Gov. Baker requesting $18B to fix state’s transportation issues

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – On Thursday, the governor filed an $18 billion transportation bond bill which aims to improve the T, reduce congestion and cut down on carbon emissions.

The Baker Administration’s Transportation Bond Bill would provide $150 million to improve pavement conditions on state roads. Another $70 million would also go to the Municipal Small Bridge Program.

“With respect to roads, bridges and traffic mitigation, this bill moves us forward,” the governor said.

It would also fund improvements to public transportation in Boston. For a month or so now, protesters have shown up at all of the Governor’s events to ask him to fix issues on the MBTA.

This new transportation bill would provide $6 billion for MBTA modernization, which would hopefully alleviate some of the travel issues that people see in and around Boston.

The governor also wants to offer tax incentives to companies that allow their employees to work from home, so there is less traffic coming into the city.

The amount of money given to companies would be capped at $50 million annually, and they can also receive tax credits for $2,000 per employee.

The goal of the transportation bond bill is to better meet the needs of residents, businesses, cities, and towns so that the state’s economy can thrive.

To see all of the transportation changes that the governor’s proposal aims to fund, check here. Highlights of the transportation bond bill include:

$10.1 billion for MassDOT Highway Division construction projects:

  • $5.6 billion for federal-aid highway construction projects
  • $3.1 billion for non-federal aid highway construction projects such as $350 million for the Cape Cod Bridges Improvement program
  • $1.25 billion for a new Next Generation Bridge Financing Program
  • $150 million for investments in non-interstate pavement throughout the Commonwealth

$5.695 billion for MBTA improvements:

  • $3.4 billion for wide variety of improvements such as the continued implementation of the Better Bus Project, the purchase of low- and zero-emission vehicles, and climate adaptation
  • $825 million for the South Coast Rail Project
  • $595 million for the Green Line Extension Project
  • $400 million for improvements to the Commuter Rail system, including early-action implementation of recommendations from the ongoing Rail Vision planning process
  • $300 million for a direct capital transfer to the MBTA
  • $175 million for rail service improvements

$490 million for municipal funding programs:

  • $200 million for the Chapter 90 Program
  • $100 million for a new Municipal Pavement Program
  • $70 million for the Municipal Small Bridge Program
  • $20 million for the Complete Streets Funding Program

A series of initiatives to combat congestion on the Commonwealth’s roadways:

  • A $2,000 per-employee tax credit to encourage telecommuting and remote working
  • $50 million for the Transit Infrastructure Partnership which would expand the use of designated bus lanes and transit signal priority
  • $50 million for the new Local Bottleneck Reduction Program

$725 million for Planning and Multimodal Transportation Implementation:

  • $250 million for Allston Multimodal Project funding
  • $100 million for investments that would support maintenance, improvements and growth in bicycle and pedestrian networks to address safety, equity, accessibility, and critical gaps in connectivity
  • $25 million for a program to provide matching grants to municipalities for water ferry terminal construction and improvement projects in the greater Boston area that leverage public and private investments

Updates to existing statutes to allow the MBTA to expedite its capital delivery process:

  • Allowing the MBTA to utilize an alternative project delivery method (Design/Build/Finance/Operate/Maintain)
  • Authorizing the MBTA and MassDOT to enter into real estate deals that include mitigation, public transit, and transportation-related facilities
  • Allowing the design/build project delivery method to be utilized on all construction and repair projects (not just those with budgets over $5 million)
  • Optimizing the Public-Private-Partnership process

$790 million for MassDOT Rail and Transit Division investments:

  • $385 million for the Rail Improvement Program
  • $330 million for Regional Transit Authorities
  • $15 million for the Industrial Rail Access program
  • $60 million for the Mobility Assistance Program

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