Transportation

 

Our transportation system is broken. The MBTA Commuter Rail services all four communities in the 8th Norfolk District, with each town positioned along a different line (Providence/Stoughton, and Franklin/Forge Park). Many residents of the district – along with the rest of the Commonwealth – therefore rely on public transportation, yet constantly receive poor, unreliable service. As a regular commuter to Boston for 15 years, I have experienced the issues with our public transportation firsthand, and I know how frustrating these issues are for commuters every day. 

 

Our trains are rarely on time, and even when they are, there’s often little to no room to sit down. Our highways and major roads, especially in cities, are frequently at a standstill, clogged with traffic. The T has literally caught on fire multiple times, an apt metaphor for our chaotic system. Yet, despite the never-ending failures of our public transportation system, commuters are still asked to pay more for a substandard service which is under constant threat of privatization.

 

I believe that trains are the key to our transportation issue. If we can improve the commuter experience through a better train schedule and a modernized, environmentally friendly infrastructure, we can incentivize people to get off the roads and take the train to work. Fixing our train system wouldn’t just improve the commuter experience; by implementing the below reforms, the Commonwealth can reduce congestion on the roads, support our environment, and maintain a steady stream of (better-managed) revenue into our public transportation. Ingenuity and creativity – not just throwing money at the issue – are required to get our train systems working better for all of us. I’m frustrated with this perpetual problem and I’m dedicated to implementing strategic, meaningful, and effective solutions that will benefit commuters in our district and across the Commonwealth.

 

As your State Representative, I will work to

  • Create a graduated income tax structure, including the passage of H.86, commonly known as the Millionaire’s Tax, to create new revenue for transportation improvements.

    • However, before creating new revenue through this tax, we must evaluate how much new revenue can be created through increased oversight of the MBTA’s Fiscal Control Board. We should evaluate and fix our current system before planned expansions make the problem bigger.

    • If passed, the Millionaire’s Tax would not create new revenue until 2023, so this oversight and the improvement of MBTA administration can immediately create new revenue to fix our public transportation.

  • Develop a commuter rail schedule similar to the subway schedule to decrease crowding and increase the ability of conductors to collect fares from riders.

    • This will instantly increase revenue and prevent the need for further price hikes.

  • Upgrade transportation infrastructure and equipment to create a more reliable train service for riders without raising prices.

  • Invest in newer, more efficient, environmentally friendly trains, buses, and subway cars.

  • Install more effective oversight of the MBTA’s Fiscal Control Board.