The Massachusetts State Senate recently passed major legislation to invest nearly $18 billion in the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure in the coming years, in order to make the state’s roads, bridges, and public transit systems more reliable and accessible to all residents.
“I’m pleased that the Senate has passed this vital legislation that will make many improvements to our transportation infrastructure,” said Senator Jason Lewis. “I was particularly pleased that I was able to secure a successful amendment to increase funding for our state’s Complete Streets program, which provides technical assistance and funding to municipalities in order to enable safe mobility access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.”
This transportation bond bill authorizes funding for highways, local roads, bridges, MBTA, regional transit authorities, rail improvements, electric vehicle grants, and other transportation projects and programs.
In addition to securing $50 million for the statewide Complete Streets program, Senator Lewis was also successful in securing $5.2 million in local transportation earmarks for our district (local earmarks are authorized by this legislation but the funding does not become available until it is released by the Governor).
The legislation also includes numerous transportation policy initiatives, including efforts to address traffic congestion; allowing regional ballot initiatives to fund local transportation projects; improving data collection from transportation network companies; improving the bidding process for public construction projects; evaluating the potential for mileage-based revenue collection as an alternative to the current system of toll roads and gas taxes; increasing the productivity, equity and environmental sustainability of bus and rail services; and establishing regulations for scooters and e-bikes.
The bill will now be reconciled with similar legislation passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives before it is sent to Governor Baker for his signature.