Proposed Transit Reform Bill Hurts All Commuters

May 20th, 2015

Photo by Alan Light. CC-BY-2.0.

However you travel around Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker’s proposed MBTA reform bill would hamper your commute. Baker’s special panel on the MBTA has called for both revenue and reform to improve the ailing transit system. While the governor’s proposed legislation aims to improve the MBTA’s efficiency and accountability, it paves the way to steep fare hikes and service cuts, placing an undue burden on low- and middle-income riders and forcing some commuters off the T and back into their cars, out of either convenience or necessity.

But if you think that Baker’s transit reform bill would impact only MBTA riders, you would be wrong. The legislation, as proposed, would slash much-needed funding not only to the MBTA, but to the entire Massachusetts transportation system, including roads, bridges, regional buses, bikeways, and sidewalks.

As CLF Senior Attorney Rafael Mares explains, by repealing important provisions of the state’s landmark Transportation Finance Act of 2013,

The funding cuts in the Governor’s bill add up to $581 million over six years. Those cuts wouldn’t be just for public transit, however. Funds for bridge and road repair and other parts of the state’s transportation system are impacted, too. Given that the Transportation Finance Act left a funding gap between what it authorized and what is actually needed, this additional revenue cut will mean the operations of the statewide transportation system will suffer and maintenance will have to be deferred. And that’s not good news for any of us, whether we drive, walk, bike, ride the bus, or take the train to work every day.

Click here to take action today and urge Massachusetts legislators to support the equitable, reliable, and safe transportation system the people of Massachusetts deserve.


EIA Partners Announce New Study to Reward Drivers for Driving Less

September 20th, 2013

EIA’s parent organization CLF Ventures has long advocated for market-based approaches to encourage people to drive less as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and traffic congestion. Now, in conjunction with Massachusetts Car-Free Week, CLF Ventures  announces a new pilot study that they will be conducting in 2014.

Funded by a $2.1 million Federal Highway Administration Value Pricing Program grant administered by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and with an in-kind contribution from Plymouth Rock Assurance, the three-year study will explore how rewarding people for driving less affects their driving behavior.

“Our customers have come to expect more than just typical insurance from Plymouth Rock,” said Chris Olie, president of Plymouth Rock. “Collaborating with CLF on this program to offer thousands of our customers the opportunity to earn rewards for themselves, and help the environment and their fellow drivers, is just another example of that commitment. As an innovator in the insurance field, we’re excited to contribute to the creation of a publicly available body of data that can help stimulate voluntary, market-based programs that can benefit both consumers and the environment.”

Approximately 3,000 Plymouth Rock auto insurance policyholders in 164 Massachusetts communities will be randomly selected to participate in the program, which will begin in 2014. EIA policyholders may be selected as potential pilot participants on a randomized basis along with all PRAC policyholders in the pilot service area. Potential participants can accept or decline the invitation to participate; they cannot “volunteer” to join. Participants will retain their existing coverage and premiums, but can earn per-mile rewards paid by the FHWA grant for reducing mileage over the course of the study.

We are excited to see this study move forward. Stay tuned for more updates.

Car vs. MBTA vs. Bike

May 16th, 2013

Guess who won the second annual Rush Hour Race pitting a driver, a cyclist and a T rider in a timed commuting challenge. EIA’s insurance carrier Plymouth Rock Assurance co-sponsored the Davis Square to downtown Boston event and writes about it on their blog. Find out how the car commuter fared. Spoiler alert: not well.

Realizing Massachusetts’ “Bikeability” Potential

May 16th, 2013

Riding a bike can be a healthy, inexpensive way to get to work or school. While many of us aspire to a two-wheel commute, the fragmented network of bikeways in Boston and beyond can be a daunting challenge. In this latest installment of CLF’s Under the Hood of the MA Transportation System, Christine Chilingerian explores how chronic underfunding has taken its toll on bike and pedestrian infrastructure in the Bay State.

When Comparing Transportation Finance Plans, Know Your Fruit

April 22nd, 2013

At a time when our legislators are facing critical decisions on transportation financing, their ability to properly assess the plans on the table is being hampered by confusion about the different plans’ price tags and where the money is going to come from. CLF’s Rafael Mares compares apples to apples to sort out the various transportation plans on the table for Massachusetts.

Massachusetts’ Pothole Problem

April 5th, 2013

Does it seem as though your car is hitting nasty potholes with ever-increasing frequency? That’s because it probably is.

Across the state, our local roads and bridges are decaying. In this installment of CLF’s Under the Hood of the MA Transportation system, Christine Chilingerian explores how the Bay State’s roads and bridges have suffered from years of underfunding.

April 2 is Transportation Day!

April 1st, 2013

On April 2, from 10am – 1pm, join fellow Bay State residents at the Massachusetts State House to urge our decision-makers to create dedicated transportation funding that will be enough to fix our roads and bridges, stave off fare hikes and service cuts, invest in transportation services, and modernize our transportation system for the future. Get inspired by speakers from across MA who want and need more transportation funding. Then drop off letters and talk with your legislators about supporting more funding.

Under the Hood of the Massachusetts Transportation System

March 28th, 2013

Image: shoothead @ flickr

We all expect our transportation system to work. But what happens when it doesn’t, and we don’t fully understand the alternatives?

CLF’s new blog series attempts to shed light on facts about the Commonwealth’s transportation system that can help us be informed supporters of new revenue for our transportation system. Read the first post here, and look for more from CLF’s Rafael Mares and Christine Chilingerian in the coming weeks. To stay up to date, visit or follow the hashtag #MA4TRANS on Twitter.

The price of congestion

March 6th, 2013

A Boston-area driver wastes an average $98 worth of gas a year just sitting in traffic — and that doesn’t factor in the cost of time lost behind the wheel. In 2011, Americans wasted 2.9 billion gallons of gas sitting in congested traffic — enough to fill the New Orleans Superdome four times over! What does traffic cost you?

(Click image to enlarge)

Join the Transportation Conversation with MassDOT

November 28th, 2012

This fall, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is holding a series of statewide public meetings to engage residents, community leaders, and business owners in discussion about the state’s transportation future. The purpose of these meetings is to let MassDOT customers and residents share their ideas, thoughts, and proposals for improving and paying for our transportation network for many years to come. Representatives from each division of MassDOT – RMV, Highway, Aeronautics, and MBTA/Rail and Transit – will be available to answer questions and provide information.

Several of these meetings have already taken place, but it’s not too late to join the transportation conversation. Four more meetings are scheduled in Boston, North Dartmouth, Lynn, and Attleboro from now through December 6 (see below). And if you’re unable to attend the meetings but wish to submit comments, email them to

November 29, 2012 6-8 PM
Massachusetts Transportation Building
Conference Rooms 1,2,3
10 Park Plaza
Boston, MA 02116

December 3, 2012 6-8 PM
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Woodlawn Commons Building-Conference Room 3
285 Old Westport Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747

December 5, 2012 6-8 PM
Lynn City Hall
City Council Chambers, Floor 4
3 City Hall Square
Lynn, Massachusetts 01901

December 6, 2012 6-8 PM
Attleboro City Hall
City Council Chamber
77 Park Street
Attleboro, MA 02703

For more information, visit