Study shows Massachusetts transportation system could face financial trouble by 2028

Massachusetts

A new report reveals looming financial problems for the state’s transportation system. 

The Massachusetts transit system could see an $8.4 billion shortfall if the state fails to agree to an updated revenue plan for at least the next decade. 

The research group, A Better City, released an 80-page report on Wednesday showing significant funding shortfalls at the MBTA and MassHighway. The report predicts the MBTA could lose close to $2 billion between through 2028.

The biggest funding gap comes from MassHighway which is expected to lose $6.5 million.

Despite lawmakers having adopted new sources of transportation funding over the past decade, the report found that Massachusetts “still has not adequately addressed” all of its transportation issues. 

Governor Charlie Baker agreed to spend $8 billion on the state’s commuter rail system over the next five years, a move the report described as a “reason for optimism.”

State business leaders have proposed ways to make up the difference, including:

  • a higher gas tax
  • expanding tolls
  • increasing RMV fees
  • and finding ways to discourage driving during peak hours

The report estimates that increasing tolls and fines could raise an additional $8 billion over the next decade.

It’s not clear if lawmakers will agree to the new proposals because of the financial impact on residents.

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