Statement of MASSPIRG Staff Attorney Lizzi Weyant on passage of the short-term funding bill for statewide public transportation

Media Contacts
Elizabeth Weyant


“Late Wednesday night the legislature agreed to provide critical short-term funding in order to close the T’s budget gap for FY13 and to provide funds to stave off fare hikes and service cuts at the Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) around the commonwealth. The legislature’s decision comes after months of hemming and hawing about how best to deal with the authority’s budget gap.

“Even with this short-term measure, the T will see 23% fare hikes and significant cutbacks to weekend commuter rail service. Fare hikes drive public transportation riders off of the system at the exact time that the T should be working to preserve its record ridership levels.

“At the same time as the legislature approved short-term funding for public transportation, they also passed a long-stalled bill that will give critical funding to municipalities to use for road and bridge repair and maintenance. The release of Chapter 90 funds to cities and towns across the Bay State will mean that the construction season can finally begin.

“We are grateful that the legislature approved this short-term funding fix for the T and the RTAs, but we need our decision-makers to pass legislation that creates a comprehensive, statewide, long-term solution to all of our transportation funding needs. We need the legislature to fix our broken transportation system and work to increase public transportation ridership. We need to immediately end this history of under-funding our transportation systems so that everyone in the commonwealth can have the kind of 21st century transportation system we need and want.”

staff | TPIN

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