Transportation Funding Initiatives

The Money Train: A Learning Series on Transportation Funding

We will be launching a series of public events to host accessible and inclusive conversations on transportation funding solutions. We’ll undertake an expansive survey of what measures work, what doesn’t work, and what options are feasible and progressive, learning directly from communities and subject matter experts from around the country and the world who have tackled these same issues in their cities and communities.

Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs)

In March 2023, Governor Healey released her first annual budget proposal allocating $25 million more in Fair Share Revenue to the state’s 15 RTAs on top of the current funding of $94.5 million.

T4MA pushed for at least $56 million more in funding for RTAs to be able to add night and weekend service statewide. After the budget worked its way through the House and Senate the final budget allocated a total of $184 million including $150 million for operating, $15 million for transportation innovation grants, $15 million for free fare programs, and $4 million for transportation grants for rural, low-income, and senior citizens.

T4MA is currently asking for the same amount of funding in this year’s budget so RTAs can continue to build on the expansion of service, free fare programs, and transit innovation grants that this funding has provided for riders throughout the Commonwealth.

T4MA continues to advocate for the passage of the RTA Advancement bill that would set a minimum amount of funding and tie future funding increases to inflation.

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TAKE ACTION:

Contact your legislator to support regional transit advancement by co-sponsoring the RTA Advancement Bill.

Low-Income Fares

In January 2024, Governor Healey announced a spending plan that would put $45 million toward a plan to cut MBTA fares for low-income riders. On March 28, 2024, the MBTA Board approved the implementation of a low-income fares program.

“This long overdue low-income fare program will make it easier for people to get around,” said Reggie Ramos, T4MA Executive Director in the Boston Globe. “This will open new opportunities for people who today face barriers to transportation or have to endure structurally impossible trade-offs between transportation and other fundamental needs.”

Now, the fate of this key initiative for our communities lies with the Massachusetts legislature.

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TAKE ACTION:

Contact your legislator to make sure low-income fares on the MBTA and fare equity programs on the RTAs are funded not just in 2025 but in the years to come.

E-Bike Rebates

In 2022, the Massachusetts Legislature authorized up to $1 million for an e-bike rebate program to offer $500 rebates for individuals and $750 for low-income residents to purchase e-bikes. Many other states and cities have been offering e-bike rebates for years. In Denver, the e-bike rebate program has replaced over 100,000 vehicle miles per week.

T4MA advocated for $10 million for the e-bike rebate program and The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has issued a Request for Proposals to begin the program in summer 2024. The program will spend up to $4.5 million and rebates will range from $800 to $1,200 depending on income.

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