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  • Ben Kaplan

Senate Passes $10 billion Transportation Infrastructure Bond Bill

Senate Passes $10 billion Transportation Infrastructure Bond Bill

Sen. Moran secures funding to improve regional transit access and expand electric vehicle use

(July 15, 2022 – BOSTON) On Thursday, the Massachusetts State Senate unanimously passed legislation that approves more than $10.84 billion in bonds to ensure that the state’s transit systems are modern, safe, environmentally sound, and accessible. An Act relative to Massachusetts transportation resources and climate, also known as MassTRAC, sets the framework for Massachusetts to capitalize on federal grant opportunities, specifically those available from the federal bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The legislation builds on the Senate’s previous commitments to addressing the climate crisis by including provisions to “green” the state’s public transit by making it more environmentally sustainable and resilient to climate change. The legislation allocates $225 million for emissions reduction initiatives, including $50 million to support access to electric vehicle charging infrastructure, as well as an additional $64.9 million for Regional Transit Authorities’ (RTAs) capital projects.

“The transportation sector is the largest source of emissions here in Massachusetts. With rising sea waters and the intensification of coastal storms, the South Coast and Cape are feeling the impacts of climate change. It is already harming our economy and our ability to live free from threats to our homes and livelihoods,” Senator Moran (D – Plymouth & Barnstable) said. “The funding authorized in this legislation will facilitate critical initiatives that will make our communities more resilient in the face of these issues.”

On top of this funding, Senator Moran successfully advocated for the inclusion of an additional $25 million for costs associated with the expansion of electric vehicle fleet charging stations for regional transit authorities.

Cape Cod RTA is a critical link in the region; providing public transportation for residents in areas not served directly by the MBTA. Seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-income residents in particular rely on CCRTA for its services,” said Senator Moran. “They, and other RTAs across the state, are willing to be partners as we shift our transit landscape towards a more sustainable future, and this amendment recognizes their role.”

The Senator also worked to secure regional-specific amendments that meet the area’s rapidly changing transit needs. This includes $2.2 million for water main and stormwater drainage construction in in North Plymoutth and $700,000 for culvert repair in Pembroke, both of which will be key to improving stability from flooding and increasing storm intensity as a result of climate change. The Senator also advocated for $7.1 million for the construction of leaching fields near Kingston commuter rail station to ensure that the area is primed for housing and other economic growth near existing public transit.

Additionally, the Senator co-sponsored several amendments that would facilitate further development of transit options on the Cape and Southshore; including measures by Senator Julian Cyr to enable municipalities to place a question on a ballot to raise revenue for local and regional transportation projects and secure $500,000 to study of potential locations for EV charging stations on Cape Cod.

MassTRAC makes the following investments in improving and maintaining the Commonwealth’s bridges, roads, and other critical infrastructure, including sidewalks, curbs, parking spaces, and airport improvements:

· $3.5 billion for discretionary federal grant projects

· $2.8 billion for federal highway systems projects

· $1.375 billion for Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) modernization

· $1.27 billion for non-federally aided roads and bridges

· $407.7 million for local and regional transportation projects

· $400 million for MBTA safety projects

· $275 million for the East-West rail project

· $114 million for airport improvements

· $85 million for state-numbered routes road pavement improvements

· $82 million for the industrial rail access program

· $25.5 million for the mobility assistance program

· $25 million for municipal road pavement improvements

· $20 million for the Complete Streets program

· $10 million for the public realm improvement program

· $1 million for local and regional transportation projects

A version of this legislation having previously been passed in the House of Representatives, a conference committee will now be appointed to reconcile any differences between the versions of this bill.


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