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1/15/2013


Rail News: Passenger Rail
Massachusetts officials outline 10-year transportation investment plan



Yesterday, Massachusetts transportation officials unveiled a 10-year, $13 billion capital plan for statewide transportation investments.

The long-term financing plan, which shows the state needs $684 million to operate the current transportation system, calls for an additional investment in transportation assets of $5.2 billion over 10 years for road and highway repairs, $3.8 billion for existing transit services and $275 million for registry and airport maintenance, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) officials said in a prepared statement.

In addition, the plan identifies "high-impact" transportation projects that, if built, would create thousands of jobs and spur economic growth across the state. In total, the plan identifies a $1.02 billion average additional need each year to create a 21st century transportation network, MassDOT officials said.

The plan also addresses systemic budget deficits at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), MassDOT and the state's 15 regional transit authorities.

For MBTA, the plan calls for $166 million in fiscal-year 2014, and $3.2 billion over the next 10 years. The new investment will allow the agency to close current and projected budget deficits, much of which are related to the Central Artery public transit commitments, MassDOT officials said. Starting in 2014, $25 million in annual operating funds would be available to enhance MBTA service by expanding evening hours, restoring weekend service in areas that were cut and improving customer service.

Gov. Deval Patrick described the statewide plan as a "stark, clear-eyed, nonpartisan presentation" of facts.

"If we are serious about improving our transportation system for a generation, then we have to be willing to make the necessary investments," he said.


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