As development continues to sprawl further away from town and city centers, the number of miles Massachusetts residents are driving is growing. This is due to how we use our land, the lack of good alternatives to driving, high home prices in the close-in suburbs, and a failure to plan regionally.
Transportation is responsible for 40% of MA’s greenhouse gas emissions, making it the single biggest source in Massachusetts. To meet the state’s mandatory greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reduction requirements, tackling transportation emissions will be critical as this sector’s GHGs continue to rise.
Transportation investments should be based on sound land use planning so that we can cut down on the length of our commutes. Increased funding for public transit that works for people commuting in and out of Boston and that serves other job centers along Routes 128 and 495 would give residents new options for how to get to work.
Through our work with Transportation for Massachusetts, we will support legislation that would put in place additional reforms and increase revenue for transportation with an emphasis on transit, biking and walking and other innovative mobility options that would reduce greenhouse gases from the transportation sector.
ELM supports the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). TCI is a regional collaboration of 12 Northeast and mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia that would set a declining cap on transportation emissions and issue a fee on fuel imports to fund system improvements. If properly structured, policy created through TCI could mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, invest in much-needed public transit, alleviate congestion, and generate a revenue stream to fund future transportation improvements. The 12 states and Washington DC are forming the policy but it could be in effect as soon as 2022.
We are a proud member of Our Transportation Future, a coalition that brings together leading environmental, health, scientific and business organizations to advance modern, clean, accessible and low-carbon transportation for Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.