State Senate approves bill for statewide transportation investment

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BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP)– In an effort to improve the state’s transportation system and make it more reliable and accessible, the state Senate passed legislation that would jump-start investment in transportation infrastructure.

The bill must now be reconciled with legislation previously passed the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

The bill, An Act Authorizing and Accelerating Transportation Investment, authorizes more than $16 billion in bonds for a wide variety of infrastructure projects, including both upkeep and maintenance, as well as modernization. In addition to addressing issues such as construction, regional initiatives, traffic congestion, and transportation network company data sharing, this legislation addresses equity in the transportation system by requiring a low-income fare program which will provide discounted transit fares to qualifying riders on MBTA transportation and commuter rail, starting on Jan. 1st, 2022.

The full breakdown of bond authorizations included in the bill is as follows:

  • $5.6B for federally aided highways
  • $2B for non-federally aided highways
  • $357M for Cape Cod bridge projects
  • $150M for the pavement improvement program
  • $90M for the municipal bridge program
  • $50M for the local bottleneck reduction program
  • $100M for the municipal pavement program
  • $50M for the complete streets program
  • $50M for the bus transit infrastructure partnership
  • $1.25B for the next generation bridge program
  • $400M for the rail and transit access program
  • $330M for regional transit authorities
  • $60M for the transit mobility assistance program
  • $3.43B for the MBTA
  • $300M for a direct capital transfer to the MBTA
  • $850M for South Coast Rail
  • $695M for the Green Line Extension
  • $400M for South Station
  • $250M for rail improvements
  • $89M for aeronautics safety and modernization
  • $475M for multi-modal transportation planning and implementation
  • $250M for the Allston multi-modal project
  • $50M for transportation information technology
  • $20M for a public realm improvement program in response to COVID-19
  • $75M for electric vehicle grants for municipalities and regional transit authorities
  • $574M for local and regional transportation projects
  • $30M for water ferry grants

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