Funding and Modernizing Regional Transit Authorities
Massachusetts’ 15 Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) are a lifeline to millions of people living in the 250+ cities and towns beyond the reach of the MBTA. By operating fixed bus routes and providing dial-a-ride services for people with disabilities, RTAs connect residents to medical care, food, jobs, education and other necessities that drive good health outcomes. Despite their essential function, RTAs have suffered for years from chronic underfunding and year-to-year budget uncertainties, which have made it difficult to maintain existing services – and impossible to expand services when and where they are most needed.
The RTA Advocates Coalition
To build support for RTAs across the Commonwealth, MPHA joined forces with Transportation for Massachusetts in 2018 to launch the RTA Advocates Coalition. Since then, thanks to the participation and hard work of community-based organizations and individuals across the state, the Coalition has succeeded in preserving funding for RTAs. We have also provided information to the Task Force on RTA Performance and Funding, which the Legislature appointed in 2019 to recommend improvements to RTA operations.
Today, the RTA Advocates Coalition is comprised of community groups, human service providers, transportation advocates, and local leaders committed to providing a unified voice for transit users in RTA service areas across the state. The Coalition’s top priorities include:
- Adequate funding to support RTA operations,
- Stronger connectivity between regions, and
- Service hours that meet resident needs (weekend service, late night and early morning service).
If your organization would like to learn more about the RTA Advocates Coalition, contact MPHA Assistant Campaign Director Alexis Walls at email@example.com
Click here to view the RTA Advancement Bill Fact Sheet
Increasing Regional Transit Accessibility
While the RTA Advocates Coalition continues to fight for adequate funding through the annual state budget process, we are also urging the legislature to pass the RTA Advancement Bill. This bill implements key recommendations from the 2019 Task Force Report on RTA Performance and Funding including:
- Ensuring adequate and sustainable funding for RTAs,
- Prioritizing RTA service improvements through an annual RTA Council report, and
- Ending the use of farebox recovery ratios as a performance metric for transit agencies.
Centering Community Voices in Regional Transit
In the News
- Regional Transit Riders Deserve Their Fair Share – Banker and Tradesman (May 2023)
- Senate Budget Boosts RTA Funding, Backs Fare-Free Buses – Commonwealth Magazine (May 2023)
- Time to Address Equity in Public Transportation – Commonwealth Magazine (February 2023)
- When Surtax Revenue Comes In, the RTA Caucus Want a Piece – State House News Service (February 2023)
- If the T Doesn’t Work, Fix It – Boston Globe (December 2022)
- FY24 RTA Budget Fact Sheet
- MassINC Regional Transit Polling Report Fact Sheet
- RTA Advocates Coalition Fact Sheet
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