Think back to the months before COVID-19: the #1 issue facing Massachusetts was what to do about transportation.
Our public transportation system has been chronically underfunded for too long, leaving it unsafe, unreliable, and out of reach to too many communities. This forces more and more commuters on to our crowded and crumbling roads and bridges.
No matter how you try to get home, get to work, or visit friends, you face challenges. If you take the subway, you ride a system that needs repairs, doesn’t connect to enough neighborhoods, and frequently suffers breakdowns and delays. If you ride the commuter rail, you are plagued by limited schedules and unreliable service. If you get on the roads, you deal with the worst traffic congestion in the country.
The COVID-19 crisis cleared the traffic off our roads, and has presented us with a chance to re-evaluate transportation policy.
How do we make sure we don’t return to traffic armageddon? Here’s what I’ll fight for if elected your next State Representative on September 1.
Public transit is a public good.
Fixing transportation policy in Massachusetts starts with centering public transportation as a public good – an investment we all make in making our communities healthier and more productive. Even if you never ride a bus or subway in your life, every transit rider is a car off the road, meaning less traffic and less pollution.
Treating public transit as a public good means clearing the multi-billion dollar backlog of repairs to the existing subway and commuter rail system. Every aspect of the MBTA system needs to be modernized and upgraded to make it work better and suffer less frequent delays.
While the Blue Line is the most reliable on the system, it still occasionally suffers catastrophic breakdowns. Whenever that happens, the backup and congestion through East Boston is a true nightmare, and a window into the traffic challenges we would face without a functioning T.