The campaign to increase funding for transportation options – including walking, biking, and public transit – is in its final stages, as a Conference Committee works to reconcile bills passed in both the House and Senate earlier this spring. MPHA’s work building new partnerships and educating policymakers about the health implications of transportation has had an important and meaningful impact on this debate.
MPHA and our Act FRESH partners have worked hard to recruit 70 new supporters of our campaign, turned out in force to make our case to the Joint Committee on Transportation, attended regional transportation forums across the state, and met with newspaper editorial boards in the Berkshires, Worcester, New Bedford, and the Cape. On March 25th, we delivered a letter signed by two dozen organizations in support of the Active Streets Bill. We’ve also had Op-Eds published in numerous regional media outlets, including the Worcester Business Journal, the Gloucester Times, the Brockton Sunday Enterprise, the Fall River Herald News, and the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.
Final decisions are being made now, and your voice can make a difference – please read on to learn more and take action!
Where are we now? The transportation finance bills passed earlier this spring raise new funding, with much of it dedicated to transportation. Roughly $500 million is raised in the House bill and $600 million in the Senate bill. The legislation does not appropriate funds for specific transportation projects; rather capital projects are likely to be authorized in a separate transportation bond bill later this year. The amount of funding made available in this financing bill will determine what priorities can be funded later this year, including our push to fund a new Active Streets Certification Program to support municipal complete streets projects. As the conference committee works to craft its compromise bill, we are urging them to make a meaningful and lasting investment. Click here to read the Act FRESH Campaign letter to the conferees.
You can still make a difference! There is will time to impact the Conference Committee deliberations. If you care about transportation, contact your legislators and tell them to provide adequate transportation funding. Click here to send your elected officials a quick and easy email.
Want to learn more?
- Check out the Act FRESH Transportation and Public Health website to learn about this issue, including pending legislation, and read testimony and media coverage.
- Explore options with the Transportation Budget Calculator, created by Transportation for Massachusetts and the Conservation Law Foundation. This interactive tool allows you to select which capital projects and transit service are priorities for you and see what is possible to fund within the transportation funding proposed by the Senate.
- MassPIRG has released a new report titled “Transportation and the New Generation”. Find the report here, and infographic here.