Saturday, March 16, 2013
Governor Patrick Files Transportation Bond Bill
Governor Deval Patrick filed a transportation bond bill to authorize and fund the 21st Century Transportation Plan “The Way Forward”, the 10-year plan for the next generation of transportation investments to modernize and maintain a transportation system that spurs economic growth and creates jobs across the Commonwealth this past week.
The bill invests $13.7 billion over ten years to address a backlog of deferred maintenance and strategically improve our transportation system to reduce congestion on roads, curb delays and minimize crowding on trains and buses, and improve customer service. In addition, this bill continues funding current investments identified in the statewide road and bridge program identified in the Fiscal Year 2013-2017 Capital Investment Plan. In total, the bill authorizes $19 billion of capital investment in the Commonwealth’s transportation system. Taken together, this legislation represents the administration’s commitment to a 21st century transportation system for Massachusetts.
“These investments will create the jobs and opportunity today that will build a stronger Commonwealth for tomorrow,” said Governor Patrick. “A modern, safe, equitable 21st Century transportation system is what our citizens want and our Commonwealth needs to unlock economic growth in every region of the Commonwealth.”
“The Governor and Lieutenant Governor from the very beginning have focused on reversing the previous inadequate maintenance of our roads, bridges, and rails through commitments such as the Accelerated Bridge Program, and the bond bill supports the next critical steps in maintaining and improving transportation for decades to come,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey.
The transportation bond bill, to be funded by existing revenues and additional revenues through passage of tax reform, includes the following investments to complete the 21st Century Transportation Plan and fund the existing transportation capital plan for the next four years. Without passage of the Governor’s plan, necessary road and bridge projects will go unaddressed, creating longer commutes, eliminating public transit options and slowing economic recovery and growth.
· $3.4 billion to provide $300 million annually in Chapter 90 funds, a 50 percent increase, distributed to Towns and Cities for local road and bridge projects
· $2.4 billion for transportation construction projects over the next four years that are eligible for 82 percent federal reimbursement of costs, leaving a net state borrowing cost of $432 million
· $4.6 billion to fully state-fund highway maintenance and construction, including major projects identified in the 21st Century Transportation Plan, such as the I-93/I-95 interchange and Springfield I-91 viaduct
· $4.4 billion for regional rail projects identified in the Transportation Plan including Green Line expansion, South Coast Rail and South Station expansion
· $3.3 billion to modernize MBTA subway and bus systems to improve service, safety and customer convenience
· $604 million for regional transit to modernize bus fleets and infrastructure in regional systems statewide
· $146 million for information technology projects, including the statutory requirement to implement an asset management system.