For Immediate Release: July 20, 2010
Contact: Scott Ferson, 617.571.9595, Conor Yunits, 508.728.2964, Ann Donner, 617.335.7026
Our Transportation Future Releases White Paper Highlighting Need For Transportation Infrastructure Investment Strategy
Moving Forward: Transportation and the Massachusetts Economy notes that not having a comprehensive transportation investment strategy will have significant economic consequences.
(Read the full White Paper here
Boston, MA - Our Transportation Future (OTF), a diverse coalition of organizations working together for increased transportation investment in Massachusetts, released a new white paper today that highlights the need for development of a forward-thinking, intermodal transportation investment strategy.
“We are very appreciative of the commitment the Governor and the Legislature have made to a variety of much-needed infrastructure projects,” said John Pourbaix, executive director of the Construction Industries of Massachusetts. “The effect of decades of underinvestment and neglect are beginning to be addressed, but we need to ensure aggressive investments continue if we are to be economically competitive with other states.”
The white paper, “Moving Forward: Transportation and the Massachusetts Economy,” reviews state, regional, and national literature on the relationship between transportation investment and the economy. (Read the full White Paper here http://www.ourtransportationfuture.com/media/2/20100720-OTF%20White%20Paper%20Final%207-20-10%20v%2023.pdf
Among its key findings:
- Investing in transportation creates jobs and income that largely remains within the Massachusetts economy. Every $1 billion spent on highway construction and transit capital projects is estimated to have a total impact of 14,000 jobs in the state.
- Numerous national, regional and state studies have found that investing to improve transportation system performance saves residents and businesses time, fuel and money, and expands markets for goods, services and employment. Conversely, failing to invest adequately in transportation will have the opposite effect, costing a state its economic competitiveness.
- Key Massachusetts industries all rely on a robust transportation system to transport their employees, business partners, supplies, goods and services.
- The condition of the state’s transportation infrastructure is deteriorating to the point of threatening Massachusetts’ economic competitiveness. Massachusetts roads are ranked 45th in the nation in terms of surface condition; 12% of our bridges are structurally deficient and 40% are functionally obsolete; and the MBTA faces a $2.7 billion repair backlog just to meet the state of good repair.
- Bottlenecks during peak travel periods are a warning sign that the state’s roads and transit lines are nearing capacity. Already, 58% of vehicle miles traveled in Metro Boston during peak hours are in congested traffic. The problem will only get worse as traffic volume is projected to outstrip population growth.
- Massachusetts must also adapt the configuration of its transportation system to fit its changing economic geography. New research, by OTF member the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, on commuting patterns in nine key job clusters representing 1.75 million of the state’s 3.2 million jobs reveals a diverse set of transportation challenges which are best met by a multimodal transportation investment strategy.
- Despite challenging economic times, other states in all regions of the nation are planning and investing in multimodal transportation strategies to secure their economic futures. If Massachusetts hopes to remain competitive, it must do the same.
“Massachusetts has a long history of investing in transportation infrastructure,” said Richard A. Dimino, president & CEO of A Better City. “It’s what has helped us remain competitive as an economy. This paper is about the vital link between transportation and the economy, and transportation and jobs. In an election year where jobs and the economy are dominant, we feel it’s important to make the link between those issues and transportation explicit.”
The report also focuses on nine job clusters that could be negatively impacted by a lack of transportation investment.
“Millions of Massachusetts residents commute to work on roads and rail lines in all corners of the state,” said Marc Draisen, executive director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. “We need to ensure we have an investment strategy to maintain and improve the entire transportation network in the Commonwealth, or we will severely damage our economic future.”
“As we invest in a long-range transportation intermodal plan, we need to ensure we do so in a way that’s smart for the economy, equity, and the environment, and that reduces greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rafael Mares, staff attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation. “Looking at all of the state’s job clusters and improving & expanding transit and pedestrian and bicycle networks in different regions will have a major positive impact in the future.”
The paper also notes that transportation infrastructure is yet another source of competition among the states, many of which have already developed multi-modal transportation investment plans.
“It is absolutely critical that we act quickly to develop a long-range plan for investing in infrastructure,” said Frank Callahan, president of the Massachusetts Building Trades Council. “If we continue to lag behind other states, we will watch helplessly as the condition and capacity of our roads and transit system gets worse, the cost of repair escalates, and industry leaders look to grow jobs in other parts of the country.”
“Moving Forward: Transportation and the Massachusetts Economy” is the first in a series on the importance of investing in transportation in Massachusetts. Our Transportation Future will publish follow-up reports in the months to come, in the hopes of making the case for a comprehensive, multimodal transportation financing strategy which positions Massachusetts for continued economic prosperity.
About Our Transportation Future - Our Transportation Future, formerly the Massachusetts Transportation Investment Coalition, is a diverse collaboration of organizations representing business, industry, planning, labor, municipal, and environmental interests working together for increased transportation investment in Massachusetts.
To meet mobility needs, foster economic growth, create jobs, increase economic competitiveness and sustain a healthy environment, Our Transportation Future advocates for an efficient, equitable and effective transportation system for the Commonwealth. The Coalition supports legislation, programs and policies to adequately fund the repair and maintenance of the Commonwealth's existing transportation system, as well as investment in strategic expansion and enhancement projects.
Members of Our Transportation Future include:
- A Better City, Inc. (ABC)
- American Automobile Association - Southern New England (AAA)
- Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE)
- American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA)
- Massachusetts Building Trades Council
- Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section/ASCE (BSCES)
- Conservation Law Foundation (CLF)
- Construction Industries of Massachusetts (CIM)
- Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts
- Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC)
- MBTA Advisory Board
- Massachusetts Motor Transportation Association (MMTA)
- Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA)
- Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG)
- Massachusetts Organization of State Engineers and Scientists (MOSES)
- Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance
- National Association of Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP) Massachusetts
- Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC)
- Urban Land Institute Boston (ULI)
- Urban Edge