Members of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce constantly point to transportation – improving commutes, reducing congestion, and having a world class public transportation system – as their policy priority.
The state is at a critical juncture with its transportation system. Driven by economic and population surges, congestion plagues the entire region as noted in the Congestion in the Commonwealth report, released in summer 2019. Importantly, that report notes that congestion is not limited just to greater Boston, but that most areas of the state are feeling the impacts of congestion. Every day, thousands of residents face unpredictable rides as they commute to work. Employers and businesses feel the effects, too, from lost productivity and a frustrated workforce.
And, at the same time that congestion is worsening, the MBTA is also facing challenges. Despite more than four years of focused attention and oversight, aging equipment and infrastructure, combined with many years of underinvestment, have created a system plagued by delays and unreliable service. Daily delays on the MBTA and commuter rail due to equipment or mechanical problems impact tens of thousands of riders who are travelling to work, schools, and medical appointments. Like congestion, this erodes productivity and impacts the choices employees make about where to work.
The residents and businesses of Boston and Massachusetts not only deserve better, they need better.
See the Chamber’s transportation agenda. Our principles in creating this agenda are to give MassDOT, the MBTA, and RTAs the tools they need to execute; use prices to influence behavior; and think about equity in how revenue is raised and how it is spent.