Our transportation system in Massachusetts is in a full blown crisis. For years, our Democratic-controlled state legislature — despite veto-proof majorities in both chambers — has been reluctant both to outline a long term transportation vision and to raise new revenue. Instead, we’ve gotten vague promises from the legislature while Governor Baker has proposed meager new funding nowhere near the level needed to address the crisis. It’s time for Massachusetts to affirm that public transit is a public good.
Jordan’s transit platform that calls for fare free public transit, new revenue for the MBTA, improved service in Allston-Brighton, Regional Rail, building West Station now,
and investing in East-West Rail.
MAKE PUBLIC TRANSIT FARE-FREE
Access to public transit is about more than getting from Point A to Point B. It’s about having access to places, opportunities, and experiences that shape, enrich, and better your life — whether you’re getting health care or education, visiting parks and museums, or simply getting across town to see someone you love. By eliminating fares and investing in free public transit we can establish a right to mobility and ensure that everyone — regardless of their income level, race, or zip code —has access to these benefits.
IMPROVE MBTA SERVICE IN ALLSTON-BRIGHTON
Anyone who has spent more than a few minutes in Allston-Brighton knows what a hassle it is to get to and from downtown via public transit, especially during rush hour. There are several other ways to improve service within Allston-Brighton:
Improve bus service with more bus- and bike-only lanes and by electrifying the bus fleet
RAISE NEW PROGRESSIVE TAX REVENUE TO FIX & FUND THE MBTA
Decades of tax cuts have significantly reduced our ability to invest in and maintain our infrastructure. To reverse this trend and build the transit system we deserve, we should pursue — but not be limited to — the following progressive revenue options:
The MBTA Commuter Rail is an integral part of our statewide public transit network, but the current business model is woefully out of date and fails to give riders the frequency and quality of service they need and deserve. Our failure to modernize Commuter Rail service has resulted in increased traffic congestion and leaves thousands dependent on owning, maintaining, and driving cars. It’s time to transform our Commuter Rail to frequent, electrified Regional Rail and guarantee service every 15 to 30 minutes.
BUILD WEST STATION NOW
West Station is a planned multi-modal station on the MBTA Commuter Rail Framingham/Worcester Line, to be located in the former Beacon Park Yard in Allston. The Allston Interchange project to straighten the Mass. Pike in Allston will open up space for the land, and provides a prime opportunity to build the station while the area is a construction site. Governor Charlie Baker’s administration wants to push off construction of West Station to 2040. We can’t afford to wait on this. We need to build West Station now.
High-speed East-West Rail would spur economic growth in Western Massachusetts, while also easing traffic and housing problems in and around Boston. Thankfully, after years of debate and advocacy, a study is underway. The challenge now is to hold the Baker Administration accountable while building the political will in the state legislature.