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ISSUES   |   TRANSPORTATION

TRANSPORTATION & MOBILITY

Transportation is foundational to the vitality of our city, and the investments we make will pay dividends in strengthening our economy, improving our quality of life, and supporting equity. Our relationship with transit also impacts our climate resilience strategy, which is the single greatest investment we can make in the long term strength of our economy. Climate resilient transit is an unparalleled opportunity to create green jobs and training for local residents, prepare our City for the effects of climate change, and cut the emissions that contribute to climate change. With a federal administration that understands the importance of investing in infrastructure, this is a unique moment for which we must be ready. 

 

John has a strong record for working with residents of individual neighborhoods to find solutions that are the right fit for that part of the city. More than ever, we need local voices at the table to enhance our transportation system to fit the needs of the people who use the roads, sidewalks, bike lanes, and public transportation options on a daily basis.

 

John will approach transportation by using mobility to create opportunity, and make mobility convenient, affordable, and safe for all.

 

John’s record: 
 

  • As Chief of Economic Development for the City of Boston, John served as the Co-Chair for Imagine Boston 2030, the first citywide plan in half a century. Imagine Boston 2030 has aspirational goals for the transportation sector, including the establishment of neighborhood mobility hubs, making the city safer and more accessible for cyclists, and making sure more Bostonians are connected and able to easily travel to job centers.

  • John has been a steadfast voice for investment in the MBTA’s Fairmount Line, because affordable, reliable transit in that corridor has enormous potential to connect people in historically marginalized neighborhoods to jobs. As a result of the advocacy by John and others, the MBTA has committed to additional investment, and John will continue to push for more.

  • John and the Office of Economic Development worked across departments in City Hall to make sure restaurants with outdoor seating have access to portable ramps to ensure the accessibility for diners in wheelchairs. Getting around in our city needs to be accessible for our cyclists, walkers, and residents in wheelchairs, and John will continue to be an advocate for all modes of transportation.

  • John was part of the project team for Go Boston 2030, the City’s comprehensive transportation planning effort released in 2017. The plan identified 58 projects, of which 21 are being implemented, and 17 are in design. John commits to seeing all of these into implementation in his first term.

As Mayor, John will: 

Connect people to jobs, schools, and opportunities across Boston and throughout the region. It’s about connecting neighborhoods and people. Connecting Mattapan to East Boston, South Boston to Beacon Hill, and Allston to Roslindale. Much of this work requires pushing the state, which controls and funds the MBTA. John will work with the state on these strategies. 

 

MBTA/State

John will be unequivocal in his advocacy for investment in and expansion of public transit.

 

  • The Fairmount Line must be transformed to become a full rapid transit line with better stops, new electric trains, and more frequent service. One in five Bostonians lives within a 10 minute walk of a Fairmount Line station, and 29 percent of all nearby rental units are income restricted. In addition, an estimated 19 percent of all market rate units there are occupied by voucher holders. But in order to work for everyone, it needs to be more reliable and frequent. While John was the Chief of Economic Development for the City of Boston, he successfully advocated for a pilot program to increase frequency, and we are already seeing promising results. But Fairmount must become integrated into the MBTA system. It's not useful if your job is in Kendall and you have to pay again when you get to South Station.

  • The Worcester Line must better connect with Allston-Brighton, Fenway/Kenmore, Back Bay, and the Seaport, through more convenient stops, new electric trains, and more frequent and integrated service. West Station should be championed to enhance mobility in Brighton. 

  • Support the Red/Blue Connector and a seamless connection between North and South Stations.

  • Make the T more convenient, by expanding dedicated bus lanes wherever possible. John commits to adding these bus lanes, proven to cut commute times and emissions, as well as expand Charlie card access by adding vending locations. 

  • Extend urban rail to Roslindale through an extension of the Orange Line from Forest Hills Station that will run parallel to the Commuter Rail’s Needham Line and increase transit capacity in a congested part of the city. This extension will also enhance quality of life by connecting riders directly to the Arnold Arboretum, and catalyze local economic development directly to Boston’s oldest and the country’s first urban Main Street districts.

  • Frequent reliable ferry service must be part of the plan in our coastal city. John will work with the MBTA to add ferries from the suburbs to the city, to take more cars off the road, and between parts of the city, like East Boston to Seaport, and Columbia Point to Downtown. In addition, John will explore the feasibility of a Charles River ferry, to alleviate the bottleneck that will be caused by the scheduled I-90 work in the short term, and to provide more non-driving choices in the long term. 

  • Work with the MBTA to add a Neponset stop to the Red Line between Savin Hill and North Quincy, creating a one-seat ride to work centers in Boston and Cambridge for people in Neponset and Port Norfolk.

  • Work with the MBTA to rebuild the Mount Hope stop in Roslindale.

  • John will work with the state on a plan to support and expand regional transportation efforts, like Merrimack Valley Transit and Plymouh and Brockton bus lines, including dedicated bus lane options.

  • Widett Circle is an opportunity to connect multiple different neighborhoods with a transit hub that can also catalyze climate resilient investment. John will advocate to local, state, federal, and private partners to explore the feasibility of a new Commuter Rail station to extend the Fairmount Line and connect to Downtown, reactivate Track 61 for rail access to the Seaport, and invest in critical stormwater management and climate resilience measures.

  • John will work with the MBTA to develop a more comprehensive low-income fare program. While there has been much discussion about making the MBTA free, John prefers a more targeted program that doesn’t jeopardize $700 million in annual revenue that should continue to be invested in the system. 

  • Continue to advocate to the Governor’s office for Boston, the largest paying customer of the MBTA, to have a seat on the MassDOT board. 

 

Access and Convenience

 

Mobility must be convenient for all users. This means getting the basics right and fixing things that don’t work well anymore. As Mayor, John will work to implement plans for curb management, better parking, shared modes, and better communication. He will:

 

  • Better Connect Boston Residents with Transportation Services by creating a Transportation Assistance Program and Office. Some Boston residents have commutes that are a third longer than a typical Bostonian and some households pay 40% of their income toward transportation services. This program would focus on low-income residents, seniors, students, veterans, people experiencing homelessness, and people with disabilities. The office would focus on outreach through existing resources such as libraries, community centers, schools, and places of worship, and work with people to decrease their cost of transportation and improve transportation options. For example, many people don’t know about programs available to them for free and discounted programs related to bikes, transit, and other modes of transportation.

  • ​​Community engagement must be a top priority as we look to significantly expand and improve Boston’s public transportation future as part of a green and equitable recovery from COVID. In order to capitalize on the expected Federal infrastructure funding, we need to be prepared with shovel-ready transit projects. We need to work closely together as a community to develop plans for projects that meet the needs of residents on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis. As a part of this comprehensive commitment to strong community engagement, John will commit to the dissemination of plans/decisions every two (2) years, with a comment period to allow for notice of any changes to be made on those more than two (2) years old.

  • Expand shared mobility options by creating more Blue Bike locations, encouraging private shuttles to open to the public, and expanding ride hailing pick up and drop off zones, all of which will build on successful pilots launched in the previous administration. 

  • Boston is a notoriously difficult city in which to park. John will create better parking regulations that meet the needs of residents and businesses today. This will include working with Main Streets Districts on strategies for loading and metered parking, residential parking reform, and the expansion of enforcement. 

 

Safety

 

Mobility must be safe, and as Mayor, John will commit to and fund Vision Zero recommendations, including more protected bike lanes, along with pedestrian-focused safety improvements. 

  • Expand our bike network significantly, including more bike lanes and protected bike lanes, throughout Boston’s downtown core, main commuter corridors, and throughout our neighborhoods and Main Street districts. 

  • Continue working with residents to identify which neighborhoods need to establish Slow Streets in an effort to keep people safe and work toward Vision Zero’s goal of eliminating deadly automobile crashes. The City of Boston currently has the resources to work on three Neighborhood Slow Streets zones each year. John will dedicate more resources to the program, and expedite the application process for community groups that want a slow street program in their neighborhood. 

 

Resilience and Sustainability

 

  • John will commit to moving up the timeline for the City’s fleet outlined in the Zero Emissions Roadmap, and all new vehicles purchased for the Central Fleet will be electric or zero-emissions vehicles. Accelerated progress means 100 percent zero- and low-emission light-duty vehicles by 2028, and 100 percent zero- and low-emission heavy-duty vehicles by 2045.

  • John supports congestion pricing as a way to incentivize less driving and to fund investment in more eco-friendly travel modes. 

  • John will also advance many of the priorities within the Go Boston 2030 plan relating to sustainable and active transit - specifically expanding Boston’s dedicated bus lanes, ferries, and the bike lane network - and will invest in measures that will make Boston’s neighborhoods more walkable and accessible for individuals with disabilities.  

  • Build on progress made in the Walsh Administration to make Boston a more EV-friendly city by raising our EV requirements for private developments, as well as exploring more opportunities to provide EV charging on municipal properties. As Chief of Economic Development, John helped strengthen City of Boston EV-readiness policies for new developments. As of 2020, it is required that new developments that trigger the Transportation Access Plan Agreement (TAPA) process or that are located within a Parking Freeze zone, shall have 25% of parking spaces be EVSE-Installed; and the remaining 75% of parking spaces shall be EV-Ready for future installation, to the maximum extent practicable.

 

Working Port

 

Boston is a coastal city with a working port with Designated Port Areas (DPAs) that must be preserved for maritime use. John will balance the pressure for commercial development and protect the port, which generates $4.6 billion in economic activity and represents thousands of good-paying jobs in industries like seafood processing, imported goods, and tourism. John will commit to the inclusion of DPA stakeholders in all planning efforts that will impact them. 

A MESSAGE FROM JOHN

Just as this campaign is a community effort, this policy plan has been informed by a diverse group of residents, policy makers, and community organizations who reflect Boston's ingenuity, passion, and future. In this policy you will see your voice reflected and your neighborhood priorities front and center. I am incredibly grateful for the hours, data, and guidance leant to support this effort. I welcome continued feedback and suggestions from all corners of the city, because I know that policies are most successful when led by the community.
 
Now, more than ever, I have the opportunity to bring all voices to the table to create a Boston that brings prosperity and justice for everyone.Together we can create a Boston where nobody is left behind.
 
Thank you for reading and helping to shape Boston's future, I look forward to working with you.