Strong transportation infrastructure is vital to our district. As a daily user of the Blue Line, I understand the importance of regular and reliable T service, including early-morning and late-night service. I support expanding T accessibility and resisting calls to restrict T hours, as such restrictions disproportionately impact our district’s workers. The $4 million recently secured to connect the Newbury/Rockport Commuter Rail with the Blue Line is a huge victory for the district. We need to encourage more such investments from the federal and state governments to make public transportation more convenient for and accessible to all Massachusetts residents.
We should embrace innovative technological solutions to solve long-standing transportation problems. To start, we must upgrade and spread awareness of the MBTA’s apps so that residents can access MBTA schedules, delays, and digital payment options on the fly from their phones. Additionally, MassDOT should work with municipalities to roll out “smart parking” tools that reduce traffic and allow drivers to receive real-time updates of parking availabilities near their location.
Any policy approach to Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing apps must be balanced and seek input from all stakeholders. Such ridesharing apps have provided numerous benefits, including employment opportunities, less parking congestion, and fewer traffic fatalities. However, we must also acknowledge how the apps have negatively impacted traffic and emissions in the District. Additionally, as legacy car companies begin to release more affordable electric models over the next five years, we must make electric vehicle charging stations readily available across the District.
All transportation decisions should be made with community input, environmental considerations, and a commitment to equity.