MassCommute provided the following comments in response to MassDOT's 2017-2021 Capital Investment Plan (CIP):
May 13th, 2016
Re: Comments on the Draft FY2017-2021 CIP
Dear Secretary Pollack,
On behalf of the twelve transportation management associations (TMAs) of MassCommute, I am pleased to submit this letter in response to the draft five-year capital investment plan (CIP), and thank you for the opportunity to do so. Many of our TMAs and their members have participated in the public meetings and we all look forward to reviewing the final approved CIP later this month.
Our coalition is deeply grateful for our partnership with MassDOT, and for the state’s commitment to supporting TMAs through the federal CMAQ program. These funds provide a critical platform from which TMAs are able to engage businesses and employers and leverage private sector investment in solving transportation challenges through innovative transportation demand management (TDM) solutions. We applaud the Baker Administration for combining the MassDOT and MBTA investment plans into one coherent investment blueprint and look forward to continuing our work together in support of MassDOT’s priorities to maintain, modernize, and- where prudent, expand our transportation system.
Acknowledging the shortfall of resources with which the state has been left to fix our current transportation system and build the system we need, we are pleased to see that the following investments have been included in the CIP:
- Green Line Extension: Consistent with the board’s May 9th vote, we hope that this project remains a commitment in the final CIP, as well as the Community Path.
- Bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure on roads, sidewalks, and multi-use paths.
- Complete Streets Program: Fully funding this innovative program will allow our communities to make our roads safer and more accessible to everyone.
- State of good repair: Eventual spending of $765 million per year for much needed MBTA repairs is a significant increase over previous years’ spending and will provide real effects on the level of service provided to riders. We hope you will continue to increase this annual investment amount to account for inflation and anticipated increases in construction costs.
- Fairmount Line and Blue Hill Ave Commuter Rail station: Strategic investments along this corridor will yield significant benefits to commuters and provide improved jobs connections to underserved communities
Overall, we feel that this is a strong plan that invests $14.4 billion dollars over the next five years and demonstrates that Massachusetts is strongly committed to expanding and improving public transportation and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. We hope that this CIP continues to provide even more resources for transportation investments across the state that will allow our transportation system to keep up with our growing and changing economy. Today’s workers are hungry for transportation options and alternatives to the drive alone commute; our TMAs look forward to continuing to build and strengthen public private partnerships to ensure that those options are available.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to this plan, and for your dedication to making Massachusetts an even better place to live, work, and do business. Please do not hesitate to contact either of us with any questions.
Julia Prange Wallerce, Executive Director Patrick Sullivan, Managing Director