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Issue #156 - March 2021
MBTA Receives Over $850M in Federal Relief Funding After Months of Advocacy
After President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into effect last week, transit agencies across the country were set to receive over $30 billion in relief funding. The MBTA is set to receive around $850M; in addition to the funds from the two other Federal relief bills passed in 2020, the MBTA has received over $1.978+ billion. This is an exciting win for the Transit Is Essential Coalition after months of working with local and federal partners to push the message that transit agencies are an essential part of COVID-19 recovery. Learn about our advocacy and the organizations that make up the Coalition here.
A huge thank you to the MA Congressional Delegation who were strong advocates on the MBTA's behalf. Make sure to thank your federal legislators who made this funding a reality!
Future of MBTA Service Cuts Unclear
On March 14th, the MBTA moved forward with their scheduled service cuts, cutting 20% of service on the Orange and Green Lines, 5% service on the Blue Line, and reducing service on some bus routes and commuter rail lines. The Transit Is Essential Coalition, which has been speaking up against these service cuts for several months now, has called on the MBTA to use the federal relief funding they received to immediately reverse service cuts.
Thanks to the advocacy of our MA Congressional Delegation, the Transit Is Essential Coalition, and many others, the MBTA is now planning to fully fund bus and subway service in July 2021. This is an exciting first step towards fully restoring MBTA service. Read more here.
LivableStreets Co-Chairing Mayor Janey's Transitional Transportation + Climate Justice Committee
Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock via Curbed
Earlier this week, Kim Janey was sworn in as Mayor of Boston after former Mayor Marty Walsh was confirmed as the US Labor Secretary. Through this transitional period, Mayor Janey has convened a group of organizations and stakeholders to ensure a smooth and equitable mayoral transition. We are thrilled that LivableStreets was invited to participate -- Executive Director Stacy Thompson is co-chairing the Transportation and Climate Justice committee alongside Reverend Mariama Hammond, a pastor at New Roots AME Church and the Faith Fellow at Green Justice Coalition.
Read more on the transition sub-committees here.
Staff Testified at Boston City Council Hearing on Snow Clearance
Although we officially welcomed in the spring with the equinox just last weekend, we all know that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of snow. Last week, Kristiana Lachiusa, our Director of Transit + Outreach, presented at a Boston City Council Hearing about snow clearance and potential opportunities to improve the process. When it snows in Boston, the roads get plowed, but for sidewalks, bus stops, and bike lanes, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Snow clearance and removal is an issue of access and equity. We are excited to encourage Boston to improve their process, so they can better support members of our communities being able to get to where they need to go, comfortably and safely, year round.
Read more about the hearing here.
Many LivableStreets' Priority Bills Filed This Session
After a busy start to this year’s legislative session in January and February, the dust has finally settled (for now). So where does transportation policy stand now? As the previous session closed out in January, Governor Baker signed the Transportation Bond Bill (H.5248, An Act authorizing and accelerating transportation investment) into law, after vetoing some sections of the bill.
Many pieces of transportation, mobility, safety, and equity legislation were filed last month, including bills regarding free buses, drivers licenses for all, and transportation revenue. Check out our website for a full list of our policy priorities this session:
Thank you to everyone who reached out to their legislators to advocate for LivableStreets' policy priorities, and stay tuned for updates as these bills move forward.
Check out the following resources to learn more about what we've been up to lately!
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