Gov. weighs taxes for transportation overhaul
BOSTON (WHDH) -- Gov. Patrick is pushing for a transportation overhaul that will raise $1 billion a year, mostly from taxpayer money.
The transportation secretary said expanding and improving ‘T’ stops is about more than transportation. It's about jobs.
According to the DOT, if it wasn't for the T-stop, Kendall Square wouldn't be what it is today. And that takes money.
Anyone who has traveled inside or outside of Boston knows traffic can be heavy and it can be unpredictable.
“If you think traffic is bad today, if we don’t make these investments, 10 years from now if we don't make these investments, it's going to be 23 percent worse. If you're sitting in traffic for an hour, you can be assured it will be an hour and 20 minutes,” said Richard Davey, transportation secretary.
Time to introduce Mass DOT's 21st century transportation plan.
It will fix bridges, ease congestion. Expand the green line and the south coast, fund snow and ice operations. But, the 10-year plan will cost $13 billion.
“The consequences of inaction would be lost economic opportunity, more congestion on our roads, worse air quality,” said
How are we going to pay for it? All electronic tolls, deleting the need for toll workers. Casino revenues. And of course, fee increases on the train.
The secretary says they'll handle fee increases modestly and more frequently. In other words, fares will increase every year or so by a nickel or dime instead of say 50 cents every six or seven years.
“The governor has to do what he has to do. I pay a certain fare. If it needs to be raised by a certain amount for me to utilize the ‘T’ I think it's alright with me,” said Kyle Edmonds.
Still other T-riders said in this economy, ever nickel and dime counts. And if the state wants more money, they want to see something in return.
“There really doesn't seem like there's an improvement in the service quality that we're given and I think that's the biggest problem because we want to know where our money is going,” said Nirell Mckudu.
The secretary said we can't afford not to invest, considering the number of jobs that will come with this plan.
“It’s so clear than when you make a transit investment or a transportation investment, then the private sector falls behind. Kendall square wouldn't be what it is today if it wasn't for the red line."
The transportation department said that at the earliest none of the changes will happen until at least the next fiscal year.