While the report only analyzed nineteen state requests because a majority of the wish-lists have not been made public, MASSPIRG sees a troubling development. Most states are seeking a majority of funding for highway expansions that run counter to the promise of a “green recovery.”
Congress wants the funding to be used within 180 days, so the projects must be ready to go very soon and not involve extensive planning or environmental reviews etc. Therefore most of the projects are maintenance focused, like fixing tracks, installing elevators at some stations, fixing signal problems, and replacing outdated trains. While these projects are not as glamorous as a new transit line like extending the Green Line to Somerville and Medford, they are critical to improving service.
Massachusetts’ Preliminary Transportation Request To Congress
Total: $783 million
Public Transit $369 million
Road & Highway Maintenance $233 million
Aviation and Ports $164 million
Bike & Pedestrian $18 million