MPO Meeting Minutes

Memorandum for the Record

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting

March 21, 2019 Meeting

10:00 AM–12:20 PM, State Transportation Building, Conference Rooms 2 and 3, 10 Park Plaza, Boston

David Mohler, Chair, representing Stephanie Pollack, Secretary, and Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)


The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) agreed to the following:

Meeting Agenda

1.    Introductions

See attendance on page 15.

2.    Public Comments

State Representative Michael J. Soter and John Morgan (CHA Consulting, Inc.) advocated for Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) project #608887 (South Main Street [Route 126]—Douglas Drive to Mechanic Street Reconstruction [Route 140] in Bellingham). This project is currently programmed with MPO target funds in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2023. Rep. Soter, formerly of the Town of Bellingham Board of Selectmen, spoke on behalf of State Senator Ryan C. Fattman, with whom he collaborated on a written public comment letter, which is posted to the MPO meeting calendar. Rep. Soter stated that conditions have deteriorated at this location since the project was proposed. Rep. Soter added that the 25 percent design hearing received positive support from the community and 75 percent design plans are on schedule to be submitted by the end of summer 2019. Rep. Soter requested that the MPO move this project into FFY 2021. Rep. Soter stressed safety concerns, including the lack of sidewalks for schoolchildren and accommodations for bicyclists who could access the nearby commuter rail station, and drainage issues. J. Morgan stated that work on 75 percent design plans had begun and assured the board that designs would be complete by FFY 2021 if the project were to be moved.

Mayor Thomas M. McGee (City of Lynn) advocated for three TIP projects in Lynn, projects #609252 (Rehabilitation of Essex Street), #609254 (Traffic and Safety Improvements at Two Locations on Broadway), and #609246 (Reconstruction of Western Avenue [Route 107]). MPO staff evaluated all three projects for the first time in 2019. Project #609252 is currently recommended for programming with MPO target funds in FFY 2024. Mayor McGee stressed safety concerns at all project locations, noting that #609246 includes four Top 200 statewide crash locations and is an important regional corridor connecting Salem to Boston. Project #609252 includes two Top 200 statewide crash locations and links directly to the commuter rail. Project #609254 also includes several high crash locations. Mayor McGee stated that Lynn is located in a regionally significant location and was recently chosen by MassDOT to complete a citywide transportation action plan. Mayor McGee noted that all three projects score well and reflect the goals of the MPO. Mayor McGee acknowledged that while all projects are in early design, there is strong community support and Lynn is committed to working with the MPO, MassDOT, Lynn’s legislative delegation, and regional partners to complete them.

Phil Lemnios (Town Manager, Town of Hull) and J. Morgan advocated for TIP project #601607 (Reconstruction of Atlantic Ave and Related Work in Hull). This project is currently programmed in FFY 2021 with MPO target funds, but MassDOT recommends that it be moved to FFY 2022. P. Lemnios thanked the MPO for programming this project but requested that the project stay in FFY 2021. P. Lemnios stated that Hull’s consultant is close to submitting the 100 percent designs. In May of 2018, Hull passed a $10 million roadway bond bill to fund local costs associated with the project. A right-of-way (ROW) meeting was held with MassDOT staff the week of March 10, 2019. P. Lemnios stated that the project will be ready to advertise in April 2020. J. Morgan stated that the 100 percent design plans would be submitted the week of March 24, 2019, and the town is committed to completing all necessary ROW easements. J. Morgan added that the environmental permitting process will begin in summer 2019.

Ken Miller (Federal Highway Administration) asked why MassDOT recommended the project to move. John Bechard (MassDOT Highway Division) stated that this project includes significant ROW takings. P. Lemnios stated that Hull has a cooperative relationship with MassDOT Highway District 5 and is working to secure ROW in time for advertisement in FFY 2021.

Yolanda Greaves (Board of Selectmen, Town of Ashland), Doug Small (Director of Public Works, Town of Ashland) and Alan Cloutier (Stantec Inc.) advocated for two TIP projects in Ashland, #604123 (Reconstruction on Route 126 [Pond Street]) and #608436 (Rehabilitation and Rail Crossing Improvements on Cherry Street). Project #604123 is currently programmed in FFY 2020 with MPO target funds but has been identified as high risk for being unable to advertise in that year. MassDOT is the proponent for this project. Y. Greaves stated that the project has the full support of the Ashland community. The 25 percent design plans were financed by Ashland’s capital plan and Y. Greaves stated that Ashland is committed to working with MassDOT to keep this project on track for FFY 2020. Project #608436 is recommended for programming with MPO target funds in FFY 2024. This project would create a quiet zone around an at-grade rail crossing near senior and low-income housing. D. Small thanked the MPO for the opportunity to speak and stressed the quality of life improvements this project would provide. A. Cloutier stated that Stantec, Inc. plans to submit the 25 percent designs by March 29, 2019. A. Cloutier noted that in addition to improving noise issues, this project will provide sidewalks where none exist.

Jeffrey Hull (Town Manager, Town of Wilmington) advocated for two TIP projects in Wilmington. Project #608051 (Reconstruction of Route 38 [Main Street], from Route 62 to the Woburn City Line) and project #609253 (Intersection Improvements at Lowell Street [Route 129] and Woburn Street) are both recommended for programming in FFY 2024 with MPO target funds. Project #609253 has the possibility of being programmed in FFY 2023. J. Hull stated that both projects scored highly and will address crucial safety, accessibility, and operational concerns identified by MPO staff studies and a recent road safety audit (RSA). J. Hull stated that the location of project #609253 serves an area recently rezoned to allow for mixed-use development. J. Hull noted that Analog Devices has also committed funds to this project as mitigation for their planned headquarters in Wilmington. Wilmington expects the design to be 100 percent complete in 2019. J. Hull stated that project #608051 would improve a main corridor in Wilmington which serves a commuter rail station and recreational facilities but lacks bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. J. Hull stated that MassDOT recently announced plans to reconstruct two bridges along this corridor which will complement this project. J. Hull stated that the town has funded the project through the 25 percent design phase and will transition the project to MassDOT control through final design. Wilmington plans to replace aging utility infrastructure on the corridor and is committed to working with MassDOT to advance the project. J. Hull noted that written public comment letters have been submitted by the Wilmington Board of Selectmen and Wilmington’s state legislative delegation. These letters are also posted to the MPO meeting calendar.

John Mangiaratti (Town Manager, Town of Acton), Matt Selby (Director of Land Use and Economic Development, Town of Acton) and Paul Campbell (Town Engineer, Town of Acton) advocated for TIP project #608229 (Intersection Improvements at Massachusetts Avenue [Route 111] and Main Street [Route 27] [Kelley's Corner] in Acton). This project is currently programmed in FFY 2022 with MPO target funds. J. Mangiaratti thanked the MPO board for its support of project #608229 and MassDOT for their support of project #607748 (Intersection and Signal Improvements on Route 2 and Route 111 [Massachusetts Avenue] at Piper Road and Taylor Road in Acton). Project #607748 is programmed in FFY 2021 with statewide funding. It is not under consideration for programming with MPO target funds. J. Mangiaratti stated that Acton is working closely with MassDOT to advance the design of project #608229. A well-attended 25 percent design public hearing was held in February 2019 and Acton continues to engage community members in the design process.

David Daltorio (Town Engineer, Town of Hopkinton) and Matt Chase (VHB, Inc.) advocated for and provided updates on project #606043 (Signal and Intersection Improvements on Route 135 in Hopkinton). This project is currently programmed in FFY 2020 with MPO target funds. D. Daltorio stated that the 75 percent design plans were submitted to MassDOT the week of March 10, 2019. D. Daltorio stated that the community, Board of Selectmen, and Chamber of Commerce are in support of the project, despite the complexity of realigning this intersection and undergrounding power lines. D. Daltorio noted that the estimated cost noted on the initial programming scenario presented by staff at this meeting is lower than the estimates recently submitted to MassDOT with the 75 percent design plans, adding that the town has invested almost the same amount of its own funding on this project. D. Daltorio stated that ROW is ongoing and Hopkinton is fully committed to working with MassDOT District 3 to advance the project. M. Chase added that the total project cost estimate recently submitted was $12.3 million, with the expectation that approximately $9.4 million would be MPO target funding. The total estimate includes the cost of undergrounding and related utility work. M. Chase stated that the 75 percent design submission includes aggressive plans for ROW takings and Hopkinton is very committed to meeting all necessary milestones. D. Daltorio added that Hopkinton has coordinated with utilities and MassDOT to schedule all construction to be done at once.   

Len Simon (Board of Selectmen, Town of Sudbury) and Beth Suedmeyer (Environmental Planner, Town of Sudbury) advocated for and thanked the MPO for their support of project #608164 (Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, Phase 2D in Sudbury) and project #607249 (Intersection Improvements at Route 20 and Landham Road in Sudbury). Project #608164 is currently programmed with MPO target funding in FFY 2022. Project #607249 was programmed with statewide highway funding in FFY 2019, and has already been advertised for construction. L. Simon reported that there is much excitement for project #608164, along with community support. The Acton section of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail opened in 2018, and the Concord section will open in 2019. B. Suedmeyer stated that this project is on schedule for advertisement in FFY 2022. An updated schedule was recently submitted to MassDOT and Sudbury anticipates submitting the 25 percent design plans in the next several months. B. Suedmeyer stated that full design funding was approved at the Sudbury town meeting in 2018.

Roger Fernandes (Town Engineer, Town of Hingham) advocated for project #605168 (Intersection Improvements at Route 3A/Summer Street Rotary in Hingham). This project is recommended for programming in FFY 2024 with MPO target funds. This project is located on state-controlled roadways and is one of the two main access points to Hull and Nantasket Beach. Hingham already conducted a RSA as part of an MPO staff study of subregional roadways in Hingham and Hull. R. Fernandes stated that this work, as well as an extensive public outreach process, greatly informed the current design of the project. Design funding for this project is in place and there are no ROW or utility relocation concerns. R. Fernandes stated that safety is a major concern at this location. Due to the narrow lanes and lack of median, motorists have a 40 percent chance of injury if a crash occurs. R. Fernandes stated that Hingham is investing in pedestrian and recreational improvements along its waterfront to complement the project. R. Fernandes reported that the town conducted a pilot using temporary measures to mirror the project design in order to gauge public reaction and improved safety, which was a success.  

Jamie Errickson (Director of Community and Economic Development, Town of Natick) advocated for and provided an update on project #605034 (Reconstruction of Route 27 [North Main St.] in Natick). J. Errickson provided the MPO board with a map of the project area and a written public comment letter from the Natick Board of Selectmen, which is posted to the MPO meeting calendar. This project is currently programmed in FFY 2019 with MPO target funds, and advertisement is planned for August 2019. The project has increased in cost by approximately $6.5 million. J. Errickson stated that Natick is extremely grateful to the MPO for their support and does not take the cost increase lightly, but stressed the importance of this project in Natick and regionally. J. Errickson stated that the cost increase is due to three main factors:  greater design detail, primarily related to storm water infrastructure; higher than anticipated construction costs and; factors related to the complexity of the corridor. The corridor is a main access point to MathWorks and Cognex corporate campuses, Natick Labs, several housing and retail developments, Natick commuter rail station, and the planned Cochituate Rail Trail. Also, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is planning a major reconstruction of the commuter rail station. Natick worked with MassDOT to add in anticipated costs related to these factors. J. Errickson noted that Natick has spent approximately $3.6 million on design and ROW for this project. ROW takings on this project impact over 200 properties. The Natick Board of Selectmen will vote on ROW takings in June. J. Errickson stated that the 100 percent design plans will be submitted by the end of March 2019. This project connects to project #605313 (Bridge Replacement, Route 27 [North Main Street] over Route 9 [Worcester Street] and Interchange Improvements in Natick), a MassDOT-owned facility which is programmed in an outer year of the MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). Natick is also investing in another section of Route 27, which will be under construction in the next year. J. Errickson stressed the importance of both Route 27 projects in the context of the overall reconstruction of this corridor in the next few years.

Eric Johnson (City Engineer, City of Framingham) advocated for and provided an update on project #608228 (Reconstruction of Union Avenue in Framingham). This project is currently programmed in FFY 2021 with MPO target funds and has been recommended by MassDOT to move to FFY 2022. E. Johnson stated that Union Avenue is a critical corridor in Downtown Framingham which connects with Route 9, northern suburbs, and the commuter rail station. The project will improve bicycle, pedestrian, and safety conditions with three new signalized intersections. Framingham has invested approximately $19 million in improvements on the corridor to date. E. Johnson stated that ROW and design are on schedule, with the 75 percent designs planned to be submitted in 2019. E. Johnson stated that Framingham has dedicated staff for accomplishing ROW tasks and has a proven track record for remaining on schedule.

Tegin Teich (Regional Transportation Advisory Council [Advisory Council]) asked why MassDOT has recommended this project be moved to FFY 2022. D. Mohler replied that MassDOT is concerned about significant ROW takings for this project, including some that require legislative approval under Article 97 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution. E. Johnson stated that Framingham has dealt with significant ROW before and has no reason to think they will not be successful in this effort.

Alex Train (Assistant Director of Planning and Development, City of Chelsea) advocated for and provided an update on project #608078 (Reconstruction of Broadway, from City Hall to the Revere City Line). This project is currently programmed in FFY 2022 with MPO target funds. A. Train stated that this corridor includes numerous new developments and connects to Chelsea’s bus rapid transit service. A. Train stated that the corridor is in a state of significant deterioration, with a lack of sidewalks and appropriate crossings, and several high crash locations. A. Train stated that the 25 percent design hearing would be held on the evening of March 21, 2019. Chelsea is working with the MBTA and MassDOT to complete the 75 percent designs by the end of summer 2019, which would put the project ahead of schedule. Chelsea also plans to precede the project with a series of utility improvements beginning in 2020, transitioning to MPO-funded work in 2022. A. Train thanked the MPO and MassDOT for their support and asked that the MPO keep funding level with the current $9.5 million estimate. 

3.    Chair’s Report—David Mohler, MassDOT

D. Mohler postponed Item 10 on this agenda to the meeting on March 28, 2019. D. Mohler noted that Annette Demchur and Scott Peterson would share duties as Co-Interim Executive Directors and take turns representing MPO staff at the board table.

4.    Committee Chairs’ Reports

There were none.

5.    Regional Transportation Advisory Council Report—Tegin Teich, Chair, Regional Transportation Advisory Council

There was none.

6.    Executive Director’s Report—Annette Demchur, Co-Interim Executive Director, Central Transportation Planning Staff

A. Demchur stated that the next MPO meeting would be held on March 28, 2019, immediately followed by a Unified Planning Work Program Committee meeting. A. Demchur proposed shifting the MPO meetings in April from April 4, 2019, and April 18, 2019, to April 11, 2019, and April 25, 2019, and adding an additional MPO meeting on May 30, 2019. Without objection, the MPO agreed to this schedule.

7.    Approval of February 21, 2019, Meeting Minutes—Róisín Foley, MPO Staff

A motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of February 21, 2019, was made by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) (Eric Bourassa) and seconded by At-Large Town (Town of Lexington) (Richard Canale). The motion carried.

8.    FFYs 2020–24 TIP: Discussion of Draft Programming—Matt Genova, MPO Staff

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    Draft FFYs 2020-24 TIP Tables: MassDOT Projects Only

2.    Draft FFYs 202024 TIP Programming (MassDOT Projects Only): Changes from FFYs 201923 TIP

3.    Draft FFYs 2020-24 TIP: Initial Programming Recommendations

4.    Draft FFYs 2020-24 TIP Development: Programming Update and Supporting Information for Projects under Consideration

5.    All Written Public Comments Received RE: Draft FFYs 2020-24 TIP Development, as of 3/20/19

M. Genova reviewed proposed MassDOT highway programming for FFYs 2020-24, including changes from FFYs 2019-23. The Draft FFYs 202024 TIP Programming (MassDOT Projects Only): Changes from FFYs 201923 TIP handout, posted to the MPO meeting calendar, shows project schedule and cost changes. Projects moved into later years or removed from the TIP are highlighted in red. New projects or projects moved into earlier programming years are highlighted in green. Three projects are highlighted in dark green. These projects were under consideration for programming with MPO regional target funds, but were programmed by MassDOT with statewide funding. This creates some space in the MPO’s programming for FFYs 2020-24.

M. Genova reviewed the written public comment letters received regarding TIP development to date. MPO staff received letters concerning 13 different projects from a range of advocates including elected officials, municipal staff, and local residents. Letters were submitted regarding projects that are currently programmed with MPO target funding, as well as projects under consideration for programming this year.

M. Genova reviewed the Draft FFYs 2020-24 TIP Development: Programming Update and Supporting Information for Projects under Consideration handout. This table is an expanded version of the project evaluation information presented at the meeting on February 21, 2019. The table includes new columns highlighting each project’s funding status, proponent engagement, and relationship to MPO performance metrics. The table notes that project #604231 (Intersection and Signal Improvements on Route 20 [East Main Street/Boston Post Road] at Concord Road in Marlborough) has been taken out of consideration for this year. Per the project proponent, MassDOT, this project will be combined with another project and reappear for consideration in a future year.

M. Genova reviewed the Draft FFYs 2020-24 TIP: Initial Programming Recommendations handout. This is an updated version of the Baseline Programming scenario presented at the meeting on March 7, 2019. The same schedule changes, high-risk projects, and cost changes are listed. Ten projects are listed in blue. These are the initial MPO staff recommendation for programming with MPO target funds for this year. Below the projects recommended for programming are projects that were not recommended for programming for four primary reasons:

1.    They have not been demonstrated as priorities for immediate programming.

2.    They require updated design work or are not being pursued in their current design.

3.    Their budgets are too large to accommodate given that the MPO already has approximately $40 million committed to existing major infrastructure projects in FFY 2024.

4.    They have been programmed with other funding or withdrawn from consideration by proponents.

The last page of the handout includes a summary of the current budget for the FFYs 2020-24 TIP.


Tom O’Rourke (Three Rivers Interlocal Council) (Town of Norwood/Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce) expressed concern that proponent engagement for project #87790 (Interchange Improvements at I-95/I-93/University Avenue/I-95 Widening in Canton and Westwood) was not listed. [1]

A motion to keep project #608228 (Reconstruction of Union Avenue in Framingham) programmed in FFY 2021 was made by Dennis Giombetti (MetroWest Regional Collaborative) (City of Framingham) and seconded by the North Suburban Planning Council (City of Woburn) (Tina Cassidy). D. Giombetti stated that Framingham has a long history of meeting ROW schedule milestones on time, and assured the MPO that the Framingham City Council would address any related measures in a timely manner.

J. Bechard stated that he has confidence in Framingham’s ability to meet ROW milestones, except for those projects which require legislative approval under Article 97. D. Giombetti stated that Framingham has not had issues with acquiring legislative approval, but J. Bechard stressed that because this aspect of ROW is not directly under Framingham’s control, MassDOT cannot comfortably accept their assurance. J. Bechard added that he would like to do more to assess this risk before the meeting on March 28, 2019.

E. Bourassa, T. O’Rourke, and T. Teich requested that MassDOT provide more in depth information on project readiness to the MPO board so that they may make informed decisions on moving projects into different programming years.

D. Mohler noted that there is $7 million in cost overruns in FFY 2019 which will likely cascade through the latter years of the TIP.

T. Teich noted that there is surplus in later years and asked whether the intent is to keep those funds there or allocate them to other projects. D. Mohler replied that those surpluses reflect all of MassDOT’s recommendations for moving projects, which the MPO may not necessarily accept.

K. Miller asked whether MPO staff will bring a recommendation or several recommendations for addressing the aforementioned issues. M. Genova replied that the projects in blue are a scenario, but at this time, there is still significant uncertainty around MassDOT’s recommendation to move project #606226 (Reconstruction of Rutherford Avenue in Boston) into FFYs 2023 and 2024, which will impact funds available in all years. M. Genova added that despite MassDOT’s initial recommendation to move #601607 (Reconstruction of Atlantic Ave and Related Work in Hull), recent developments may make it eligible to stay in FFY 2021.

D. Giombetti withdrew his earlier motion.

E. Bourassa reiterated that it would be helpful for MassDOT to bring additional information on readiness and asked whether it would be possible to reconfigure cash flows for project #1570 (Green Line Extension to College Avenue with the Union Square Spur in Somerville and Medford) to address cost overruns in FFY 2019. E. Bourassa added that, in the event surplus funds remain in certain years, it would also be helpful for MassDOT or the MBTA to bring ideas for projects that could utilize that funding.

Daniel Amstutz (At-Large Town) (Town of Arlington) echoed requests for more information about projects in earlier years that are at risk or recommended to move.

Aaron Clausen (North Shore Task Force) (City of Beverly) stated that Beverly is willing to support moving project #608347 (Intersection Improvements at Three Locations in Beverly) to FFY 2020 to help address cost overruns in FFY 2019. The City of Beverly believes that this would not significantly impact the construction schedule. D. Mohler thanked Beverly for their willingness to allow this.

D. Mohler stated that MassDOT would bring more in-depth information on readiness and recommendations for addressing several of these issues discussed to the meeting on March 28, 2019. D. Mohler added that proponents of projects indicated as high risk and with significant cost changes should attend the meeting on the 28th of March.

Tom Kadzis (City of Boston) (Boston Transportation Department) expressed support for keeping project #601607 in FFY 2021. 

T. Teich requested that MPO staff include information on allocations to funding categories, subregions, and community types in the recommended scenarios brought to the meeting on March 28, 2019.[2]  

9.    Proposed SFY 2019 TAM Targets for the Boston Region—Michelle Scott, MPO Staff and Samantha Silverberg, MBTA

Documents posted to the MPO meeting calendar

1.    Memorandum: Proposed SFY 2019 TAM Targets for the Boston Region

2.    Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA) TAM Plan

3.    MBTA TAM Plan

4.    MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) TAM Plan

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has established TAM requirements for transit agencies, MPOs, and states. TAM is designed to improve transit asset state of good repair (SGR) and help transit agencies make data-driven, transparent, and consistent decisions that address risks and optimize resources. Transit agencies and MPOs must set targets for TAM performance measures (PMs). Agencies must develop TAM plans at least once every four years, report asset inventories and condition information to the National Transit Database (NTD), set performance targets annually, share performance information with states and MPOs; and work towards achieving targets through capital investments. These transit agency TAM targets cover one year and are similar to forecasts, intended to be used as short term management tools. MPOs are required to revisit their regional set of TAM targets annually when developing the TIP. The MPO adopted its initial set of TAM targets in May 2018. Transit agencies in the Boston region produced their first TAM plans in October 2018. MPO staff recommends that the MPO adopt SFY 2019 TAM targets to reflect new transit agency data and targets. These targets can be seen in the Memorandum included above and posted to the MPO meeting calendar.

The MPO must set regional TAM performance targets for the Boston region, consider transit capital programming in the context of TAM performance, and incorporate TAM information into planning documents. The TAM PMs are included below.

Asset Category


Measure Type

Rolling Stock

Percentage of revenue vehicles that have met or exceeded their Useful Life Benchmark (ULB)



[vehicles only]

Percentage of vehicles that have met or exceeded their ULB



Percentage of assets with condition rating below 3.0 on FTA TERM scale


Infrastructure [Fixed Guideway]

Percentage of track segments with performance [speed] restrictions, by mode


Rolling stock covers revenue vehicles like buses, train cars, paratransit vans, and ferries. Equipment includes non-revenue vehicles like SUVs. Facilities include stations and parking, administrative, and maintenance facilities. The PMs use specific metrics to estimate transit SGR. For example, vehicle measures primarily focus on age, however, other factors like maintenance and frequency of use may affect how these assets actually perform. The goal of each PM is to bring the percentage to zero.

When proposing regional targets, MPO staff directly incorporated information from transit agencies and listed separate targets for the MBTA and RTAs, with some aggregation of asset categories.

S. Silverberg (MBTA) reviewed the MBTA’s targets for SFY 2019, which can be seen on pages five through eight of the Memorandum. The MBTA manages an asset portfolio of over 50,000 assets, 1,000 miles of track, and approximately 50 miles of tunnel. The MBTA’s TAM targets for SFY 2019 represent a snapshot of the MBTA’s assets as of October 1, 2018. The data on which these targets were based represents 60 percent of the MBTA’s total asset inventory. FTA has allowed transit agencies several years to complete full inventories of all their assets. S. Silverberg stated that this data helps the MBTA identify projects that need to be addressed and is used to size investment programs and prioritize specific projects within those programs.

MBTA Rolling Stock and Equipment Targets

MBTA rolling stock consists of approximately 2,900 revenue vehicles. The baseline of MBTA revenue vehicles considered to be at or beyond useful age ranges from 23 percent to 30 percent, depending on the vehicle type. Targets have been set based on the anticipated receipt of new vehicles for the Green Line Extension and Orange Line, the removal of the lowest performing commuter rail locomotives, a program to replace paratransit vehicles, and other factors. S. Silverberg added that the while the target related to nonrevenue vehicles shows a trend in the undesired direction, this is mitigated by the fact that nonrevenue vehicles are replaced based on highest need, with snow removal and track repair vehicles replaced first. Many vehicles that are technically beyond the useful age by this measure are lower priorities for replacement and perform well for their purpose.

MBTA Facility Targets

FTA requires transit agencies to submit condition data for at least 25 percent of facilities in the first year of reporting to allow time for full condition assessments of all facilities. S. Silverberg noted that the SFY 2019 targets assumed the reopening of Wollaston Station, which will now likely take place in the next SFY. The MBTA is also pursuing roof replacements at 27 facilities, which are also reflected in the targets.

MBTA Infrastructure (Fixed Guideway) Targets

The guidance from FTA is to use track performance or the percentage of track with speed restrictions, as a proxy for SGR. S. Silverberg stated that, internally, the MBTA uses both track performance and condition when assessing SGR. Track defects, signal issues, construction and maintenance work, and extreme weather can all cause speed restrictions. S. Silverberg noted that significant track work causing speed restrictions is underway on the Green Line D Branch, Orange Line, and Red Lines.

CATA and MWRTA Targets
M. Scott reviewed rolling stock, equipment, and facility targets for CATA and MWRTA. M. Scott noted that while all of CATA’s trolleys are beyond the useful age by this measure, there is some expectation that they will be able to replace these in the outer years of the current TIP.

MPO staff recommends that the MPO establish the proposed updated set of TAM targets for the Boston region, which are based on the CATA, MBTA, and MWRTA SFY 2019 performance targets. MPO staff will incorporate these targets into the MPO’s TIP and LRTP in spring 2019. Transit agencies can submit proposed transit programs and projects for inclusion in future TIPs and the MPO can consider how these transit agency-proposed items might affect TAM targets. Agencies will report updated asset inventory, condition information, and SFY 2020 targets to NTD in fall/winter 2019, and the MPO will again consider updating MPO targets as necessary.


T. Teich asked how the MBTA chose facilities to include in the 25 percent assessment for facility targets. S. Silverberg stated that the MBTA focused on parking facilities because they are easier to assess in a short period of time than stations, which have more interdependent systems. For administrative and maintenance facilities, the MBTA focused on commuter rail and bus facilities because many of the bus facilities had been assessed during the creation of the MBTA’s Fleet and Facilities plan. T. Teich asked that the MBTA provide as much supporting information as possible on projects when they are presented to the MPO for inclusion in the TIP so that the MPO may make informed decisions.  

Laura Gilmore (Massport) asked about the usefulness of age-based measures for assessing rolling stock and equipment. S. Silverberg stated that while the FTA age-based measures must be used, on a day-to-day management basis, the MBTA primarily uses “mean miles between failure,” which more accurately describes the frequency with which certain vehicles are experiencing failures. S. Silverberg stated that age-based measures are useful for long-term capital planning because the MBTA can plan for regular purchasing to avoid making large purchases only when vehicles are beyond the useful life. S. Silverberg added that the MBTA also sets custom ULBs for specific non-revenue vehicles based on their frequency of use.


A motion to approve the proposed SFY 2019 TAM performance targets for the Boston Region MPO was made by MAPC (E. Bourassa) and seconded by the Advisory Council (T. Teich).

10.Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Update—Anne McGahan, MPO Staff

This item was postponed until the March 28, 2019, meeting.

11.Members Items

E. Bourassa announced that the Lower Mystic Regional Working Group held an event in Charlestown on March 14, 2019, to release its final report. The working group was organized by MassDOT to study and develop recommendations for transportation improvements in the areas of Boston, Everett, and Somerville centered on Sullivan Square. E. Bourassa encouraged members to review the report and suggested a presentation of report recommendations at a future MPO meeting.


A motion to adjourn was made by the MassDOT Highway Division (John Romano) and seconded by the City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department) (T. Kadzis). The motion carried.




and Alternates

At-Large City (City of Everett)

Jay Monty

At-Large City (City of Newton)

David Koses

At-Large Town (Town of Arlington)

Daniel Amstutz

At-Large Town (Town of Lexington)

Richard Canale

City of Boston (Boston Planning & Development Agency)

Jim Fitzgerald

City of Boston (Boston Transportation Department)

Tom Kadzis

Federal Highway Administration

Ken Miller

Amy Sullivan

Federal Transit Administration


Inner Core Committee (City of Somerville)

Tom Bent

Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)

David Mohler

MassDOT Highway Division

John Bechard

John Romano

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Samantha Silverberg

Massachusetts Port Authority

Laura Gilmore

MBTA Advisory Board

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Eric Bourassa

MetroWest Regional Collaborative (City of Framingham)

Dennis Giombetti

Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (Town of Bedford)

Rajitha Purimetla

North Shore Task Force (City of Beverly)

Aaron Clausen

North Suburban Planning Council (City of Woburn)

Tina Cassidy

Regional Transportation Advisory Council

Tegin Teich

South Shore Coalition (Town of Braintree)

South West Advisory Planning Committee (Town of Medway)

Three Rivers Interlocal Council (Town of Norwood/Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce)

Tom O’Rourke



Other Attendees


Jim Tozza

State Independent Living Council

Felicia Webb

Cape Ann Transportation Authority

Sarah Bradbury

Massachusetts Department of Transportation District 3

Phil Lemnios

Town of Hull

Yolanda Greaves

Ashland Board of Selectmen

Doug Small

Ashland Department of Public Works

Sara Scully

MetroWest Regional Transit Authority

Joy Glynn

MetroWest Regional Transit Authority

Tim Paris

Massachusetts Department of Transportation District 4

Alan Cloutier


Jeffrey Hull

Town of Wilmington

Paul Alunni

Town of Wilmington

Valerie Gingrich

Town of Wilmington

Constance Raphael

Massachusetts Department of Transportation District 4

John Mangiaratti

Town of Acton

Matthew Selby

Town of Acton

Paul Campbell

Town of Acton

David Daltorio

Town of Hopkinton

Matt Chase

VHB, Inc.

John Morgan

CHA Consulting, Inc./Town of Hull

Beth Suedmeyer

Town of Sudbury

Nick Lapointe

Fuss & O’Neill Inc.

Bryan K. Pounds

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Roger Fernandes

Town of Hingham

Representative Michael Soter

State Representative, Town of Bellingham

Frank Tramontozzi

City of Quincy

Len Simon

Sudbury Board of Selectmen

Sheila Page

Town of Lexington

Jamie Errickson

Town of Natick

Eric Johnson

City of Framingham

Alex Train

City of Chelsea

Steve Olanoff

TRIC Alternate

Max Huber

Massachusetts Department of Transportation Comms

Mayor Thomas M. McGee

City of Lynn


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Annette Demchur, Co-Interim Executive Director

Scott Peterson, Co-Interim Executive Director

Róisín Foley

Hiral Gandhi

Matt Genova

Alexandra (Ali) Kleyman

Michelle Scott



[1] Following the meeting, M. Genova updated the handout to note that Michael Jaillet (Town Administrator, Town of Westwood) attended an MPO meeting in December 2018 and submitted a letter advocating for the inclusion of this project in the MPO’s next LRTP, Destination 2040, and the FFYs 2020-24 TIP. This project costs more than $20 million and would need to be listed in the LRTP before being programmed in the TIP. MassDOT is the project proponent.

[2] At this time, Bryan Pounds (MassDOT) assumed the chair’s seat.