In stark contrast to its annual number 1 ranking for energy efficiency, Massachusetts is perpetually nearly at the back of the pack for traffic and infrastructure. The fundamental problems of transportation for our state are as old as our state. Billions of taxpayer dollars were spent to ease the flow of traffic in recent decades, and yet the congestion bounced back to surpass previous levels. To make matters worse, greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles is now the leading source of climate-disrupting pollution in our state. That’s why, as Massachusetts lawmakers, we can no longer stand by and allow modern, clean transportation solutions to go unfunded.
By Amy McLean Salls
As we leave behind the summer fun, send the kids back to school and return to our daily commutes, transportation challenges are front and center. In Connecticut, the core problems of aging infrastructure and congested roads are compounded by air pollution from growing vehicle emissions.
Let’s face it: The ways we move people and goods in Delaware are outdated, damaging to public health, congested, under-funded and destructive to our climate.
Transportation now accounts for approximately 40% of carbon pollution in the region — and let’s be clear that air pollution knows no state boundaries. This is why it is critical that Governor Carney has joined with other states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI).
RGGI, which addresses the electricity generation sector, has resulted in more than $125 million for Delaware and more than $3 billion for the region in new funding for renewables and energy efficiency.
The new TCI program, modeled after the success of RGGI, targets transportation. It’s designed to limit pollution from motor fuels while creating new funds for clean transportation investments.
Alli Gold Roberts, "Opinion: Md.’s Clean Energy, Transportation Bills Set Stage for Thriving, Low-Carbon Economy"
In May, Gov. Larry Hogan announced that he would allow two key clean energy and transportation bills to take effect. The bills will help Maryland unlock a clean energy future.
Alarming new data and careful scientific studies reiterate that we must take bold and immediate action to tackle climate change. Businesses are already heeding this call by investing in clean energy and setting bold emissions reduction targets. However, business action alone is not enough. We need smart policy solutions from all levels of government.
Nick Sifuentes, "Don’t hose commuters. Find a better way to fund NJ Transit, transportation group says."
Much has been made of the travails of public transit our friends across the Hudson are facing — but every NJ Transit rider knows that a similar crisis, long in the making, has now reached a breaking point here, too.
The state of NJ Transit has an obvious cause: when a service that hundreds of thousands of Jersey residents rely on every day is subject to the push and pull of the political process, commuters lose out. Under former Gov. Chris Christie, NJ Transit went from being a model transit agency to a cautionary tale of disinvestment and neglect. But even with the state under new leadership, NJ Transit fares no better: it has become a proxy in the debate over New Jersey’s budget surplus and whether to implement a millionaires’ tax.