Charting Progress to 2040

A Long-Range Transportation Plan for the Boston Region

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The MPO expects to program $2.85 billion in federal highway funds during the next 25 years for transportation infrastructure projects and programs. In 2015, citizens, municipalities, public agencies, and organizations from around the region came together to decide how to invest this money to improve transportation.

The MPO listened. The result, Charting Progress to 2040, represents a turning point in the philosophy and practice of the MPO. Though the Boston region has long embraced transit, cycling, and walking, this is its first long-range plan that does not prioritize regionally significant roadway projects ahead of other types of investments. Instead, it sets aside approximately half of the MPO’s funding for projects that will help people get around on the transit system, bikes, and foot, rather than primarily funding major roadway improvements.

By charting this new course, the MPO hopes to achieve our collective transportation vision for the future:

A modern transportation system that is safe, uses new technologies, provides equitable access, excellent mobility, and varied transportation options—in support of a sustainable, healthy, livable, and economically vibrant region.

Endorsed in July, 2015, Charting Progress to 2040 will guide investment in our region’s transportation system. It focuses on six goals:

  • Safety: make all modes safe
  • Preservation: maintain the system
  • Capacity Management/Mobility: use existing facility capacity more efficiently and increase healthy transportation capacity
  • Clean Air/Clean Communities: create an environmentally friendly transportation system
  • Transportation Equity: provide comparable transportation access and service quality among communities, regardless of income level or minority population
  • Economic Vitality: ensure our transportation network serves as a strong foundation for economic vitality

These goals and their related objectives work together to steer the region towards its ambitious 2040 vision by helping the MPO prioritize what subjects to study in its Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), and which projects to fund in its Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The same goals and objectives will help the MPO develop metrics with which to measure and track performance improvements in the region’s transportation system.

What You’ll Find in Charting Progress to 2040:

The plan—which is updated every four years to be responsive to the region’s continuously evolving needs—includes information on the following topics:

  • Visions, goals and objectives to guide future investments
  • Projects recommended for funding during the 25-year time frame that cost more than $20 million each, or that add capacity to the transportation system
  • Needs Assessment of the region’s transportation, including data that is publicly available and regularly updated
  • Investment programs that set aside funding for specific types of activities that meet the region’s transportation needs
  • Forecasts of future travel demand and financial resources for operating, maintaining, and investing in the transportation system
  • Distributional analysis of the transportation system’s benefits and burdens among potentially disadvantaged populations
  • Air quality conformity determination, demonstrating that the LRTP is consistent with federal and state requirements for attaining air quality standards

Downloadable Documents: PDF and Accessible Formats

Full Document (90.5 MB) (pdf)

Executive Summary

Table of Contents (pdf) (html)

  • Chapter 1: Transportation Planning for the Boston Region (pdf) (html)
  • Chapter 2: Process for Developing Charting Progress to 2040 (pdf) (html)
  • Chapter 3: Transportation Needs in the Boston Region (pdf) (html)
  • Chapter 4: Funding the Transportation Network (pdf) (html)
  • Chapter 5: The Recommended Plan (pdf) (html)
  • Chapter 6: Charting Performance (pdf) (html)
  • Chapter 7: Transportation Equity (pdf) (html)
  • Chapter 8: Air-Quality Conformity Determination and Greenhouse Gas Analysis (pdf) (html)


Additional Resources

  • Vision Statement, Goals, and Objectives (pdf) (html)
  • Charting Progress to 2040: Developing the Boston Region’s Next LRTP (pdf) (html)
  • Charting Progress to 2040: Needs Assessment
  • Help Shape the Transportation Vision for the Future: Overview of Investment Programs (pdf) (html)
  • Charting Progress to 2040: Scenario Planning Results (pdf) (html)
  • Charting Progress to 2040: Results of Mini-Surveys (May to July 2015) (pdf) (html)
  • Supplemental Statewide Report, Meeting Air Quality Goals in Transportation (Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Planning Organizations), August 2015 (pdf) (html)

Archive of Past Long-Range Transportation Plans

For more information, please contact Anne McGahan, MPO staff, at 857.702.3676 or