Favoring rail, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick proposed a hefty line of major transportation projects that will cost an additional $1.02 billion. Patrick did not provide specifics as to how the work will be funded during his Jan. 15 press conference, electing to wait until his State of the State address the following night.
Hikes in fares, fees and tolls could be part of the plan, along with the idea of moving to all-electronic tolling.
“Let’s be crystal clear and honest with each other, choosing to do nothing is a choice, too,” Patrick said at his press conference. “That choice means longer commutes, cuts in services, larger fare and fee increases and a continuation of the self-defeating economics that leads large parts of our population cut off from opportunity and growth. I choose growth.”
The key projects on Patrick’s radar are:
- Seven new tracks at South Station ($850 million);
- Green Line extension to Somerville and Medford ($674 million);
- Commuter rail service to South Coast ($1.2 billion);
- A bike/pedestrian program ($430 million); and
- Replacing old subway cars and buses ($3.25 billion).
“It’s clear to us our customers want more reliability, more services and we have to find a way,” said Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Richard Davey.