Big Plans Rolled Out for MassDOT Transportation Improvements

Boston MBTA, "the T" (Courtesy of Ccarlstead/Flickr)

Boston MBTA, “the T” (Courtesy of Ccarlstead/Flickr)

Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary Richard Davey announced plans for expanding and maintaining the state’s transportation system on Monday. The improvements outlined in the proposal would require an estimated $1.02 billion a year reported, and include everything from adding new tracks at South Station and implementing a commuter rail to South Coast, to major road repairs in Western Massachusetts and a pedestrian and bike program.

One critical component remains rather vague, however—how the state intends on funding this costly agenda. MassDOT suggests a number revenue sources in its proposal such as a green fee (a fee assessed by the amount of carbon emissions released), an increase in tolls and fares, and an income tax that would increase the tax rate from 5.25 percent to approximately 5.66 percent. Governor Deval Patrick is expected to address the transportation plan in his State of the Commonwealth speech tonight, and the Boston Globe reports that he will likely come out in support of a raise in income tax.

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