Gov. Baker, lawmakers disagree on how to solve Massachusetts transportation issues

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker and state legislators have both proposed plans to address transportation issues in the state, and the reason neither plan has passed is that they differ on several key issues.

The House on Wednesday released its transportation plan: a robust package that is expected to generate more than $500 million annually.

  • In the Houses’ version, fees for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft would jump to 20 cents per ride and could even increase as much as $1.20 per ride
  • The plan also proposes a 5 cent gas tax increasing our current rate from 24 cents to 29 cents per gallon

Gov. Baker spoke out about the House’s plan on Thursday saying he was disappointed with several core components.

“Well, I’ve said before that I don’t think we should be raising the gas tax. It doesn’t do anything for climate and it doesn’t do anything to change behavior,” Baker responded.

Western Massachusetts residents have a lot to lose in this gas tax debate because they often have to drive further than those in metro Boston. Community organizers from the Berkshires have been at the statehouse this week fighting for a provision in the bill.

They want money generated by the gas tax to go towards improving public transportation options in rural areas. Senate President Karen Spilka said she looks forward to working with house members to solve the state’s transportation crisis but as of right now a general consensus has not been reached.

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