Cos (cos) wrote in baystate,
Cos
cos
baystate

Transportation (the T, gas tax, Mass Pike, ...)

Fascinating post on Blue Mass Group this afternoon, an interview with Secretary of Transportation Jim Aloisi, who says, "I didn't take a pay cut to take this job to lie to you, or to anybody else. I believe sincerely in what we're doing."

Some key points:
  • Transportation reform legislation has to happen now, he says, because many legislators wouldn't vote for anything that looks like a tax increase in an election year, and that if we wait two more years to do it, he thinks we're fucked.

  • 19 cent increase in the gas tax, the largest chunk of which would go towards saving the MBTA

  • MBTA pension and benefits reform: Currently, T employees get a much better deal than other state employees; they're going to phase that out.

  • The Turnpike Authority will have to raise tolls a lot, but if the gas tax increase passes, then not only will the toll increase not happen, but they'll also get rid of tolls past route 128.

  • Combine the state's various transportation agencies into one, which includes abolishing the Turnpike Authority (we've heard about this idea on the news)

  • He wants to experiment with partially replacing the gas tax with a mileage tax, as Oregon is doing - it seems to be successful there.

They're going to set up a new web site with information about all of this transit reform stuff at http://www.youmovemassachusetts.org/ but it doesn't appear to be up yet.

Update: "All politics is personal."
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