In June 2015, MassDOT released its draft of a one year FY2016 update to the previously published FY2014-FY2018 Capital Investment Plan. This plan, the first to be issued by the Baker-Polito Administration, commits just over $3 billion to our statewide transportation system in FY2016, including $550,000 for TMAs.
MassCommute provided testimony at the June 16th hearing in Boston and has submitted the following comments in response (download pdf):
June 16th, 2015
Secretary and Chief Executive Officer
Massachusetts Department of Transportation
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160
Boston, MA 02116
Re: MassDOT Draft Capital Investment Plan FY2016
Dear Secretary Pollack,
Thank you for this opportunity to provide feedback on the recently released draft of the MassDOT Capital Investment Plan (CIP) for Fiscal Year 2016, and for your commitment to ensuring sufficient and sustainable funding for transportation in Massachusetts. As you know, MassCommute and the 12 Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) we represent work with over 300 businesses and employers in 40 municipalities across the Commonwealth to address employee transportation issues, reduce traffic congestions, and improve air quality. We look forward to continuing and expanding our work in support of MassDOT’s priorities in 2016.
MassCommute values the collaborative partnership we have forged with MassDOT and we have aligned our organizations’ outreach and educational efforts to both help MassDOT achieve its mode shift and emissions reduction goals and support the Commonwealth’s mandates for greenhouse gas reductions under the Global Warming Solutions Act. We thank MassDOT for its continued support of the TMAs and for the inclusion of TMA funding for 2016 using the transportation-dedicated funds generated by the Commonwealth’s gaming initiative (MGL Chapter 23K, Section 62).
A snapshot of how previous MassDOT investment in TMAs has yielded enormous public benefits includes:
- In 2014, 11 of MassCommute’s 12 TMAs received funding from MassDOT. These TMAs leveraged this $550,000 from MassDOT with nearly $18 million from the private sector (in the form of membership dues and shuttle investment)
- That same year (2014), TMAs served nearly 300,000 employees with programs and services that reduced over 7 million vehicle trips, 110 million vehicle miles traveled, and 42,000 tons of CO2.
- Since 2009, MassDOT has invested $2.9 million in in TMAs which has resulted in an additional $75+ million from the private sector to support transportation improvements, access & mobility.
Currently there are 11 TMAs each receiving an annual contribution of $50,000 for a total of $550,000 through the federal CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation Air Quality) program. In 2014 MassCommute welcomed a twelfth TMA, the Allston Brighton TMA, which represents one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Boston, and there is no funding included in the CIP to support the continued growth of their transportation demand management programs.
As you continue to review and update the Draft CIP, we would like to respectfully suggest the following changes:
- Increase the amount of funding set aside for TMAs to at least $600,000 annually so that all twelve TMAs in MassCommute are supported equally and so that we may continue our collaboration with MassDOT to create mode shift and reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide. (Increasing this funding to levels above $600,000 would allow other newly formed TMAs such as Middlesex3 Coalition, Crosstown Connect and Alewife TMA to receive support and leverage even more private investment in transportation).
- Consider strategies to continue the use of CMAQ funds dedicated to public education and outreach to support ongoing TMA efforts through marketing and promotion for 2017 and beyond.
We look forward to discussing these recommendations with you in person and are grateful for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact either of us with any questions.
Julia Prange Wallerce, Executive Director Patrick Sullivan, Managing Director