Transportation

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Does it Make Sense to Collect Bus Fares?

Eliminating fares on Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Regional Transit Authority (RTA) buses makes sense for practical economic reasons as well as for equity …

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Free Buses Advance Equity

Transit fares deepen existing income inequalities and racial disparities. Transit riders tend to have lower-than average incomes, especially bus riders. Black and Latinx residents are …

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The Dollars & Sense of Free Buses

There are many reasons to eliminate transit fares, especially on buses. In addition to advancing equity and reducing climate change emissions, fare-free service is more …

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ALL TRANSPORTATION REPORTS

Freeing the Climate: Environmental Benefits of Eliminating Transit Fares

In addition to being more efficient and equitable, eliminating bus fares would benefit the climate. The transportation sector is the biggest and fastest-growing source of …

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Testimony before the Health Equity Task Force on the importance of work and family mobility for all, regardless of immigrant status

Testimony by Monique Ching, Senior Policy Analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, for the Health Equity Task Force public hearing on February 8, …

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Driver’s licenses for immigrants without status – how would it affect Massachusetts?

This series of briefs examines the potential effects of licensing undocumented drivers in Massachusetts. The briefs look at the effects on public safety, child health, law enforcement efficiency, and the economy and state finances.

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FY 2021 GOVERNOR’S BUDGET: Transportation – Governor proposes more funding, partly reversing past cuts

The Governor’s FY 2021 budget proposal is notable for acknowledging the need for more transportation investment to improve our current road and transit systems. This brief details how the proposal would partly reverse some earlier cuts to transportation programs that have likely held back performance.

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The Gas Tax: What it is and Who Pays

This two-page fact sheet explains the gas tax and why it tends to fall hardest on those with low and moderate incomes.

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FY 2021 BUDGET PREVIEW: Will the Transportation Budget Reflect New Realities? 6 Things to Look Out For

Will the Governor’s FY 2021 budget proposal indicate his commitment toward improving public transit, developing regional rail, reducing traffic congestion, and other priorities?

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The Pros and Cons of Higher Gas Taxes, and How They Could be Offset for Lower-Income Families

As the Commonwealth seeks to improve our aging transportation system, policy makers have considered raising the gas tax. This paper assesses the gas tax along several well-established criteria for evaluating taxes: efficiency, fairness, and reliability. Based on these criteria, the gas tax receives mixed grades. Offsetting the tax with low-income tax credits could help.

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Testimony before the Joint Committee on Transportation on H.3012/S.2061, “An act relative to work and family mobility”

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Sharing the Road: Licensing all drivers, regardless of immigration status, boosts safety and the economy

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Testimony to the Fiscal Management and Control Board on MBTA Fares

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Testimony to the Joint Committee on Revenue on the Need to Invest in Education and Transportation

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Funding Improvements for Schools, Roads, and Public Transit with Tax Reforms that Improve Fairness

A ballot question has been proposed that would support investments in education and transportation with revenue from an additional 4% tax on income over a million dollars a year. This factsheet examines this proposal and how it relates to longer term economic and policy trends in Massachusetts.

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How Slow Sales Tax Growth Causes Funding Problems for the MBTA

Almost 20 years ago, a penny of the sales tax was dedicated to the MBTA to be a steadily growing source of revenue for the transit system. But despite some help from the Legislature, the sales tax transfer has grown slower than the economy, creating a persistent gap between the projected funds and actual sales tax transfers. Sales taxes have underperformed for the MBTA as a result of a shift to services, some transactions moving online, and exclusion of fast-growing meals tax revenues from the MBTA. An appendix explains the formula for determining the MBTA sales tax transfer and how other sales taxes are allocated.

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