transportation workforce development; tackling climate change; and expanding regional transportation options.

“Our economy functions best when our public transportation system is safe and reliable, our roads and bridges are well maintained, and every region of Massachusetts has access to affordable transportation options,” said Healey. “Our current transit challenges should be a call to action. My plan will urgently address the failings at the MBTA, expand rail and buses across our state, and continue to fix our roads and bridges. This will drive economic growth, create good-paying jobs, and support residents and businesses.”

Healey’s transformative transportation plan will tackle urgent issues of the state’s transportation system, while investing, reforming, and expanding the system for the future. Highlights include:

  • Immediately appoint a Transportation Safety Chief to conduct a full safety review of rail and bus operations, and roads and bridges. 
  • Reform the leadership structure at the MBTA to include the General Manager and two Deputy GMs who can add technical expertise and execution skills, specifically the Deputy GM of Operations and an elevated Deputy GM of Capital Planning.
  • Order a review of project delivery for all existing projects in the pipeline to deliver projects faster, cheaper, and safer across the Commonwealth.
  • Expand commuter rail to a more effective regional rail system by increasing frequency all day every day, with a long-term goal of fully-accessible platforms.

  • Work with Regional Transit Authorities to expand bus service to 7 days a week and high frequency, as well as better coordinated service with regional rail schedules.
  • Implement low-income fares and unlimited bus transfers, with a pathway to fare free buses.
  • Collaborate with the business community to explore creative public-private partnerships.
  • Appoint a West-East Rail Director within MassDOT to be laser-focused on achieving this complex project. 
  • Support for Allston Multi-Modal project, the Red-Blue Connector, Northern Tier, Inland Route, and converting the Rockport/Newburyport and Fairmount commuter lines to rapid transit.
  • Create a task force to pursue the greatest amount of federal funding from the Biden Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • Work with vocational technical schools and community colleges to create a pipeline for the next generation of transportation workers. 

Healey’s previously released climate plan outlined her goals on achieving a clean transportation system, including electrifying public transportation so that all buses, trains and subways operate on 100% clean power by 2040; putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030; ending the sale of new passenger cars and light duty trucks powered by gasoline or diesel by 2035; and prioritizing building out electric vehicle charging infrastructure projects.

Healey understands the important role that transportation plays in the economic mobility of Massachusetts families.

As Attorney General, she’s been a staunch advocate for drivers and riders. She has been aggressive in getting consumers refunds and compensation related to car issues – returning $3.5 million back to Massachusetts residents and filing legislation to strengthen protections for car buyers. She called out car insurers for overcharging drivers hundreds of millions of dollars and demanded a change in rates.

Her groundbreaking settlement with Volkswagen ensured thousands of Massachusetts residents received up to $10,000, in addition to compensation for their faulty cars, and the state was able to use the settlement funds to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure. Healey defended the expansion of South Coast Rail from legal challenges, called attention to the devastating impacts of air pollution on environmental justice communities, and advocated for expanding rail and bus lines.

Monica Tibbits-Nutt, Executive Director of 128 Business Council and Vice President of the Board of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council; former Vice-Chair of the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board; former Director on MassDOT Board of Directors said “Public transportation is essential to economic mobility in Massachusetts. Too many of our residents can’t afford to live near their jobs, which means long commutes and oppressive transportation costs – and the situation is only accelerating. We need a fully functional public transportation system that connects all of the communities of our Commonwealth. And that is achievable by bolstering our bus network and transforming our tracks into a regional rail system. Maura’s plan recognizes and tackles these necessities, with its strong focus on a more robust bus network, regional rail, equity, and good management.”

Tom Tinlin, Associate Principal at Howard Stein Hudson and former Commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department; former Massachusetts Highway Administrator said  “Maura has put forward a strong, multipronged vision for transportation in our state. Her plan will help state and local leaders better maintain our roads and bridges, while positioning Massachusetts to maximize federal infrastructure dollars. At a time when people are spending more at the pump, her plan will deliver a more affordable, reliable, and safer transportation system for all.”

Joe Aiello, Senior Fellow at Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, The Fletcher School, Tufts University; former Chairman of the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board  said “We can’t ignore the big challenges ahead for the MBTA – we need to attract new riders, decarbonize, and prepare for the climate crisis. Maura’s plan provides a smart approach to addressing the problems of today, while building towards a more equitable, accessible, and reliable public transportation in the future.”

editor

email: editor@FraminghamSource.com call or text at 508-315-7176


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