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Long-Range Transportation Plan 2024

Appendices

Boston Region MPO

 

 

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Contents

Appendix A: About the MPO
Appendix B: MPO Regulatory Framework
Appendix C: Public Engagement and Public Comment
Appendix D: Universe of Projects and Project Evaluations
Appendix E: Determination of Air Quality Conformity and Greenhouse Gas Analysis
Appendix F: Financial Report
Appendix G: Systems Performance Report
Appendix H: Transportation Equity Performance Report
Appendix I: Disparate Impact and Disproportionate Burden Policy

LRTP FFY 2024

 

 

 


 

Appendix A: About the MPO

Overview

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) planning area covers 97 municipalities from Boston north to Ipswich, south to Marshfield, and west to Interstate 495. Figure A-1 shows the map of the Boston Region MPO’s member municipalities.

 

Figure A-1

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Municipalities

 

A map showing the 97 cities and towns that make up the Boston Region, including the eight subregions communities are grouped into.

Source: Boston Region MPO.

 

The MPO’s board has 22 voting members. Several state agencies, regional organizations, and the City of Boston are permanent voting members, while 12 municipalities are elected as voting members for three-year terms. Eight municipal members represent each of the eight subregions of the Boston region, and there are four at-large municipal seats. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) participate on the MPO board as advisory (nonvoting) members. Figure A-2 shows MPO membership and the organization of the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS), which serves as staff to the MPO.

 

Figure A-2

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Member Structure

 

A chart illustrating the organization structure of the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, in addition to the membership of the MPO's Board

Source: Boston Region MPO.

 

Planning Documents

As part of its continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative (3C) planning process, the MPO regularly produces several planning and programming documents that describe MPO priorities and investments. These are collectively referred to as certification documents and are required for the MPO’s process to be certified as meeting federal requirements and, subsequently, to receive federal transportation funds. The three documents that comprise the certification documents are the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), and the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). In addition to producing these documents, the MPO must also establish and conduct an inclusive public participation process; comply with all federal Title VI, environmental justice, and nondiscrimination requirements; and maintain transportation models and data resources to support air quality conformity determination and long- and short-range planning work and initiatives. The following is a summary of each of the certification documents.

 

 

Voting Members

MassDOT was established under Chapter 25of the Acts of 2009, An Act Modernizing the Transportation Systems of the Commonwealth. MassDOT has four divisions: Highway, Rail and Transit, Aeronautics, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The MassDOT Board of Directors, composed of 11 members appointed by the governor, oversees all four divisions and MassDOT operations and works closely with the MBTA Board of Directors. The MassDOT Board of Directors was expanded to 11 members by the Legislature in 2015, a group of transportation leaders assembled to review structural problems with the MBTA and deliver recommendations for improvements. MassDOT has three seats on the MPO board, including seats for the Highway Division.

 

The MassDOT Highway Division has jurisdiction over the roadways, bridges, and tunnels that were overseen by the former Massachusetts Highway Department and Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. The Highway Division also has jurisdiction over many bridges and parkways that previously were under the authority of the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The Highway Division is responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of the Commonwealth’s state highways and bridges. It is also responsible for overseeing traffic safety and engineering activities for the state highway system. These activities include operating the Highway Operations Control Center to ensure safe road and travel conditions.

 

The MBTA, created in 1964, is a body politic and corporate, and a political subdivision of the Commonwealth. Under the provisions of Chapter 161A of the Massachusetts General Laws, it has the statutory responsibility within its district of operating the public transportation system in the Boston region, preparing the engineering and architectural designs for transit development projects, and constructing and operating transit development projects. The MBTA district comprises 176 communities, including all 97 cities and towns of the Boston Region MPO area.

 

The MBTA Advisory Board was created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1964 through the same legislation that created the MBTA. The Advisory Board consists of representatives of the 176 cities and towns that compose the MBTA’s service area. Cities are represented by either the city manager or mayor, and towns are represented by the chairperson of the board of selectmen. Specific responsibilities of the Advisory Board include reviewing and commenting on the MBTA’s long-range plan, the Program for Mass Transportation; proposed fare increases; the annual MBTA Capital Investment Program; the MBTA’s documentation of net operating investment per passenger; and the MBTA’s operating budget. The MBTA Advisory Board advocates for the transit needs of its member communities and the riding public.

 

Massport has the statutory responsibility under Chapter 465 of the Acts of 1956, as amended, for planning, constructing, owning, and operating such transportation and related facilities as may be necessary for developing and improving commerce in Boston and the surrounding metropolitan area. Massport owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, the Port of Boston’s Conley Terminal, Flynn Cruiseport Boston, Hanscom Field, Worcester Regional Airport, and various maritime and waterfront properties, including parks in the Boston neighborhoods of East Boston, South Boston, and Charlestown.

 

MAPC is the regional planning agency for the Boston region. It is composed of the chief executive officer (or a designee) of each of the cities and towns in the MAPC’s planning region, 21 gubernatorial appointees, and 12 ex-officio members. It has statutory responsibility for comprehensive regional planning in its region under Chapter 40B of the Massachusetts General Laws. It is the Boston Metropolitan Clearinghouse under Section 204 of the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966 and Title VI of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act of 1968. Also, its region has been designated an economic development district under Title IV of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, as amended. MAPC’s responsibilities for comprehensive planning encompass the areas of technical assistance to communities, transportation planning, and development of zoning, land use, demographic, and environmental studies. MAPC activities that are funded with federal metropolitan transportation planning dollars are documented in the Boston Region MPO’s UPWP.

 

The City of Boston, six elected cities (currently Beverly, BurlingtonEverett, Framingham, Newton, and Somerville), and six elected towns (currently Acton, Arlington, Brookline, Hull, Medway, and Norwood) represent the 97 municipalities in the Boston Region MPO area. The City of Boston is a permanent MPO member and has two seats. There is one elected municipal seat for each of the eight MAPC subregions and four seats for at-large elected municipalities (two cities and two towns). The elected at-large municipalities serve staggered three-year terms, as do the eight municipalities representing the MAPC subregions.

 

The Regional Transportation Advisory Council, the MPO’s citizen advisory group, provides the opportunity for transportation-related organizations, non-MPO member agencies, and municipal representatives to become actively involved in the decision-making processes of the MPO as it develops plans and prioritizes the implementation of transportation projects in the region. The Advisory Council reviews, comments on, and makes recommendations regarding certification documents. It also serves as a forum for providing information on transportation topics in the region, identifying issues, advocating for ways to address the region’s transportation needs, and generating interest among members of the general public in the work of the MPO.

 

Nonvoting Members

FHWA and FTA participate in the Boston Region MPO in an advisory (nonvoting) capacity, reviewing the LRTP, TIP, and UPWP, and other facets of the MPO’s planning process to ensure compliance with federal planning and programming requirements. These two agencies oversee the highway and transit programs, respectively, of the United States Department of Transportation under the provisions of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other pertine

 

 

 

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Appendix B: MPO Regulatory Framework

 

This appendix contains detailed background on the regulatory documents, legislation, and guidance that shape the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) transportation planning process.

 

Introduction

The Boston Region MPO is charged with executing its planning activities in line with federal and state regulatory guidance. Maintaining compliance with these regulations allows the MPO to directly support the work of these critical partners and ensures its continued role in helping the region move closer to achieving federal, state, and regional transportation goals. This appendix describes all of the regulations, policies, and guidance taken into consideration by the MPO during development of the certification documents and other core work the MPO will undertake during federal fiscal year (FFY) 2024.

 

Federal Regulations and Guidance

The MPO’s planning processes are guided by provisions in federal transportation authorization bills, which are codified in federal statutes and supported by guidance from federal agencies. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), signed into law on November 15, 2021, replaced the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act as the nation’s five-year surface transportation bill, and covers FFYs 2022–26. This section describes new provisions established in the BIL as well as items established under previous bills, such as the FAST Act.

 

Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act: National Goals

The purpose of the national transportation goals, outlined in Title 23, section 150, of the United States Code (23 USC § 150), is to increase the accountability and transparency of the Federal-Aid Highway Program and to improve decision-making through performance-based planning and programming. The national transportation goals include the following:

 

  1. Safety: Achieve significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads
  2. Infrastructure condition: Maintain the highway infrastructure asset system in a state of good repair
  3. Congestion reduction: Achieve significant reduction in congestion on the National Highway System
  4. System reliability: Improve efficiency of the surface transportation system
  5. Freight movement and economic vitality: Improve the national freight network, strengthen the ability of rural communities to access national and international trade markets, and support regional economic development
  6. Environmental sustainability: Enhance performance of the transportation system while protecting and enhancing the natural environment
  7. Reduced project delivery delays: Reduce project costs, promote jobs and the economy, and expedite movement of people and goods by accelerating project completion by eliminating delays in the project development and delivery process, including by reducing regulatory burdens and improving agencies’ work practices

 

The Boston Region MPO has incorporated these national goals, where practicable, into its vision, goals, and objectives, which provide a framework for the MPO’s planning processes. More information about the MPO’s vision, goals, and objectives is included in Chapter 3.

 

FAST Act: Planning Factors

The MPO gives specific consideration to the federal planning factors, described in Title 23, section 134, of the US Code (23 USC § 134), when developing all documents that program federal transportation funds. In accordance with the legislation, studies and strategies undertaken by the MPO shall

 

  1. Support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, especially by enabling global competition, productivity, and efficiency
  2. Increase the safety of the transportation system for all motorized and nonmotorized users
  3. Increase the ability of the transportation system to support homeland security and to safeguard the personal security of all motorized and nonmotorized users
  4. Increase accessibility and mobility of people and freight
  5. Protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, improve quality of life, and promote consistency between transportation improvements and state and local planned growth and economic development patterns
  6. Enhance integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight
  7. Promote efficient system management and operation
  8. Emphasize preservation of the existing transportation system
  9. Improve the resiliency and reliability of the transportation system and reduce or mitigate stormwater impacts of surface transportation
  10. Enhance travel and tourism

 

FAST Act: Performance-Based Planning and Programming

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), in consultation with states, MPOs, and other stakeholders, established performance measures relevant to the national goals established in the FAST Act. These performance topic areas include roadway safety, transit system safety, National Highway System (NHS) bridge and pavement condition, transit asset condition, NHS reliability for both passenger and freight travel, traffic congestion, and on-road mobile source emissions. The FAST Act and related federal rulemakings require states, MPOs, and public transportation operators to follow performance-based planning and programming practices—such as setting targets—to ensure that transportation investments support progress toward these goals. See Appendix G for more information about how the MPO has and will continue to conduct performance-based planning and programming.

 

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL): Planning Emphasis Areas

On December 30, 2021, the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration jointly issued updated planning emphasis areas for use in MPOs’ transportation planning process, following the enactment of the BIL. Those planning emphasis areas include the following:

 

  1. Tackling the Climate Crisis—Transition to a Clean Energy, Resilient Future: Ensure that transportation plans and infrastructure investments help achieve the national greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals of 50–52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, and net-zero emissions by 2050, and increase resilience to extreme weather events and other disasters resulting from the increasing effects of climate change.
  2. Equity and Justice40 in Transportation Planning: Ensure public involvement in the planning process and that plans and strategies reflect various perspectives, concerns, and priorities from impacted areas. The Justice40 initiative works toward the goal of having at least 40 percent of the benefits of federal transportation grants, programs, and initiatives flow to disadvantaged communities.
  3. Complete Streets: Review current policies, rules, and procedures to determine their impact on safety for all road users. This effort should work to include provisions for safety in future transportation infrastructure, particularly for those outside automobiles.
  4. Public Involvement: Increase meaningful public involvement in transportation planning by integrating virtual public involvement tools into the overall public involvement approach while ensuring continued public participation by individuals without access to computers and mobile devices.
  5. Strategic Highway Network (STRAHNET)/US Department of Defense (DOD) Coordination: Coordinate with representatives from DOD in the transportation planning and project programming process on infrastructure needs for STRAHNET routes and other public roads that connect to DOD facilities.
  6. Federal Land Management Agency (FLMA) Coordination: Coordinate with FLMAs in the transportation planning and project programming process on infrastructure and connectivity needs related to access routes and other public roads and transportation services that connect to Federal lands.
  7. Planning and Environment Linkages: Use a collaborative and integrated approach to transportation decision-making that considers environmental, community, and economic goals early in the transportation planning process, and use the information, analysis, and products developed during planning to inform the environmental review process.
  8. Data in Transportation Planning: Incorporate data sharing and consideration into the transportation planning process.

 

1990 Clean Air Act Amendments

The Clean Air Act, most recently amended in 1990, forms the basis of the United States’ air pollution control policy. The act identifies air quality standards, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designates geographic areas as attainment (in compliance) or nonattainment (not in compliance) areas with respect to these standards. If air quality in a nonattainment area improves such that it meets EPA standards, the EPA may redesignate that area as being a maintenance area for a 20-year period to ensure that the standard is maintained in that area.

 

The conformity provisions of the Clean Air Act “require that those areas that have poor air quality, or had it in the past, should examine the long-term air quality impacts of their transportation system and ensure its compatibility with the area’s clean air goals.” Agencies responsible for Clean Air Act requirements for nonattainment and maintenance areas must conduct air quality conformity determinations, which are demonstrations that transportation plans, programs, and projects addressing that area are consistent with a State Implementation Plan (SIP) for attaining air quality standards.

 

Air quality conformity determinations must be performed for capital improvement projects that receive federal funding and for those that are considered regionally significant, regardless of the funding source. These determinations must show that projects in the MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) will not cause or contribute to any new air quality violations; will not increase the frequency or severity of any existing air quality violations in any area; and will not delay the timely attainment of air quality standards in any area. The policy, criteria, and procedures for demonstrating air quality conformity in the Boston region were established in Title 40, parts 51 and 53, of the Code of Federal Regulations (40. C.F.R. 51, 40 C.F.R. 53).

 

On April 1, 1996, the EPA classified the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Quincy, Revere, and Somerville as in attainment for carbon monoxide (CO) emissions. Subsequently, the Commonwealth established a CO maintenance plan through the Massachusetts SIP process to ensure that emission levels did not increase. While the maintenance plan was in effect, past TIPs and LRTPs included an air quality conformity analysis for these communities. As of April 1, 2016, the 20-year maintenance period for this maintenance area expired and transportation conformity is no longer required for carbon monoxide in these communities. This ruling is documented in a letter from the EPA dated May 12, 2016.

 

On April 22, 2002, the EPA classified the City of Waltham as being in attainment for CO emissions with an EPA-approved limited-maintenance plan. In areas that have approved limited-maintenance plans, federal actions requiring conformity determinations under the EPA’s transportation conformity rule are considered to satisfy the conformity test. The MPO is not required to perform a modeling analysis for a conformity determination for carbon monoxide, but it has been required to provide a status report on the timely implementation of projects and programs that will reduce emissions from transportation sources—so-called transportation control measures—which are included in the Massachusetts SIP. In April 2022, the EPA issued a letter explaining that the carbon monoxide limited maintenance area in Waltham has expired. Therefore, the MPO is no longer required to demonstrate transportation conformity for this area, but the rest of the maintenance plan requirements, however, continue to apply, in accordance with the SIP.

 

On February 16, 2018, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued a decision in South Coast Air Quality Management District v. EPA, which struck down portions of the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) SIP Requirements Rule concerning the ozone NAAQS. Those portions of the SIP Requirements Rule included transportation conformity requirements associated with the EPA’s revocation of the 1997 ozone NAAQS. Massachusetts was designated as an attainment area in accord with the 2008 ozone NAAQS but as a nonattainment or maintenance area as relates to the 1997 ozone NAAQS. As a result of this court ruling, MPOs in Massachusetts must once again demonstrate conformity for ozone when developing LRTPs and TIPs.

 

MPOs must also perform conformity determinations if transportation control measures (TCM) are in effect in the region. TCMs are strategies that reduce transportation-related air pollution and fuel use by reducing vehicle-miles traveled and improving roadway operations. The Massachusetts SIP identifies TCMs in the Boston region. SIP-identified TCMs are federally enforceable and projects that address the identified air quality issues must be given first priority when federal transportation dollars are spent. Examples of TCMs that were programmed in previous TIPs include rapid-transit and commuter-rail extension programs (such as the Green Line Extension in Cambridge, Medford, and Somerville, and the Fairmount Line improvements in Boston), parking-freeze programs in Boston and Cambridge, statewide rideshare programs, park-and-ride facilities, residential parking-sticker programs, and the operation of high-occupancy-vehicle lanes.

 

In addition to reporting on the pollutants identified in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, the MPOs in Massachusetts are also required to perform air quality analyses for carbon dioxide as part of the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) (see below).

 

Nondiscrimination Mandates

The Boston Region MPO complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Executive Order 12898—Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-income Populations (EJ EO), and other federal and state nondiscrimination statutes and regulations in all programs and activities it conducts. Per federal and state law, the MPO does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin (including limited-English proficiency), religion, creed, gender, ancestry, ethnicity, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran’s status, or background. The MPO strives to provide meaningful opportunities for participation of all persons in the region, including those protected by Title VI, the ADA, the EJ EO, and other nondiscrimination mandates.

 

The MPO also assesses the likely benefits and adverse effects of transportation projects on equity populations (populations covered by federal regulations, as identified in the MPO’s Transportation Equity program) when deciding which projects to fund. This is done through the MPO’s project selection criteria. MPO staff also evaluate the projects that are selected for funding, in the aggregate, to determine their overall impacts and whether they improve transportation outcomes for equity populations. The major federal requirements pertaining to nondiscrimination are discussed below.

 

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that no person be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin, under any program or activity provided by an agency receiving federal financial assistance. Executive Order 13166—Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency, dated August 11, 2000, extends Title VI protections to people who, as a result of their nationality, have limited English proficiency. Specifically, it calls for improved access to federally assisted programs and activities, and it requires MPOs to develop and implement a system through which people with limited English proficiency can meaningfully participate in the transportation planning process. This requirement includes the development of a Language Assistance Plan that documents the organization’s process for providing meaningful language access to people with limited English proficiency who access their services and programs.

 

Environmental Justice Executive Order

Executive Order 12898, dated February 11, 1994, requires each federal agency to advance environmental justice by identifying and addressing any disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects, including interrelated social and economic effects, of its programs, policies, and activities on minority and low-income populations.

 

On April 15, 1997, the USDOT issued its Final Order to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations. Among other provisions, this order requires programming and planning activities to

 

 

The 1997 Final Order was updated in 2012 with USDOT Order 5610.2(a), which provided clarification while maintaining the original framework and procedures.

 

Americans with Disabilities Act

Title III of the ADA “prohibits states, MPOs, and other public entities from discriminating on the basis of disability in the entities’ services, programs, or activities,” and requires all transportation projects, plans, and programs to be accessible to people with disabilities. Therefore, MPOs must consider the mobility needs of people with disabilities when programming federal funding for studies and capital projects. MPO-sponsored meetings must also be held in accessible venues and be conducted in a manner that provides for accessibility. Also, MPO materials must be made available in accessible formats.

 

Other Nondiscrimination Mandates

The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. In addition, the Rehabilitation Act of 1975, and Title 23, section 324, of the US Code (23 USC § 324) prohibit discrimination based on sex.

 

State Guidance and Priorities

Much of the MPO’s work focuses on encouraging mode shift and diminishing GHG emissions through improving transit service, enhancing bicycle and pedestrian networks, and studying emerging transportation technologies. All of this work helps the Boston region contribute to statewide progress toward the priorities discussed in this section.

 

Beyond Mobility

Beyond Mobility, the Massachusetts 2050 Transportation Plan, is a planning process that will result in a blueprint for guiding transportation decision-making and investments in Massachusetts in a way that advances MassDOT’s goals and maximizes the equity and resiliency of the transportation system. MPO staff continue to coordinate with MassDOT staff so that Destination 2050 aligns with Beyond Mobility.

 

Choices for Stewardship: Recommendations to Meet the Transportation Future

The Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth—established by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Executive Order 579—published Choices for Stewardship in 2019. This report makes 18 recommendations across the following five thematic categories to adapt the transportation system in the Commonwealth to emerging needs:

 

  1. Modernize existing transportation assets to move more people
  2. Create a mobility infrastructure to capitalize on emerging transportation technology and behavior trends
  3. Reduce transportation-related GHG emissions and improve the climate resiliency of the transportation network
  4. Coordinate land use, housing, economic development, and transportation policy
  5. Alter current governance structures to better manage emerging and anticipated transportation trends

 

Beyond Mobility will build upon the Commission report’s recommendations. The Boston Region MPO supports these statewide goals by conducting planning work and making investment decisions that complement MassDOT’s efforts and reflect the evolving needs of the transportation system in the region.

 

Massachusetts Strategic Highway Safety Plan

The Massachusetts 2023 Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) identifies the state’s key safety needs and guides investment decisions to achieve significant reductions in highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. The SHSP establishes statewide safety goals and objectives and key safety emphasis areas, and it draws on the strengths of all highway safety partners in the Commonwealth to align and leverage resources to address the state’s safety challenges collectively. The Boston Region MPO considers SHSP goals, emphasis areas, and strategies when developing its plans, programs, and activities.

 

Massachusetts Transportation Asset Management Plan

The Massachusetts Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP) is a risk-based asset management plan for the bridges and pavement that are in the NHS inventory. The plan describes the condition of these assets, identifies assets that are particularly vulnerable following declared emergencies such as extreme weather, and discusses MassDOT’s financial plan and risk management strategy for these assets. The Boston Region MPO considers MassDOT TAMP goals, targets, and strategies when developing its plans, programs, and activities.

 

MassDOT Modal Plans

In 2017, MassDOT finalized the Massachusetts Freight Plan, which defines the short- and long-term vision for the Commonwealth’s freight transportation system. In 2018, MassDOT released the related Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Rail Plan, which outlines short- and long-term investment strategies for Massachusetts’ freight and passenger rail systems (excluding the commuter rail system). In 2019, MassDOT released the Massachusetts Bicycle Transportation Plan and the Massachusetts Pedestrian Transportation Plan, both of which define roadmaps, initiatives, and action plans to improve bicycle and pedestrian transportation in the Commonwealth. These plans were updated in 2021 to reflect new investments in bicycle and pedestrian projects made by MassDOT since their release. The MPO considers the findings and strategies of MassDOT’s modal plans when conducting its planning, including through its Freight Planning Support and Bicycle/Pedestrian Support Activities programs.

 

Global Warming Solutions Act

The GWSA makes Massachusetts a leader in setting aggressive and enforceable GHG reduction targets and implementing policies and initiatives to achieve these targets. In keeping with this law, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), in consultation with other state agencies and the public, developed the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020. This implementation plan, released on December 29, 2010 (and updated in 2015), establishes the following targets for overall statewide GHG emission reductions:

 

 

In 2018, EEA published its GWSA 10-year Progress Report and the GHG Inventory estimated that 2018 GHG emissions were 22 percent below the 1990 baseline level.

 

MassDOT fulfills its responsibilities, defined in the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020, through a policy directive that sets three principal objectives:

 

  1. To reduce GHG emissions by reducing emissions from construction and operations, using more efficient fleets, implementing travel demand management programs, encouraging eco-driving, and providing mitigation for development projects
  2. To promote healthy transportation modes by improving pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit infrastructure and operations
  3. To support smart growth development by making transportation investments that enable denser, smart growth development patterns that can support reduced GHG emissions

 

In January 2015, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection amended Title 310, section 7.00, of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (310 CMR 60.05), Global Warming Solutions Act Requirements for the Transportation Sector and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, which was subsequently amended in August 2017. This regulation places a range of obligations on MassDOT and MPOs to support achievement of the Commonwealth’s climate change goals through the programming of transportation funds. For example, MPOs must use GHG impact as a selection criterion when they review projects to be programmed in their TIPs, and they must evaluate and report the GHG emissions impacts of transportation projects in LRTPs and TIPs.

 

The Commonwealth’s 10 MPOs (and three non-metropolitan planning regions) are integrally involved in supporting the GHG reductions mandated under the GWSA. The MPOs seek to realize these objectives by prioritizing projects in the LRTP and TIP that will help reduce emissions from the transportation sector. The Boston Region MPO uses its TIP project evaluation criteria to score projects based on their GHG emissions impacts, multimodal Complete Streets accommodations, and ability to support smart growth development. Tracking and evaluating GHG emissions by project will enable the MPOs to anticipate GHG impacts of planned and programmed projects. See Appendix E for more details related to how the MPO conducts GHG monitoring and evaluation.

 

Healthy Transportation Policy Initiatives

On September 9, 2013, MassDOT passed the Healthy Transportation Policy Directive to formalize its commitment to implementing and maintaining transportation networks that allow for various mode choices. This directive will ensure that all MassDOT projects are designed and implemented in ways that provide all customers with access to safe and comfortable walking, bicycling, and transit options.

 

In November 2015, MassDOT released the Separated Bike Lane Planning & Design Guide. This guide represents the next step in MassDOT’s continuing commitment to Complete Streets, sustainable transportation, and the creation of more safe and convenient transportation options for Massachusetts residents. This guide may be used by project planners and designers as a resource for considering, evaluating, and designing separated bike lanes as part of a Complete Streets approach.

 

In Destination 2050, the Boston Region MPO has continued to use investment programs—particularly its Complete Streets and Bicycle Network and Pedestrian Connections programs—that support the implementation of Complete Streets projects. In the Unified Planning Work Program, the MPO budgets to support these projects, such as the MPO’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Support Activities program, corridor studies undertaken by MPO staff to make conceptual recommendations for Complete Streets treatments, and various discrete studies aimed at improving pedestrian and bicycle accommodations.

 

Congestion in the Commonwealth 2019

MassDOT developed the Congestion in the Commonwealth 2019 report to identify specific causes of and impacts from traffic congestion on the NHS. The report also made recommendations for reducing congestion, including addressing local and regional bottlenecks, redesigning bus networks within the systems operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and the other regional transit authorities, increasing MBTA capacity, and investigating congestion pricing mechanisms such as managed lanes. These recommendations guide multiple new efforts within MassDOT and the MBTA and are actively considered by the Boston Region MPO when making planning and investment decisions.

 

Regional Guidance and Priorities

 

The MBTA’s Program for Mass Transportation

The Program for Mass Transportation (PMT) is the MBTA’s long-range capital planning document. It defines a 25-year vision for public transportation in eastern Massachusetts. The MBTA’s enabling legislation requires it to update the PMT every five years and to implement the policies and priorities outlined in it through the annual Capital Investment Plan (CIP). MassDOT’s Office of Transportation Planning will lead the process for updating the 2024 PMT.

 

MassDOT and the MBTA released the most recent PMT, Focus40, in 2019. Focus40 aims to position the MBTA to meet the transit needs of the Greater Boston region through 2040. Complemented by the MBTA’s Strategic Plan and other internal and external policy and planning initiatives, Focus40 serves as a comprehensive plan guiding all capital planning initiatives at the MBTA. These initiatives include the Rail Vision plan, which will inform the vision for the future of the MBTA’s commuter rail system; the Bus Network Redesign (formerly the Better Bus Project), the plan to re-envision and improve the MBTA’s bus network; and other plans. The Boston Region MPO continues to monitor the status of Focus40 and related MBTA modal plans to inform its decision-making about transit capital investments, which are incorporated in the TIP and LRTP.

 

MetroCommon 2050

MetroCommon 2050, which was developed by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and adopted in 2021, is Greater Boston’s regional land use and policy plan. MetroCommon 2050 builds off of MAPC’s previous plan, MetroFuture (adopted in 2008), and includes an updated set of strategies for achieving sustainable growth and equitable prosperity in the region. The MPO considers MetroCommon 2050’s goals, objectives, and strategies in its planning and activities. MetroCommon 2050 also serves as the foundation for land use projections in Destination 2050.

 

The Boston Region MPO’s Congestion Management Process

The purpose of the Congestion Management Process (CMP) is to monitor and analyze the mobility of people using transportation facilities and services, develop strategies for managing congestion based on the results of traffic monitoring, and move those strategies into the implementation stage by providing decision-makers in the region with information and recommendations for improving the transportation system’s performance. The CMP monitors roadways, transit, and park-and-ride facilities in the Boston region for safety, congestion, and mobility, and identifies problem locations.

 

Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan

Every four years, the Boston Region MPO completes a Coordinated Public Transit–Human Services Transportation Plan (CPT–HST), in coordination with the development of the LRTP. The CPT–HST supports improved coordination of transportation for seniors and people with disabilities in the Boston region. This plan also guides transportation providers in the Boston region who are developing proposals to request funding from the Federal Transit Administration’s Section 5310 Program. To be eligible for funding, a proposal must meet a need identified in the CPT–HST. The CPT–HST contains information about

 

 

The MPO adopted its current CPT–HST in 2023.

 

MBTA and Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Transit Asset Management Plans

The MBTA and the region’s RTAs—the Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA) and the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA)—are responsible for producing transit asset management plans that describe their asset inventories and the condition of these assets, strategies, and priorities for improving the state of good repair of these assets. The Boston Region MPO considers goals and priorities established in these plans when developing its plans, programs, and activities.

 

MBTA and RTA Public Transit Agency Safety Plans

The MBTA, CATA, and MWRTA are required to create and annually update Public Transit Agency Safety Plans that describe their approaches for implementing Safety Management Systems on their transit systems. The Boston Region MPO considers goals, targets, and priorities established in these plans when developing its plans, programs, and activities.

 

State and Regional COVID-19 Adaptations

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically shifted the way many people in the Boston region interact with the regional transportation system. The pandemic’s effect on everyday life has had short-term impacts on the system and how people travel, and it may have lasting effects. State and regional partners have advanced immediate changes in the transportation network in response to the situation brought about by the pandemic. Some of the changes may become permanent, such as the expansion of bicycle, bus, sidewalk, and plaza networks, and a reduced emphasis on traditional work trips. As the region recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the long-term effects become apparent, state and regional partners’ guidance and priorities are likely to be adjusted.

 

 

 

 

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Appendix C: Public Engagement and Public Comment

Introduction

Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) staff conducted engagement activities throughout the development of Destination 2050. Engagement began in fall 2019 with the kick-off of the Needs Assessment and continued through the 30-day public comment period for the draft Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) in June and July 2023.

 

This appendix summarizes the engagement activities and public input received during the different phases of LRTP development: Needs Assessment; vision, goals, and objectives revision; and project and program selection. It concludes with the comments received during the formal 30-day public comment period for the draft LRTP.

 

The MPO engaged a variety of stakeholders in the development of Destination 2050:

 

 

MPO staff used a variety of communication and engagement methods and channels to involve the public and solicit feedback:

 

 

Table C-1 provides a summary of the meetings, events, and content used in the Destination 2050 public engagement process. Staff also considered feedback and comments from engagement activities for other MPO programs and projects between 2019 and 2023 as input for the development of Destination 2050. Staff sought to include diverse and regionally representative perspectives by emphasizing engagement and relationship-building with historically underrepresented communities, and this input is reflected throughout Destination 2050. Through virtual and in-person engagement, MPO staff received more than 2,000 comments, ideas, and survey responses while developing Destination 2050.

 

Table C-1
Summary of Communication and Engagement Activities Used in the Development of Destination 2050

Type of Engagement

Date

Description

MPO meetings

2019–23

Presented periodic updates about the development of Destination 2050 in the MPO’s largest public forum

Regional Transportation Advisory Council meetings

2021–23

Held conversations, workshops, and activities to gather input on transportation needs, priorities, vision, goals, objectives, programs, and projects; provided periodic updates on Destination 2050 development

MAPC subregional group meetings

2020–22

Gathered input on transportation needs and priorities, and vision, goals, and objectives

Focus groups

2021

Collected input for Big Ideas scenario planning, including discussing and gathering feedback on driving forces, uncertainties, and proposed strategies

Interviews 

2021–22

Interviewed stakeholders to gather input on needs, vision, goals, objectives, programs, and projects; and provided updates

Transit Working Group Coffee Chats

2021–22

Discussed and gathered feedback on transit-related topics 

Stakeholder group meetings

2019–23

Gathered input on needs, vision, goals, objectives, programs, and projects from community and advocacy groups

Partner events

2019–23

Co-hosted meetings and events with other planning organizations to gather input on needs, vision, goals, objectives, programs, and projects

Open houses

2019–23

Shared information about MPO programs and gathered input on needs, vision, goals, objectives, programs, and projects

Email content

2019–23

Advertised opportunities for engagement

Social media content

2019–23

Advertised opportunities for engagement; engaged transportation advocates, community groups, and members of the public

Surveys 

2019–23

Published surveys seeking input on transportation needs, vision, goals, objectives, and programs and projects, including surveys on the following topics:

  • Destination 2050 vision, goals, and objectives
  • Destination 2050 investment priorities
  • Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan
  • TIP criteria update
  • Exploring Resiliency in MPO Corridor and Intersection Studies
  • FFYs 2021–24 UPWP study ideas
  • Corridor and intersection safety and operations studies

FFY = federal fiscal year. MPO = metropolitan planning organization. TIP = Transportation Improvement Program. UPWP = Unified Planning Work Program.

Source: Boston Region MPO.

 

 

 

Engagement during destination 2050 development

           

Staff engaged stakeholders in exploratory scenario planning to inform the MPO’s consideration of future conditions in Destination 2050 through a series of focus groups in 2021, during which 53 participants from over 40 organizations in the Boston region identified driving forces they believe will shape transportation in the region, and strategies to respond to future conditions. Participants represented a wide range of stakeholder types and areas of expertise, including organizations that work with underrepresented communities. 

 

The “big ideas” that stakeholders identified through these focus groups included the driving forces of climate change; new technologies and data; demographic, economic, and land use trends; consumer preferences, and policymaking. Strategies to address these forces included adaptation and emissions reduction; partnership and relationship building; flexibility; research and coordination with other areas of planning and policymaking; communications and engagement; and the equitable expansion of transportation options throughout the region. 

 

More detailed information about this exploratory scenario planning engagement process and participants’ responses is available in the Big Ideas StoryMap.

 

            Destination 2050 Needs Assessment Engagement

The development of the Needs Assessment was informed by extensive engagement with stakeholders throughout the region. During the four-year development process for Destination 2050, MPO staff collected feedback about transportation needs from municipalities, transportation providers, advocates and community organizations, and members of the general public through a variety of engagement activities including focus groups, subregional meetings, public forums, and surveys. 

 

Staff conducted broad and continuous engagement to collect feedback for the Needs Assessment, tracking needs expressed by stakeholders during targeted LRTP engagement efforts as well as from conversations, activities, and events in other venues or contexts. Staff prioritized the inclusion of a diverse range of perspectives throughout the region, including disadvantaged and historically underrepresented communities, and used demographic data to target, shape, and analyze the effectiveness of strategies to support equitable engagement efforts. 

 

To collect feedback about transportation needs for Destination 2050, staff held a series of scenario planning focus groups (see Big Ideas for Scenario Planning above), which included sessions with interpretation and translated materials for communities with limited English proficiency; worked with municipal, agency, and advocacy partners to distribute surveys in seven languages; and held workshops and informational events at Advisory Council meetings and other public meetings. Throughout these engagement processes, staff built and deepened stakeholder relationships, helping to make MPO engagement more equitable and effective while laying the groundwork for ongoing efforts to hear and respond to the region’s transportation needs and priorities.

 

Input for the Needs Assessment was gathered from the following engagement activities:

 

 

            Destination 2050 Planning Framework Engagement

To inform the update of the MPO’s planning framework for Destination 2050, staff engaged the public about visions, goals, and objectives for the region’s transportation future. During the fall of 2022 and winter of 2023, staff met with MAPC subregional groups and held workshops with the Advisory Council and MPO board members to hear stakeholders’ thoughts on how well the Destination 2040 planning framework aligned with their vision and goals and what updates and changes staff should pursue for the draft Destination 2050 vision, goals, and objectives. Feedback from these meetings and workshops informed significant updates to the Destination 2050 planning framework, including the integration of equity-oriented objectives across all goal areas, the addition of an engagement objective to the Transportation Equity goal, and the restructuring of several goal areas to reflect safety, mobility, and resilience priorities.

 

LRTP Vision and Priorities Survey

Staff primarily collected input for the Destination 2050 vision, goals, and objectives via a public survey that asked respondents to rank their transportation priorities, identify words and phrases that describe their ideal transportation system, and describe aspects of the Boston region’s transportation system that need to be improved. Staff publicized the survey across all general MPO communication channels and conducted extensive targeted outreach, adjusting outreach strategies based on live demographic and geographic response data to better engage underrepresented audiences. 

 

Staff received about 800 survey responses and about 675 responses to optional demographic questions at the end of the survey. A comparison of the demographic identification of survey respondents to the entire region’s demographics is shown in Figure C-1. Fifty-six percent of respondents gave a zip code associated with communities in the Inner Core, which is roughly consistent with the region’s population distribution. Distribution of gender, age, and household size was fairly even. Responses to a question about transportation mode use indicated that most respondents drove, either exclusively or in combination with other modes, while about 25 percent of respondents said they relied solely on transit or nonmotorized transportation.


 

 

Figure C-1
Demographics of Survey Respondents

This figure shows the demographics of survey respondents.

Note: This survey recorded responses from 743 people.

Source: Boston Region MPO.

 

The responses to survey questions about the Destination 2050 planning framework highlighted several overarching themes related to visions and priorities for the region’s transportation system:

 

 

 

Figure C-2 represents 743 responses to a survey question asking participants to suggest three words to describe their ideal transportation system. The size and shading of each word correlate to the frequency with which the word was used. Words that are larger and bolder in color were more commonly expressed. Words or phrases that were similar in meaning were aggregated.

 

Figure C-2
Words to Describe an Ideal Transportation System

This figure shows words that survey respondents used to describe their ideal transportation system.

Note: This survey recorded responses from 729 people.

Source: Boston Region MPO.

 

 

Figure C-3 shows 729 responses to an open-ended survey question asking participants to identify the most pressing transportation issues in the Boston region. Similar responses were aggregated and coded, and responses were categorized by mode and displayed in order of frequency.

 

Reliability was the top transportation challenge in the Boston region identified by survey respondents. Approximately one in four respondents called for improved reliability. Reliability was also often paired with other transportation challenges, such as frequency, safety, and speed. Among those who cited reliability in their response, more than half of them did not specify the mode of transportation where the issue manifests. Those who did, however, referred to delays and slow speeds of MBTA bus and rail rapid transit service.

 

Figure C-3
Transportation Challenges in the Boston Region

This figure shows survey responses regarding transportation challenges in the Boston region.

Note: This survey question recorded responses from 729 people.

Source: Boston Region MPO.

 

Other Engagement Activities

Other engagement activities during which staff discussed and gathered feedback on Destination 2050 vision, goals, and objectives included the following:

 

 

            Destination 2050 Programs and Projects Engagement

To inform the update of proposed LRTP investment programs and projects for Destination 2050, staff engaged stakeholders and members of the public on questions of their priorities for transportation system investments. During the spring of 2023, staff solicited comments and led discussions about investment priorities at MPO board and Advisory Council meetings, conducted interactive investment prioritization activities, and collected public input through an investment survey. Staff also received several comments and letters from project proponents and members of the public advocating for specific projects to be included in the Destination 2050 universe of projects.

 

Investment Programs

The Destination 2050 investment survey asked respondents to allocate 100 tokens to different types of transportation system improvements. The survey helped the MPO to understand how well respondents felt the proposed investment programs aligned with public priorities for different types of transportation system investments and how they aligned with the MPO’s vision and goals. Staff advertised the survey on the MPO website, social media, and in MPO email communications. Staff also shared the survey during meetings and engagement events, as well as directly with stakeholders and partners, receiving about 300 total responses. Figure C-4 illustrates the average allocation to each type of investment listed in the survey.


 

 

Figure C-4
Average Funding Allocation: Responses from Investment Programs Survey

 

This figure shows survey responses from the investment program survey.

Note: This survey question recorded responses from 299 people.

Source: Boston Region MPO.

 

More than 150 people responded to an optional write-in question about additional investment priorities, and other people gave additional comments during other engagement activities such as Advisory Council and stakeholder meetings. These comments highlighted several themes, including respondents’ strong prioritization of investments to support transit system modernization, reliability, and safety; support for investments in transportation system connectivity within and beyond the Boston region; support for investments in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and connections; and the necessity of making transportation investments that are equitable and proactively respond to climate forces. Stakeholders also submitted written and verbal comments about investment programs to staff during the MPO’s consideration of Destination 2050 investment programs, including several comments in support of the inclusion of a new bikeshare support program in Destination 2050.Figure C-5 illustrates the percent of funding the MPO ultimately allocated to each investment program in Destination 2050.


 

 

 

 

Table C-1

Funding Allocated to MPO Investment Programs in Destination 2050

Investment Program

Percentage Allocation, 202428 and 2034–50

Percentage Allocation, 202933

Funding Allocation, 20242050

Complete Streets

45%

30%

$2,130,828,621

Major Infrastructure

30%

47%

$1,643,425,636

Intersection Improvements

12%

10%

$584,554,172

Bicycle Network and Pedestrian Connections

5%

5%

$250,506,232

Transit Transformation

5%

5%

$250,506,232

Community Connections

2%

2%

$100,202,493

Bikeshare Support

1%

1%

$50,101,246

Total

 

 

$5,010,124,631

Note: Years are federal fiscal years

Source: Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

 

Capital Projects

During discussions about investment program sizing and project selection, the MPO received comment letters and heard comments from proponents and members of the public supporting the following projects:

 

            Additional Engagement for Destination 2050

            Engaging Organizations that Work with Seniors and People with Disabilities

Concurrently with the development of Destination 2050, MPO staff developed an updated Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan   (Coordinated Plan) with the participation of public, private, and nonprofit transportation representatives, human services providers, and members of the public. Staff collected input about unmet transportation needs as well as strategies and priorities for addressing those needs from organizations and stakeholders that work with and represent seniors and people with disabilities.

 

Engagement activities for the Coordinated Plan included the following:

 

Staff also collected information about human services transportation needs and priorities to include in the Coordinated Plan from other sources:

 

While the 2023 Coordinated Plan contains results in more detail, several overarching themes related to human services transportation needs, strategies and actions, and priorities were identified:

 

An additional priority staff identified was the inclusion of riders and other stakeholders in human services transportation planning, and a desire for more institutional support for regional collaboration. Through the development of the next Coordinated Plan, staff will continue to consider feedback and pursue conversations about the ideal role for the MPO in supporting regional human services transportation coordination. Information and input from the development of the 2023 Coordinated Plan was included throughout Destination 2050, including the Needs Assessment, planning framework, and investment programs.

 

            Engaging Environmental Stakeholders

Staff emphasized the inclusion of input from environmental organizations, advocates, institutions, and agencies in the development of Destination 2050 and consulted with these stakeholders on the resilience of the transportation system and equitable adaptation to climate forces affecting the region’s future. Engagement activities included the following:

 

 

Feedback gathered from this engagement was central to the development of the Needs Assessment and Destination 2050 vision, goals, and objectives, including the development of a new resilience goal area.

 

            Building Stakeholder Relationships

Building and strengthening relationships with advocacy and community organizations throughout the region was at the core of the engagement undertaken to support the development of Destination 2050, and it will be critical to the success and effectiveness of future engagement efforts. Throughout the development of Destination 2050, staff met regularly with several transportation advocacy organizations and continued to expand these touchpoints to ongoing MPO work. Engagement activities for Destination 2050 sought not just to collect public input, but also to build awareness about the MPO, capacity for public participation in transportation planning, and trust among the region’s communities, particularly those who are underrepresented in the planning process.

 

            Outreach Activities and Comments Received during the Formal Public Comment Period for Destination 2050


 

 

 

 

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Appendix D: Universe of Projects and Project Evaluations

 

            Universe of Projects

A central element of the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) is a list of regionally significant transportation projects selected by the MPO. In order to create that list, the MPO first created a universe of projects list that included all potential projects that could be considered for inclusion in Destination 2050. Those projects came from the following sources:

 

The Destination 2050 universe of projects is presented in four tables:

 

Table D-1
Destination 2040 Project Status

Municipality

Proponent/Source

Project

MassDOT ID

Design Status

Funding Status

Funding Agency

Cost Estimate

MAPC Subregion

MassDOT Highway District

Notes

Ashland

Ashland

Reconstruction of Pond Street

604123

Under construction

Funded FFY 2020

MPO

$19,667,628

MWRC

3

N/A

Boston

MassDOT

Roadway, Ceiling, Arch, and Wall Reconstruction and Other Control Systems in Sumner Tunnel

606476

Advertised for construction (6/26/2021)

Funded FFYs 2021–23

MPO, MassDOT

$136,190,450

ICC

6

N/A

Boston

Massport

Roadway Reconstruction–Cypher Street, E Street, and Fargo Street 

(includes Destination 2040 project named Cypher Street Extension)

608807

PS&E Received (as of 09/28/2022)

Funded with non-federal dollars

Massport

$20,287,865

ICC

6

This project likely does not meet MPO criteria for including this project in Destination 2050.

Boston

Boston

Reconstruction of Rutherford Avenue

606226

25% Package Received – Resubmission (as of 10/05/2020)

Funded FFYs 2026–27 in FFYs 2023–27 TIP

MPO

$176,570,936

ICC

6

Listed in Table 2. Baseline readiness scenario for FFYs 2024-28 TIP moves first year to FFY 2028.

Boston

MassDOT

Allston Multimodal Project

606475

PRC Approved (03/30/2018)

Funded in FFYs 2030–34 time band in Destination 2040

MassDOT

$675,500,000

ICC

6

Listed in Table 3. Likely to require elevated NEPA review.

Cambridge, Somerville, Medford

MBTA

Green Line Extension to College Avenue with Union Square Spur

1570

In service

Funded FFYs 2016–21

MPO, MassDOT, MBTA

$190,000,000
(MPO contribution)

ICC

6

N/A

Everett

Everett

Reconstruction of Ferry Street

607652

Under construction

Funded FFY 2021

MPO

$33,252,903

ICC

4

N/A

Framingham

Framingham

Intersection Improvements at Route 126 and Route 135/MBTA and CSX Railroad

606109

PRC Approved (05/13/2010)

Funded in FFYs 2030–34 and 2035–39 time bands in Destination 2040

MPO

$115,000,000

MWRC

3

Listed in Table 3.

Hopkinton, Westborough

MassDOT

Reconstruction of Interstate 495 and Interstate 90 Interchange

607977

Advertised for Construction (10/30/2021)

Funded in FFYs 2023–27 in FFYs 2023–27 TIP

MassDOT

$300,942,836

MWRC

3

Listed in Table 2.

Lexington

Lexington

Route 4/225 (Bedford Street) and Hartwell Avenue (Lexington)

TBD

Pre-PRC Approval

Funded in FFYs 2030–34 time band in Destination 2040

MPO

TBD

MAGIC

4

Listed in Table 4.

Lynn

Lynn

Reconstruction of Western Avenue

609246

PRC Approved (12/06/2018)

Funded in 2027 in FFYs 2023–27 TIP

MPO

$40,980,000

ICC

4

This project likely does not meet MPO criteria for including this project in Destination 2050.

Natick

MassDOT

Bridge Replacement, Route 27 (North Main Street) over Route 9 (Worcester Street), and Interchange Improvements

605313

25% Package Received – Resubmission (05/16/2022)

Funded in FFY 2024 in FFYS 2023–27 TIP

MassDOT

$75,677,350

MWRC

3

Listed in Table 2. Funded with CRRSAA Funds.

Newton, Needham

Newton, Needham

Reconstruction of Highland Avenue, Needham Street, and Charles River Bridge

606635

Under construction

Funded FFYs 2019–20

MPO

$26,205,992

ICC

6

N/A

Quincy

MassDOT

New connection from Burgin Parkway over the MBTA

606518

Construction complete

Funded with non-federal dollars

MassDOT

$9,156,557

ICC

6

N/A

Somerville

Somerville

McGrath Boulevard Construction

607981

PRC Approved (05/19/2014)

Funded in 2027 in FFYs 2023–27 TIP

MPO

$88,250,000

ICC

4

Listed in Table 2.

Walpole

Walpole

Reconstruction on Route 1A (Main Street)

602261

Under construction

Funded in FFY 2020

MPO

$19,790,904

TRIC

5

N/A

Watertown

Watertown

Rehabilitation of Mount Auburn Street (Route 16)

607777

75% Package Received (as of 10/18/2022)

Funded in 2027 in FFYs 2023–27 TIP

MPO

$27,899,345

ICC

6

This project likely does not meet MPO criteria for including this project in Destination 2050.

Woburn

Woburn

Bridge Replacement, New Boston Street over MBTA

604996

Under construction

Funded in FFY 2021

MPO

$23,549,743

NSPC

4

N/A

 

Note: Destination 2040 references two other projects that are funded in other MPOs' LRTPs: the Southborough and Westborough—Interstate 495 and Route 9 project in Southborough and Westborough and the South Coast Rail project.

CRRSAA = Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. FFY = federal fiscal year. ICC = Inner Core Committee. MAGIC = Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination. MAPC = Metropolitan Area Planning Council. MassDOT = Massachusetts Department of Transportation. MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. MPO = metropolitan planning organization. MWRC = MetroWest Regional Collaborative. N/A = not applicable. NSPC = North Suburban Planning Council. PRC = Project Review Committee. PS&E = Plans, Specifications, and Estimates. TBD = to be determined. TIP = Transportation Improvement Program. TRIC = Three Rivers Interlocal Council.

Source: Boston Region MPO staff.

 

 

 

Table D-2
LRTP-Relevant Roadway Projects in FFYs 2023–27 TIP

 

Municipality

Proponent/
Source

Project

Roadway (Federal) Functional Classification*

MassDOT ID

Design Status

MPO Investment Program

Current Program Year (in FFYs 2023–27 TIP)

Cost Estimate

MAPC Subregion

MassDOT Highway District

LRTP Status

Notes

Boston

Boston

Reconstruction of Rutherford Avenue

Principal Arterial – Other

606226

25% Package Received –  Resubmission 1 (as of 10/05/2020)

Major Infrastructure

2025–27

$176,570,937

ICC

6

In Destination 2040 (in FFYs 2020–24 and 2025–29 time bands)

Proposed for funding in FFYs 2027–30 per TIP Readiness Days.

Hopkinton, Westborough

MassDOT

Reconstruction of Interstate 495 and Interstate 90 Interchange

Interstate

607977

Advertised for construction (10/30/2021)

N/A

2023–27

$300,942,837

MWRC

3

In Destination 2040 (in FFYs 2020–24 time band)

Funded by MassDOT. Funded FFYs 2023–27 in FFYs 2023–27 TIP.

Natick

MassDOT

Bridge Replacement, Route 27 (North Main Street) over Route 9

Principal Arterial – Other

605313

25% Package Received – Resubmission 1 (as of 05/16/2022)

Major Infrastructure

2024

$75,677,350

MWRC

3

In Destination 2040 (in FFYs 2025–29 time band)

Funded with CRRSAA funds. Proposed Auxiliary lanes may affect roadway capacity.

Norwood

Norwood

Intersection Improvements at Route 1 and University Avenue/Everett Street

Principal Arterial – Other

605857

25% Package Received – Resubmission 1 (as of 01/05/2021)

Intersection Improvements

2025–26

$26,573,400

TRIC

5

N/A

Project changes capacity through the addition of travel lanes.

Somerville

Somerville

McGrath Boulevard Construction

Principal Arterial – Expressway

607981

PRC Approved (05/19/2014)

Major Infrastructure

2027

$88,250,000

ICC

4

In Destination 2040 (in FFYs 2025–29 and 2030–34 time bands)

Proposed for funding in FFYs 2027–30 per TIP Readiness Days.

Wrentham

Wrentham

Construction of Interstate 495/Route 1A Ramps

Interstate

603739

75% Package Comments to design engineer (as of 08/02/2022)

Major Infrastructure

2024

$20,117,638

SWAP

5

N/A

Proposed for funding in FFY 2024 per TIP Readiness Days.

 

* The federal functional classification listed above reflects the highest classification associated with roadways included in the project.

CRRSAA = Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. FFY = federal fiscal year. ICC = Inner Core Committee. LRTP = Long-Range Transportation Plan. MAPC = Metropolitan Area Planning Council. MassDOT = Massachusetts Department of Transportation. MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. MPO = metropolitan planning organization. MWRC = MetroWest Regional Collaborative. N/A = not applicable. NSPC = North Suburban Planning Council. PRC = Project Review Committee. SWAP = Southwest Advisory Planning Committee. TIP = Transportation Improvement Program. TRIC = Three Rivers Interlocal Council.

Source: Boston Region MPO Staff.

 

 

 

Table D-3
LRTP-Relevant MassDOT PRC-Approved Roadway Projects 

Municipality

Proponent/Source

Project

Roadway (Federal) Functional Classification*

MassDOT ID

Design Status

Potential MPO Investment Program

Proposed Program Year

Cost Estimate

MAPC Subregion

MassDOT Highway District

LRTP Status

Notes

Bellingham

Bellingham

Roadway Rehabilitation of Route 126 (Hartford Road), from 800 North of Interstate 495 NB off ramp to the Medway town line, including B-06-017

Principal Arterial/Other

612963

PRC Approved (9/15/2022)

Complete Streets

2027

$10,950,000

SWAP

3

N/A

Project impacts on roadway capacity to be determined.

Beverly

Beverly

Interchange Reconstruction at Route 128/Exit 19 at Brimbal Avenue (Phase II)

Principal Arterial – Expressway

607727

PRC Approved (2014)

Major Infrastructure

TBD

$23,000,000

NSTF

4

In Destination 2040 Project Universe (Active Highway Projects)

Project would expand the interchange and add ramps.

Boston

MassDOT

Allston Multimodal Project

Interstate

606475

PRC Approved (03/30/2018)

N/A

TBD

$675,500,000

ICC

6

Funded in FFYs 2030–34 time band in Destination 2040 (MassDOT-funded)

NEPA Review: Environmental Impact Statement. Advertising date depends on availability of funding and completion of permitting. Earliest construction likely FFYs 2026–33.

Boston

Boston

Bridge Preservation, Cambridge Street over MBTA

Principal Arterial – Other

612989

PRC Approved

(12/21/2022)

Complete Streets

2026

$15,400,000

ICC

6

N/A

Project may add roadway capacity.

Canton, Dedham, Norwood

MassDOT

Interchange Improvements at Interstate 95 / Interstate 93 / University Avenue / Interstate 95 Widening

Interstate

87790

25% submitted (7/25/2014)

Major Infrastructure

TBD

$202,205,994

TRIC

6

In Destination 2040 Project Universe (Active Highway Projects)

Project may add roadway capacity.

Concord

Concord

Reconstruction and Widening on Route 2, from Sandy Pond Road to Bridge over MBTA/B&M Railroad

Principal Arterial Other

608015

PRC approved (2014)

Major Infrastructure

TBD

$8,000,000

MAGIC

4

In Destination 2040 Project Universe (Active Highway Projects)

N/A

Concord

Concord

Improvements and Upgrades to Concord Rotary (Routes 2/2A/119)

Principal Arterial Other

602091

PRC Approved (02/25/1997)

Major Infrastructure

TBD

$103,931,250

MAGIC

4

In Destination 2040 Project Universe (Active Highway Projects)

N/A

Framingham

Framingham

Intersection Improvements at Route 126/Route 135/MBTA and CSX Railroad

Principal Arterial/Other

606109

PRC Approved 05/13/2010

Major Infrastructure

TBD

$115,000,000

MWRC

3

Funded in FFYs 2030–34 and 2035–39 time bands in Destination 2040 (MPO-funded)

Project impacts on roadway capacity to be determined.

Malden Revere,

MassDOT

Improvements at Route 1
NB (In Destination 2040, Improvements on Route 1 NB Add-A-Lane)

Principal Arterial – Expressway

610543

PRC approved (2019)

Major Infrastructure

2027

$7,210,000

ICC

4

In Destination 2040 Project Universe (Active Highway Projects)

N/A

Malden, Revere, Saugus

MassDOT

Reconstruction and Widening on Route 1, from Route 60 to Route 99

Principal Arterial – Expressway

605012

PRC Approved (09/10/2007)

Major Infrastructure

TBD

$172,500,000

ICC

4

In Destination 2040 Project Universe (Active Highway Projects)

N/A

Randolph

Randolph

Interstate 93/Route 24 Interchange

Interstate

610540

PRC Approved (08/15/2019)

Major Infrastructure

TBD

$14,420,700

TRIC

6

N/A

Project may include capacity adding elements. However, per District 6, This specific project has not seen any advancement since initiation. Some elements of the scope have been implemented through interim improvements. Project may be deactivated.

Revere, Saugus

Revere, Saugus

Roadway Widening on Route 1 North (Phase 2)

Principal Arterial – Expressway

611999

PRC approved (2021)

Major Infrastructure

TBD

$2,397,600

ICC

4

In Destination 2040 Project Universe (Active Highway Projects)

N/A

Salem

MassDOT

Reconstruction of Bridge Street, from Flint Street to Washington Street

Principal Arterial Other

612990

25% submitted (8/20/2004)

Complete Streets

TBD

$24,810,211

NSTF

4

In Destination 2040 Project Universe (Active Highway Projects)

Project would add a separated bi-directional path along the north side of the roadway.

Woburn, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield

MassDOT

Interchange Improvements to Interstate 93/Interstate 95

Interstate

605605

PRC-Approved 05/14/2009

Major Infrastructure

TBD

$276,708,768

NSPC

4

In Destination 2040 Project Universe (Active Highway Projects)

Project may add roadway capacity.

 

* The federal functional classification listed above reflects the highest classification associated with roadways included in the project.

FFY = federal fiscal year. ICC = Inner Core Committee. LRTP = Long-Range Transportation Plan. MAGIC = Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination. MAPC = Metropolitan Area Planning Council. MassDOT = Massachusetts Department of Transportation. MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. MPO = metropolitan planning organization. MWRC = MetroWest Regional Collaborative. N/A = not applicable. NEPA = National Environmental Policy Act. NSPC = North Suburban Planning Council. PRC = Project Review Committee. SWAP = Southwest Advisory Planning Committee. TBD = to be determined.

 

 

 

Table D-4
LRTP-Relevant Conceptual Roadway Projects

Municipality

Proponent/Source

Project

Roadway Classification

Potential MPO Investment Program

Design Status

Program Year

Cost Estimate

MAPC Subregion

MassDOT Highway District

LRTP Status

Notes

Boston

TBD

Charlestown Haul Road

Minor arterial, but proximate to the Tobin Bridge

TBD

Pre-PRC Approval

N/A

TBD

ICC

6

In Destination 2040 Project Universe (Conceptual Highway Projects)

Project would construct an off-road truck route on the alignment of a freight spur that leads to Massport's Moran Terminal on the Mystic River near the Tobin Bridge.

Braintree

MassDOT

I-93/Route 3 Interchange (Braintree Split)

Interstate

Major Infrastructure

Pre-PRC Approval

N/A

$53,289,000

(estimate from 2019 Destination 2040  Universe)

SSC

6

In Destination 2040 Project Universe (Conceptual Highway Projects)

Proposed improvements include the addition of a travel lane, a pair of auxiliary lanes, and associated acceleration lanes. A new entrance ramp is proposed along with restricting the use of an existing ramp.

District 6 notes that this project has not advanced.

Braintree, Weymouth, Norwell

MassDOT

Route 3 South Widening (Braintree to Weymouth)

Principal Arterial – Expressway

Major Infrastructure

Pre-PRC Approval

N/A

$800,000,000

(estimate from 2019 Destination 2040  Universe)

SSC

6

In Destination 2040 Project Universe (Conceptual Highway Projects)

District 6 notes that this project has not advanced.

Lexington

Lexington

Route 4/225 (Bedford Street) and Hartwell Avenue (Bedford/Hartwell Complete Streets Project)

Principal Arterial – Other

Major Infrastructure

Pre-PRC Approval

N/A

TBD

MAGIC

4

In Destination 2040 (in FFYs 2030–34 time band)

Specific nature of capacity impacts to be determined.

Lynnfield, Reading

TBD

I-95 Capacity Improvements

Interstate

Major Infrastructure

Pre-PRC Approval

N/A

$198,443,000

(estimate from 2019 Destination 2040  Universe)

NSPC

4

In Destination 2040 Project Universe (Conceptual Highway Projects)

Specific nature of capacity impacts to be determined.

Newton

Newton

New Route 128 Ramp to Riverside Station

Interstate

Major Infrastructure

Pre-PRC Approval

N/A

$10,000,055

(estimate from 2019 Destination 2040  Universe)

ICC

6

In Destination 2040 Project Universe (Conceptual Highway Projects)

Project status to be determined.

Wilmington

Wilmington

I-93/Route 125/Ballardvale Street

Interstate

Major Infrastructure

Pre-PRC Approval

N/A

TBD

NSPC

4

In Destination 2040 Project Universe (Conceptual Highway Projects)

Specific nature of capacity impacts to be determined.

 

Note: The federal functional classification listed above reflects the highest classification associated with roadways included in the project.

FFY = federal fiscal year. ICC = Inner Core Committee. MAGIC = Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination. MAPC = Metropolitan Area Planning Council. MassDOT = Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Massport = Massachusetts Port Authority. MWRC = MetroWest Regional Collaborative. NSPC = North Suburban Planning Council. PRC = Project Review Committee. SSC = South Shore Committee. SWAP = Southwest Advisory Planning Committee. Transportation Improvement Program.

 

            Project Evaluations

            The Challenge of Long-Range Planning

The Boston Region MPO chose a list of projects to include in the LRTP (Table D-5). Each project was evaluated using quantitative and qualitative measurements of how it furthers the regional planning goals adopted by the MPO. (See Chapter 3.)

 

The evaluation criteria and the metrics that inform the evaluation are described below. The projects being evaluated come to MPO staff at different levels of preparation. A few projects may be defined at a 25 percent design level, generally the most design undertaken prior to a commitment to project funding in the TIP. Usually, however, there are only conceptual designs or project descriptions by proponents. The evaluation criteria have been specified in such a way that they can be applied to all candidate projects regardless of available project detail.

 

With a planning horizon to 2050, even well-defined projects can undergo significant changes, redesign, or rethinking before construction eventually begins. For these reasons, the evaluated projects are compared using a limited number of broad quantitative and qualitative measurements. These measurements examine the level of detail on what is known about existing conditions in the proposed project area. The effectiveness with which a project will address future deficiencies must be estimated by applying professional judgement to these preliminary project concepts. Cost estimates, in most instances developed by other agencies than the MPO, are similarly preliminary.

            MPO Planning Goals

The MPO has defined six goal areas:

 

The measurements used in this analysis are intended to reflect how effectively a project would further these MPO goals were it to be completed. Given the distant time horizon, preliminary designs, and complexity of the transportation activity being evaluated, these measurements were not as detailed as Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) evaluations.

 

The scarcity of applicable data and very preliminary nature of project plans make any projection of benefits or disbenefits insufficiently reliable in the goal areas of Equity or Clean Air and Healthy Communities. As a result, evaluation procedures and scores have not been developed for those two goal areas as part of the LRTP. However, all projects will be rescored for all six goal areas if they are included in the TIP.

 

The scoring methodology for the four goal areas scored here (safety, mobility and reliability, access and connectivity, and resiliency) builds upon project scoring procedures that were used in the preceding LRTP, Destination 2040. The evaluation and scoring procedures have been modified to reflect Destination 2050 goals.

 

Below are descriptions of specific evaluation procedures for the four goal areas.


 

            Evaluation Procedures

Safety

The elements that go into the development of the safety scores are shown in Table D-5. Additional data, not used directly in scoring but that inform and corroborate the safety scores, are also shown.

 

The safety scores are developed by considering the number and severity of crashes in the project areas, the number of vehicles that pass through, the expected project cost, and the nature of the roadway improvements proposed. Characterizing the nature of the proposed improvements is the scoring aspect that is most dependent on professional judgement.

 

Crashes and Crash Severity (or EPDO)

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) maintains a database of statewide crashes that is updated annually. Crash data from 2016 is now available and crashes that occurred during the 2014–16 period were used in developing safety scores. Crashes range widely in severity and are measured using the concept of equivalent property damage only (EPDO).

 

The EPDO formula used for the evaluations has recently been revised. This method of assessing crash severity is a weighting system aligned with calculated crash costs based on a 2017 Federal Highway Administration report, Crash Costs for Highway Safety Analyses. The EPDO formula used in this evaluation counts all crashes that occurred in a project area over the three-year period and adds the number of crashes involving bodily injury multiplied by 20.

 

Crash Risk (Risk Group)

Crash risk is calculated by comparing the EPDO value with the number of vehicles that enter the project area during an average weekday. Project area traffic volumes are estimated using recent traffic studies by the Central Transportation Planning Staff, project development proponents, MassDOT’s online traffic count database, or the MPO’s travel demand model.

 

Dividing the EPDO value by vehicles per year is a measurement of risk. This fraction is usually multiplied by 100,000,000 to give EPDO per hundred million vehicles. The evaluated projects are then divided into two equal-sized groups, high risk (score=one) and low risk (score=two), based solely on this risk calculation.

 

Cost per EPDO (Cost/Benefit Group)

The second scoring index is project cost divided by the project area EPDO. This quotient resembles a cost-benefit ratio, but its meaning is more limited. A large EPDO value implies some degree of obsolete or deficient roadway design in the project area. Any reconstruction activity is required to meet current design and safety standards, so it is assumed that the project will improve safety.

 

There is no expectation that bringing the project area up to current design standards will eliminate all crashes, but EPDO serves as a proxy for potential safety improvement. A low cost per EPDO implies that the proposed investment that will bring the entire project area up to current standards will improve safety and will help to reduce a comparatively large number of crashes. The evaluated projects are divided into two equal-sized groups: low cost per EPDO (score=one) and high cost per EPDO (score=two).

 

Characterizing Project Improvements (Project Impact Group)

The third scoring measurement is achieved by characterizing the expected impact of the project. For instance, demolishing a cloverleaf interchange that was designed during the 1950s and replacing it with a new interchange with larger turning radii and longer acceleration lanes, conforming with modern standards, would be expected to have a significant safety impact. Reconstructing an arterial roadway within its existing right-of-way would be assumed to have a smaller impact. Some investments, such as adding a highway on-ramp where one currently does not exist, may improve mobility but do not necessarily improve safety in the project area even if adhering to modern design standards.

 

Each of the evaluated projects were placed in one of three groups based on the types of physical improvements proposed:

 

Placing projects in these groups requires professional judgement and often knowledge of the project area and its planning history. As mentioned above, descriptions of projects planned for future decades can be conceptual and MPO staff must predict the types of improvements likely to appear in community plans as the project gets closer to implementation. Defining a project area, necessary for calculating the EPDO, also requires this type of judgement.

 

Scoring

As described above, projects are scored according to three criteria: risk, cost-benefit, and project impact. Combined scores of two or three result in a project being rated in the high category. A combined score of only one results in a medium rating, and a combined score of zero results in a low rating.

 

Corroborating Data

Some Massachusetts locations are eligible for project funding through the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). Eligibility of projects for HSIP funding is determined by MassDOT. However, almost all HSIP locations were located in project areas that scored high under the three scoring criteria (risk, cost-benefit, and project impact). HSIP locations were identified for total crashes, bicycle-involved crashes, and pedestrian-involved crashes.

 

Mobility and Reliability

Projects can be awarded points for mobility and reliability if they

Four tests were developed for Destination 2040 that are applicable for the Mobility and Reliability goal in Destination 2050:

This section describes the formulation and use of these four tests. For each of these tests a project may be awarded one, two, or three points for a maximum of 12 points. The scores for mobility and reliability are summarized in Table D-5 along with the data and assessments that informed the scores. Projects with a total mobility and reliability score of nine through 12 are designated in the high category, projects with score totals of seven or eight are medium, and projects with lower totals are low.

 

Identifying Locations with Severe Traffic Congestion

Estimating project benefits for vehicular traffic using the region’s roadway system depends on data entirely derived from the MPO’s travel demand model. The model is developed and calibrated with data on directly observed traffic at a large sample of regional locations. Only the model can provide a regionwide snapshot of all important roadways at critical time periods. The travel demand model can also generate a regionwide traffic snapshot for a future year, in this case 2050.

 

The most useful metric for evaluating regional capacity management issues is the volume-over-capacity ratio (V/C) on roadways during the morning and evening peak travel periods. Each modelled roadway segment has an estimated capacity in vehicles per hour based on current traffic engineering standards. The model estimates volumes for the morning, evening, midday, and night periods, and the V/C is calculated by dividing these volumes by the capacity. In the MPO’s travel demand model, the morning peak period is defined as 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM and the evening peak period is 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

 

The analysis begins by identifying for each directional link whether the V/C is higher in the morning or evening. For reference, two-way roads are considered to be two links. Almost invariably, if one direction has its highest V/C in the morning, the reciprocal direction will have its highest V/C in the evening.

 

The base year and future year V/C were estimated and depicted graphically on a regionwide basis. Together, the morning and evening periods indicated both commuting patterns and bottlenecks in a single graphic. Locations with regionally significant congestion problems were easily identified by inspection. Congestion at these locations was characterized as severe, moderate, or inconsequential by balancing the V/C value with the length of the congested segments.

 

Projects that include roadways in the severe category were awarded three points, projects with moderately congested roadways were awarded two points, and all other projects received one point. The evaluated projects are anticipated to reduce congestion within their project areas.

 

Identifying Project Areas that are Important Bus Corridors

Project benefits for buses were estimated by calculating the number of local and regional buses that travel through a project area with scheduled service on a typical weekday. These numbers were developed from published schedules. Projects with bus routes are assumed to either improve traffic flow or improve the streetscape, allowing better pedestrian access to local buses.

 

Projects were ranked by the combined total of local and regional buses that traverse the project areas, including Logan Express buses. Break points were designated to divide projects into groups with high, medium, or low benefits for bus users, for which three, two, or one point would be awarded. Ridership was known for the local buses but not for the regional buses. Local bus ridership was one of the factors used to designate break points.

 

The Scope of Improvements for Pedestrians and Bicycles

Investments sufficiently large to be classified as major investments for MPO planning purposes tend to have extended project areas and involve some level of improvement or refurbishment benefiting both motorized and nonmotorized modes. Often the name of the project reflects primarily the roadway improvements and unless more detailed descriptions have been prepared by proponents, the nature of ancillary improvements to nonmotorized modes can only be surmised.

 

MPO staff evaluated each project using available project descriptions and supplemented these sources using sketch planning analyses. In this approach, staff considered project area geography and current infrastructure configuration and condition to anticipate what types of improvements for nonmotorized modes would likely be incorporated into future plans as they develop. Points were awarded on these bases:

 

The total nonmotorized points awarded are shown in Table D-5 along with the other scores for pedestrian and bicycle improvements that factor into the total score. Projects with three, four, or five points in the subcategories receive three points overall, and projects with one or two points in the subcategories receive two points overall. Projects with zero nonmotorized points still receive one point in this category.

 

Reversing Roadway Deterioration

Ongoing expenditures in routine maintenance, refurbishment, and total reconstruction are necessary to preserve the safety and efficiency of transportation systems. When scoring projects in this category, the basic assumption is that any proposed project will result in new roadway elements built to applicable modern standards. The number of points awarded depends on the type and severity of roadway deficiencies in the project area, as indicated in Table D-5.

 

Calculating Pavement Condition Deficiency

Determining a score in the pavement condition category first requires the calculation of the weighted deficiency index using MassDOT’s pavement condition database; the latest data are from 2022. The condition of pavement on state numbered routes is measured regularly with measurements expressed using the International Roughness Index (IRI). MPO staff calculated an average IRI for the lane miles in each project area, shown in Table D-5 as weighted IRI.

 

Average project area IRI values ranged from 45 (best project area pavement) to 282 (worst). The average IRI of each project was adjusted downwards by 45 and then multiplied by the number of lane miles in the project area. This gave staff an estimate of the total amount of project area pavement deficiency, shown in Table D-5 as the project area pavement deficiency index.

 

Estimating Cost Effectiveness

The cost-effectiveness analysis assumes that at the completion of a project, the pavement deficiency (calculated above) will be eliminated. Dividing the total project cost by the total project area pavement deficiency index gives an estimate of cost effectiveness, shown in Table D-5 as the cost per index point.

 

When the costs per index point are sorted from lowest (most cost effective) to highest (least cost effective) breakpoints can be defined and the projects divided into three groups with the most cost-effective projects getting three points. This cost-effectiveness estimate is an oversimplification because structures unrelated to pavement, such as bridges and culverts, may also need to be replaced.

 

Bonus Points for Structurally Deficient Bridges

The MassDOT Bridge Section maintains a database of detailed information from periodic inspections of all bridges in Massachusetts. Structurally deficient bridges must be inspected frequently and if a bridge is in danger of failure, it is closed.

 

If there are one or more structurally deficient bridges in a project area, the project score can be increased one level, for example, from one point to two or from two points to three. This is an extremely simplistic adjustment and only reflects that a substantial portion of the project costs are expected to be used for bridge replacement or refurbishment.

Access and Connectivity

The access and connectivity goal is to provide transportation options and improve access to key destinations to support economic vitality and quality of life. The relationship of transportation to land use and its importance for economic activity have long been acknowledged, and the evaluation methods described in this section relate primarily to the location of the proposed improvements.

 

The access and connectivity scores shown in Table D-5 specify types of locations and improvements for which one or two points might be awarded depending on the project location and type of improvement. Point totals of five to seven result in an overall high score, totals of two to four points result in a medium score, and totals of zero or one result in a low score.

 

While any major transportation improvement can be expected to contribute to economic vitality, the ratings in this goal area reflect the degree to which the improvements support the land use objectives embraced by the MPO. The seven possible scores fall into three groups: projects that serve concentrated development, facilitate new development, or provide access to targeted development areas.

Serves Concentrated Development

A project could receive one or two points for serving an area of concentrated development, depending on whether the project was entirely or only partially located within an area with this designation.

 

Facilitates New Development

A project could be awarded a point if progress on a nearby development is contingent upon the implementation of the transportation improvement.

 

Provides Access to Targeted Development Areas

A project could be awarded as many as four points for improving access to designated targeted development areas for specific modes with one point awarded to each mode with improved access. The four modes are motor vehicles, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian.

 

Resiliency

Projects are also evaluated on how they increase the resiliency of the region’s infrastructure to sea level rise and associated environmental challenges. It is assumed that any future roadway reconstruction in flood-hazard areas will be done in accordance with resiliency standards in effect at the time of construction. To evaluate a proposed project, it is necessary to know how much of the project area will be vulnerable to flooding.

 

The pavement condition database that is used to develop the scores for reversing roadway deterioration also indicates whether sections of roadway are within the 100-year flood zone. Based upon project descriptions, MPO staff calculated the lane miles within the flood zones that the project would replace.

 

These calculations are summarized in Table D-5. Multiplying the percent of project roadway vulnerable to flooding by the total project lane miles (noted in the reversing roadway deterioration section of the table) results in number of lane miles vulnerable to flooding.

 

Any project with no elements within a flood plain was given a low resiliency score. For the projects shown here in Table D-5, any project with as many as 0.5 miles lane miles in a flood plain was given a medium resiliency score, and projects with more than 0.5 miles in a flood plain received a high resiliency score.

 

            Destination 2050 Project Evaluations

Table D-5 lists the eight projects that are included in Destination 2050. The first four projects were evaluated for Destination 2040 and the earlier evaluation results have been adapted to reflect the Destination 2050 MPO planning goals, as described above. The last four projects were not evaluated for Destination 2040. However, Table D-5 presents some available data and evaluation results to provide some basis of comparison between the eight projects.

 

Two of the projects, I-495/Route 1A Ramps in Wrentham and Route 1 and University Avenue/Everett Street in Norwood, were evaluated for inclusion in the MPO’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Projects considered for inclusion in the TIP are at a significantly more advanced level of design, typically 25 percent, than LRTP projects. Using more robust data sets, TIP scores are developed that reflect how projects advance MPO planning goals.

 

The Wrentham and Norwood projects were part of a universe of projects that were evaluated for a previous TIP. Four of the TIP criteria considered at that time roughly correspond to the LRTP goals used for Destination 2050. These TIP areas were:

 

The scores of the projects in the TIP universe were averaged, and the Wrentham and Norwood projects were compared with the TIP universe averages. Their scores in relation to the other TIP projects in that universe suggested an appropriate score for a corresponding LRTP goal.

 

Destination 2050 project evaluations are summarized in Table D-6, including the two projects with scores synthesized from TIP evaluations. No data has been developed for the last two projects in Table D-5, but the projects are listed with cost and traffic estimates.

 

Table D-5

Destination 2050 Project Evaluations

 

        SAFETY                                 MOBILITY AND RELIABILITY                             ACCESS AND CONNECTIVITY           RESILIENCY  
Project Name Estimated Project Cost (Current Dollars) Annual Average Daily Traffic  Total Rank Safety EPDO EPDO per 100,000,000 vehicles (Risk) Cost per EPDO (Cost/Benefit) Risk Group Cost/Benefit Group Project Impact Group Top 200 Crash Location (Total EPDO) HSIP Cluster (Total EPDO) HSIP Bicycle Cluster (Bike-involved EPDO) HSIP Pedestrian Cluster (Ped-involved EPDO) Mobility and Reliability Locations with Severe Traffic Congestion MPO-identified Express Highway Bottleneck Location Important Bus Corridors Regional and Local Bus Trips (Daily) Total Regional Bus Trips (Daily) Total Local Bus Trips (Daily) Number of Regional Bus Routes Served Number of Local Bus Routes Served Scope of Improvements for Pedestrians and Bicycles Nonmotorized Total Pedestrian Improvements Bicycle Improvements Improves Transit Access Reversing Roadway Deterioration Cost per Index Point (000s) Structurally Deficient Bridges Weighted IRI Total Project Roadway-miles Total Project Lane-miles Project Area Pavement Deficiency Index Access and Connectivity Total points Mostly Serves Existing Area of Concentrated Development Partly Serves Existing Area of Concentrated Development Facilitates New Development Provides Vehicle Acess to Target Development Area  Provides Transit Acess to Target Development Area  Provides Bicycle Acess to Target Development Area  Provides Pedestrian Acess to Target Development Area  Resiliency Percent of project roadway vulnerable to flooding Lanes-miles vulnerable to flooding
Route 4/225 (Bedford Street) and Hartwell Avenue (Lexington) $45,000,000 40,200 18 high 2335 5867 $19,272 1 1 2   4     high 1   2 48   48   1 3 5 2 2 1 3 $29   185 4.5 11.1 1554 medium 2   1 1         medium 2.5 0.3
McGrath Boulevard (Somerville) $98,840,000 38,000 62 low 536 1425 $184,403 2 2 3 1 1 1 1 high 1   3 329   329   4 3 5 2 2 1 3 $99 2 218 1.3 5.8 1003 high 7 2   1 1 1 1 1 low    
Replacement of Allston I-90 Elevated Viaduct (Boston) $675,500,000 174,000 106 low 1246 723 $542,135 2 2 2   1 1   high 1   3 542 112 430 3 10 3 3 1 1 1 2 $209 1 142 8.4 33.4 3240 high 7 2   1 1 1 1 1 low    
Improvements at Route 126/135/MBTA (Framingham) $115,000,000 35,400 77 high 533 1521 $215,760 1 2 1   2 1 1 low 1   2 40   40   5 2 2 1   1 1 $1133   248 .2 .5 102 high 7 2   1 1 1 1 1 low    
I-495/Route 1A Ramps $20,117,638 19,600   low Note A                   low 1 Note A 1 Note A         1 Note A       2 Note A           low Note A               low Note A  
Improvements at Route 1 and University Avenue/Everett Street $28,699,272 58,350   low                     low 1   1           1         2             medium                 low    
I-495 and I-90 Interchange $300,942,836 230,000     Note B                                                                                    
Reconstruction of Rutherford Avenue: City Square to Sullivan Square $197,759,449 54,000                                                                                          
Note A: LRTP scores have been derived from existing TIP scores.                                                                                  
Note B: Project evaluation data is not currently available.                                                                                    
EPDO = Equivalent Property Damage Only.  HSIP = Highway Safety Improvement Program.  IRI = International Roughness Index.  LRTP = Long-Range Transportation Plan. MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.  MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization. TIP = Transportation Improvement Program
Source: Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

Note A: LRTP scores have been derived from existing TIP scores.

Note B: Project evaluation data is not currently available.

EPDO = Equivalent Property Damage Only. HSIP = Highway Safety Improvement Program. IRI = International Roughness Index. LRTP = Long-Range Transportation Plan. MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization. TIP = Transportation Improvement Program.

Source: Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

 

 

Table D-6

Destination 2050 Project Evaluation Summary

Location Project Name Project Cost Annual Average Daily Traffic Safety Mobility and Reliability Access and Connectivity Resiliency Total Rating 4 low ratings 3 low ratings 2 low ratings 2 high ratings
Lexington Route 4/225 (Bedford Street) and Hartwell Avenue $45,000,000 40,200 3 3 2 2 10       X
Somerville McGrath Boulevard Project $98,840,000 38,000 1 3 3 1 8     X X
Boston Replacement of Allston I-90 Elevated Viaduct  $675,500,000 174,000 1 3 3 1 8     X X
Framingham Intersection Improvements at Route 126/135/MBTA and CSX Railroad $115,000,000 35,400 3 1 3 1 8     X X
Norwood Intersectioin Improvements at Route 1 and University Avenue/Everett Street $28,699,272 58,350 1 1 2 1 5   X    
Wrentham I-495/Route 1A Ramps $20,117,638 19,600 1 1 1 1 4 X      
Source: Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

Source: Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

 

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Appendix E: Determination of Air Quality Conformity and Greenhouse Gas Analysis

Air Quality Conformity

 

Background

This chapter documents the latest Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) air quality conformity determination for the 1997 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and carbon monoxide (CO) NAAQS in the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) area. It covers the applicable conformity requirements according to the latest regulations, regional designation status, legal considerations, and federal guidance.

 

Introduction

The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) require MPOs within nonattainment and maintenance areas to perform air quality conformity determinations prior to the approval of LRTPs and Transportation Improvement Programs (TIP), and at such other times as required by regulation. CAAA Section 176(c) (Title 42, United States Code [USC], Section 7506 [c]) requires that federally funded or approved highway and transit activities are consistent with (“conform to”) the purpose of the State Implementation Plan (SIP). Conformity to the purpose of the SIP means that Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding and approvals are given to highway and transit activities that

 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) transportation conformity rules establish the criteria and procedures for determining whether metropolitan transportation plans, TIPs, and federally supported highway and transit projects conform to the SIP (Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations [CFR], Parts 51.390 and 93).

 

A nonattainment area is one that the EPA has designated as not meeting certain air quality standards. A maintenance area is a nonattainment area that now meets the standards and has been redesignated as maintaining the standard. A conformity determination is a demonstration that plans, programs, and projects are consistent with the SIP for attaining the air quality standards. The CAAA requirement to perform a conformity determination ensures that federal approval and funding go to transportation activities that are consistent with air quality goals.

 

Legislative and Regulatory Background

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was previously classified as a nonattainment area for ozone and was divided into two nonattainment areas. The Eastern Massachusetts ozone nonattainment area included Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester counties. The Western Massachusetts ozone nonattainment area included Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. With these classifications, the 1990 CAAA required the Commonwealth to reduce its emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), the two major precursors to ozone formation, to achieve attainment of the ozone standard.

 

The 1970 Clean Air Act defined a one-hour NAAQS for ground-level ozone. The 1990 CAAA further classified degrees of nonattainment of the one-hour standard based on the severity of the monitored levels of the pollutant. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was classified as being in serious nonattainment of the one-hour ozone standard and was required to achieve attainment by 1999. The attainment date was later extended, first to 2003 and a second time to 2007.

 

In 1997, the EPA proposed a new eight-hour ozone standard that replaced the one-hour standard, effective June 15, 2005. Scientific research had shown that ozone could affect human health at lower levels and over longer exposure times than one hour. The new standard was challenged in court, and after a lengthy legal battle the courts upheld it. The new standard was finalized in June 2004. The new eight-hour standard is 0.08 parts per million (ppm) averaged over eight hours, and this level is not to be exceeded more than once per year. With this new standard, nonattainment areas were again further classified based on the severity of the eight-hour values. Massachusetts was classified as being in moderate nonattainment for the eight-hour standard and again was separated into two nonattainment areas—Eastern Massachusetts and Western Massachusetts.

 

In March 2008, the EPA published revisions to the eight-hour ozone NAAQS, establishing a level of 0.075 ppm (Volume 73, Federal Register [FR], page 16438; March 27, 2008). In 2009, EPA announced it would reconsider this standard because it fell outside of the range recommended by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee. However, EPA did not take final action on the reconsideration, keeping the standard as 0.075 ppm.

 

After reviewing data from Massachusetts monitoring stations, EPA sent a letter on December 16, 2011, proposing that only Dukes County be designated as nonattainment for the new proposed 0.075 ppm ozone standard. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts concurred with these findings.

 

On May 21, 2012, the final rule (77 FR 30088) was published in the Federal Register. This rule defined the 2008 NAAQS as 0.075 ppm, the standard that was promulgated in March 2008. A second rule (77 FR 30160) published on May 21, 2012, revoked the 1997 ozone NAAQS effective one year after the July 20, 2012, effective date of the 2008 NAAQS.

 

Also, on May 21, 2012, the Federal Register published the air quality designation areas for the 2008 NAAQS. Dukes County was the only area in Massachusetts designated as a nonattainment area. All other Massachusetts counties were designated as attainment/unclassified for the 2008 standard.

 

On March 6, 2015, EPA published the final rulemaking, “Implementation of the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone: State Implementation Plan Requirements; Final Rule” (80 FR 12264), effective April 6, 2015. This rulemaking confirmed the removal of transportation conformity to the 1997 ozone NAAQS and the replacement with the 2008 ozone NAAQS, which actually set a stricter level of allowable ozone concentration than the 1997 standards and classified Massachusetts (except for Dukes County) as attainment/unclassifiable.

 

However, on February 16, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in South Coast Air Quality Mgmt. District v. EPA (“South Coast II,” 882 F.3d 1138) held that transportation conformity determinations must be made in areas that were designated either as nonattainment or maintenance areas for the 1997 ozone NAAQS and attainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS when the 1997 ozone NAAQS was revoked.

 

On November 29, 2018, EPA issued Transportation Conformity Guidance for the South Coast II Court Decision (EPA-420-B-18-050, November 2018), which addressed how transportation conformity determinations could be made in these areas. According to the guidance, both Eastern and Western Massachusetts, along with several other areas across the country, were defined as orphan nonattainment areas—areas that were designated as nonattainment areas for the 1997 ozone NAAQS at the time of its revocation (80 FR 12264, March 6, 2015) and as attainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS in EPA’s original designation rule for this NAAQS (77 FR 30160, May 21, 2012). As of February 16, 2019, conformity determinations are required in these areas.

 

Conformity Determination

Ozone

After February 16, 2019, as a result of the court ruling and the subsequent federal guidance, transportation conformity for the 1997 NAAQS—intended as an anti-backsliding measure—now applies to both Massachusetts orphan areas. Therefore, a conformity determination was made for the 1997 ozone NAAQS in all of the Massachusetts MPOs’ federal fiscal years (FFYs) 2020–40 LRTPs. This conformity determination was finalized in July 2019, following all of the MPOs’ endorsements of their LRTPs, and approved by the Massachusetts Divisions of FHWA and FTA on October 15, 2019. This conformity determination continues to be valid for the Boston Region MPO’s FFYs 2024–28 TIP, and Massachusetts’ 2024–28 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), as each is developed from the conforming 2020–40 LRTPs.

 

The transportation conformity regulation in 40 CFR § 93.109 sets forth the criteria and procedures for determining conformity. The conformity criteria for TIPs and LRTPs include a demonstration of fiscal constraint (§ 93.108), a basis on the latest planning assumptions (§ 93.110), use of the latest emissions model (§ 93.111), consultation (§ 93.112), provision for the timely implementation of transportation control measures (TCMs) (§ 93.113[b] and [c]), and consistency with an emissions budget and/or interim emissions tests (§ 93.118 and/or § 93.119).

 

For the 1997 ozone NAAQS areas, transportation conformity for TIPs and LRTPs for the 1997 ozone NAAQS can be demonstrated without a regional emissions analysis, per 40 CFR § 93.109(c). This provision states that the regional emissions analysis requirement applies one year after the effective date of EPA’s nonattainment designation for a NAAQS and until the effective date of revocation of such NAAQS for an area. The 1997 ozone NAAQS revocation was effective on April 6, 2015, and the court for South Coast II upheld the revocation. As no regional emission analysis is required for this conformity determination, there is no requirement to use the latest emissions model, budget, or interim emissions tests.

 

Therefore, transportation conformity for the 1997 ozone NAAQS for the Boston Region MPO’s 2050 LRTP can be demonstrated by showing that the remaining requirements in 40 CFR § 93.109 have been met. The following requirements regarding the use of the latest planning assumptions, consultation, timely implementation of TCMs, and fiscal constraint are defined in Section 2.4 of that guidance and are addressed in the following sections.

 

Latest Planning Assumptions

The requirement to use the latest planning assumptions in 40 CFR § 93.110 generally applies to regional emissions analyses. In the areas subject to the 1997 ozone NAAQS, the use of latest planning assumptions requirement applies to assumptions about TCMs in an approved SIP. (See the section titled Timely Implementation of Transportation Control Measures below).

 

Consultation

The consultation requirements in 40 CFR § 93.112 for interagency consultation and public consultation were addressed. Interagency consultation was conducted with FHWA, FTA, EPA Region 1, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the other Massachusetts MPOs on March 6, 2019, to discuss the latest conformity-related court rulings and resulting federal guidance. Regular and recurring interagency consultations have been held on (at least) an annual schedule, with the most recent conformity consultation held on March 13, 2023. Ongoing consultation is conducted in accordance with the following items:

 

Public consultation was conducted consistent with planning rule requirements in 23 CFR § 450. Title 23 CFR § 450.324 and 310 CMR 60.03(6)(h) requires that the development of the TIP, LRTP, and related certification documents provide an adequate opportunity for public review and comment. Section 450.316(b) also establishes the outline for MPOs’ public engagement programs.

 

The Boston Region MPO's current Public Engagement Plan was endorsed by the MPO board in October 2021 and amended in September 2022. The Public Engagement Plan ensures that the public will have access to the TIP and LRTP and all supporting documentation, provides for public notification of the availability of the TIP and LRTP and the public's right to review the document and comment thereon, and provides a 21-day public review and comment period prior to the adoption of the TIP and LRTP and related certification documents. The plan is available at https://www.bostonmpo.org/public-engagement.

 

The public comment period for this conformity determination will commence on or about June 16, 2023. During the 21-day public comment period, any comments received will be incorporated into this LRTP. This process will allow sufficient opportunity for public comment and for the MPO board to review the draft document. The public comment period will close on or about July 15, 2023, and the Boston Region MPO is expected to endorse this air quality conformity determination on July 15, 2023. These procedures comply with the associated federal requirements.

 

Timely Implementation of Transportation Control Measures

Transportation control measures were required in the SIP in revisions submitted to EPA in 1979 and 1982. All of these TCMs have been accomplished through construction projects or through implementation of ongoing programs. All of the projects have been included in the Boston Region MPO's TIPs (present and past) as recommended projects or projects requiring further study. Information on the Green Line Extension to Somerville and Medford, which was completed between this and last year’s TIP, is as follows:

 

Green Line Extension to Somerville and Medford Project—SIP Required Completion by December 2014

The Green Line Extension is a 4.7-mile light rail line, which extended the current Green Line service from a relocated Lechmere Station in East Cambridge to a terminus at College Avenue in Medford, with a spur to Union Square in Somerville. This project had a cost estimate of $2.289 billion. Funding came from a combined $1.99 billion in federal and state funds and pledged contributions totaling approximately $296 million from the Cities of Cambridge and Somerville ($75 million), the Boston Region MPO ($157.1 million), and MassDOT ($64.3 million through Special Obligation Bonds). Cambridge and Somerville were refunded their full $75 million in November 2021.

 

In early 2017, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) initiated a procurement process for a design-build entity to design and construct the project. In November 2017, approval was received to execute a design-build contract with Green Line Extension contractors. The notice to proceed under the contract was issued in December 2017. The FTA obligated an initial portion ($100 million) of the Capital Investment Grant funds for the project in December 2017, under the 2015 Full Funding Grant Agreement. Additional funds followed. The contract with Green Line Extension contractors was in the amount of $999.7 million.

 

The primary goals of the project were to improve corridor mobility, boost transit ridership, improve regional air quality, ensure equitable distribution of transit services, and support opportunities for sustainable development in Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford. In addition to the light rail service on two new branches extending from Lechmere Station to Union Square Station and College Avenue Station, the project included the construction of a vehicle maintenance facility and a multiuse path.

 

SIP Requirement Status

By filing an Expanded Environmental Notification Form, procuring multiple design consultants, and publishing both Draft and Final Environmental Impact Reports, MassDOT met the first four interim milestones associated with the Green Line Extension project. Since those filings, MassDOT committed substantial resources to the Green Line Extension project, a top transportation priority of the Commonwealth and the largest expansion of the MBTA rapid transit system in decades. The project then transitioned from the planning and environmental review phases to the design, engineering, and construction phases, and the tasks associated with programming federal funding began.

 

The timeline for overall project completion, however, was substantially delayed. In the 2011 SIP Status Report, MassDOT reported that the Green Line Extension project would not meet the legal deadline for completion by December 31, 2014. The delay triggered the requirement to provide interim emissions reduction offset projects and measures for the period of the delay (beginning January 1, 2015). Working with the Central Transportation Planning Staff, MassDOT and the MBTA calculated the value for reductions of non-methane hydrocarbons, CO, and NOx that would be equal to or greater than the reductions projected to result from the operation of the Green Line Extension during the period of the delay, as specified in the SIP regulation.

 

In June 2012, MassDOT released a list of potential mitigation ideas received from the public that could be used as offset measures. In the summer and fall of 2012, MassDOT elicited public comments on these potential measures. Then the MBTA created an internal working group to determine a final portfolio of interim mitigation measures to implement by December 31, 2014, the legal deadline for the implementation of the Green Line Extension.

 

This work resulted in a recommendation to implement the following three interim mitigation measures, which collectively would meet the emissions reduction target for the project:

 

The Petition to Delay was submitted to the DEP on July 22, 2014, and expanded further on the analysis and determination of the interim offset measures. In a letter dated July 16, 2015, the DEP conditionally approved MassDOT's request to delay the Green Line Extension project and the implementation of the above interim mitigation measures. Both the 2014 Petition to Delay and the July 2015 Conditional Approval are available on MassDOT's website.

 

The Green Line Extension to Union Square opened for service on March 21, 2022, and the extension to Medford opened on December 12, 2022.

 

Funding Source: The Commonwealth, FTA via the Full Funding Grant Agreement, and the Boston Region MPO

 

Fiscal Constraint

Transportation conformity requirements in 40 CFR § 93.108 state that TIPs and LRTPs must be fiscally constrained so as to be consistent with the United States Department of Transportation’s metropolitan planning regulations (23 CFR part 450). The Boston Region MPO’s 2050 LRTP is consistent with the required fiscal constraints, as demonstrated in this document.

 

Carbon Monoxide

The requirement to perform a conformity determination for CO for the city of Waltham has expired. On April 22, 2002, the EPA classified Waltham as being in attainment for CO emissions. Subsequently, an EPA-approved CO limited maintenance plan was set up through the Massachusetts SIP to ensure that emission levels did not increase. While the maintenance plan was in effect, past TIPs and LRTPs included an air quality conformity determination against a “budget test” (using “hot spot” analyses as needed at the project level) for Waltham. As of April 22, 2022, however, the 20-year maintenance period for this CO area expired and transportation conformity is no longer required for this pollutant in this municipality. This ruling is documented in a letter from EPA dated April 26, 2022.

 

Conclusion

In summary and based on the entire process described above, the Boston Region MPO has prepared this conformity determination for the 1997 ozone NAAQS in accordance with EPA’s and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ latest conformity regulations and guidance. This conformity determination process demonstrates that the 2050 LRTP meets the Clean Air Act and Transportation Conformity Rule requirements for the 1997 ozone NAAQS and has been prepared following all the guidelines and requirements of these rules during this period.

 

Therefore, the implementation of the Boston Region MPO’s 2050 LRTP is consistent with the air quality goals of, and in conformity with, the Massachusetts SIP.

 

Greenhouse Gas Analysis

This section documents recent progress made by MassDOT and the MPOs to help achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals as outlined in state regulations applicable to Massachusetts. This progress report estimates future carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the transportation sector, which is part of the requirement of meeting the GHG reduction goals established through the Commonwealth’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA).

 

GWSA Transportation Status: Future Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reductions

The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 requires statewide reductions in GHG emissions (CO2) of 25 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2020, and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

 

The Commonwealth’s thirteen metropolitan planning organizations are involved in helping to achieve greenhouse gas reductions mandated under the GWSA. The MPOs work closely with MassDOT and other agencies to develop common transportation goals, policies, and projects that would help to reduce GHG emission levels statewide and meet the specific requirements of the GWSA regulation—Global Warming Solutions Act Requirements for the Transportation Sector and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (310 CMR 60.05). The purpose of this regulation is to assist the Commonwealth in achieving its adopted GHG emission reduction goals by the following means:

 

 

The requirements of this regulation are being achieved through the transportation goals and policies contained in the FFY 2024 RTPs, the major projects planned in the RTPs, and the mix of new transportation projects that are programmed and implemented through the TIPs.

 

The GHG evaluation and reporting processes enable the MPOs and MassDOT to identify the anticipated GHG impacts of the planned and programmed projects and also to use GHG impacts as a criterion in prioritizing transportation projects. This approach is consistent with the GHG reduction policies of promoting healthy transportation modes through prioritizing and programming an appropriate balance of roadway, transit, and bicycle and pedestrian investments, as well as by supporting smart growth development patterns through the creation of a balanced, multimodal transportation system. All of the MPOs and MassDOT are working toward reducing GHGs with sustainable transportation plans, actions, and strategies that include (but are not limited to) the following activities:

 

 

Regional GHG Evaluation and Reporting in RTPs

MassDOT coordinated with MPOs and regional planning agency staff on the implementation of GHG evaluation and reporting in development of each MPO’s 2016 and 2020 RTPs. This collaboration has continued in developing the MPOs’ FFY 2024 RTPs and FFYs 2024–28 TIPs. Working together, MassDOT and the MPOs have attained the following milestones:

 

 

 

MassDOT’s statewide estimates of CO2 emissions resulting from the collective list of all recommended projects in all Massachusetts RTPs combined are presented in Table E-1. Emissions estimates incorporate the latest planning assumptions, including updated socioeconomic projections consistent with the FFY 2024 RTPs.

 

Table E-1
Massachusetts Statewide Aggregate Carbon Dioxide Emissions Estimates from RTP Projects

Year

CO2 Action Emissions (tons)

CO2 Base Emissions

(tons)

Difference

(Action – Base)

2019

75,113.6

 

75,113.6

 

n/a

2050

53,772.5

53,781.4

-8.9

Note: Emissions are in tons per summer day.

CO2 = carbon dioxide. n/a = not applicable.

Sources: MassDOT and Central Transportation Planning Staff’s Travel Demand Model.

 

This analysis includes only those larger, regionally significant projects that are included in the statewide travel demand model. Many other types of projects that cannot be accounted for in the model (such as bicycle and pedestrian facilities, shuttle services, and intersection improvements) are covered in each MPO region’s RTP with either qualitative assessments of likely CO2 change or quantitative estimates listed for each project.

 

As shown in Table E-1, collectively, all the projects in the RTPs in the 2050 Action scenario provide a statewide reduction of nearly 9 tons of CO2 per day compared to the base (existing and committed projects) case.

 

These results demonstrate that the transportation sector is expected to continue making positive progress in contributing to the achievement of GHG reduction targets consistent with the requirements of the GWSA. MassDOT and the MPOs will continue to advocate for steps needed to accomplish the Commonwealth’s long-term goals for GHG reductions.

E-1 Regional Transportation Plan is another name for Long-Range Transportation Plan.

 

 

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Appendix F: Financial Report

Overview

To address the needs of the Boston region’s transportation system, the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and its partner transportation agencies anticipate the resources that will be available for transportation capital investment, maintenance, and operations. In addition, these agencies seek to understand expected project costs and how they may change over time, including as a result of inflation. This appendix describes funding sources that will support the portions of the Boston region’s transportation system over which the MPO has some programming jurisdiction: the roadway and transit networks. It also discusses projected capital, operations, and maintenance revenues and spending for these systems.

 

The Boston Region MPO estimates future revenues and costs for its investments because it is required by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to develop Long-Range Transportation Plans (LRTPs) that are fiscally constrained. This practice is intended to ensure that LRTPs are based on a “reasonable expectation of sufficient revenues to support the costs of maintaining the existing metropolitan area transportation system and any planned expansion of that transportation system over at least a 20-year time frame.”

 

The Boston Region MPO has discretion to program approximately $5 billion between federal fiscal years (FFYs) 2024 and 2050, and the dollars that it allocates to major infrastructure projects and other investment programs must remain within that limit. Destination 2050 and the MPO’s short-term implementation plan, the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), must include sufficient information to demonstrate that projects selected by the MPO can be implemented “using committed, available, or reasonably available Federal, State, local and private revenues, with the assurance that the federally supported transportation system is being adequately operated and maintained.” The details of the Boston Region MPO’s recommended projects and investment programs for Destination 2050 are included in Chapter 5. This appendix describes how those projects and programs fit within the MPO’s available discretionary funding.

 

The MPO’s discretionary, or Regional Target, dollars are only a portion of the dollars available to support the region’s transportation system and meet anticipated transportation needs. By describing the projected revenues for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA), and the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA), and how those agencies plan to spend them, the MPO aims to provide a more comprehensive financial outlook for the region.

 

            Highway System Funding

            Highway System Funding Sources

Investments in the region’s highway system are funded with dollars approved by the United States Congress and distributed through federal-aid highway programs, state funds approved by the Massachusetts Legislature, and local sources. This section provides information on funding sources for the region’s highway system, including amounts of funds that the MPO expects to be available during the planning horizon of Destination 2050. It also describes planned programming of funds by MassDOT and the MPO to improve and maintain the highway system.

 

Federal Aid

Federal highway funds for states are typically authorized by Congress through a multiyear act. The most recent authorization act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), was signed into law on November 15, 2021. The BIL provides approximately $567 billion for FFYs 2022–26. Approximately $350 billion of that amount is directed to highway programs.

 

Federal funds support construction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges on federal-aid eligible routes (as determined by the roadway’s functional classification). They also support projects and programs that address particular focus areas, such as improving safety and air quality, building bicycle and pedestrian networks, and maintaining the Interstate Highway System. Congress has established various funding programs for appropriating federal funds to these key focus areas.

 

The BIL established new formula funding levels and some new formula funding programs, created new discretionary grant programs and reauthorized existing ones, and set policy priorities. The BIL expanded the set of competitive federal discretionary grant programs for transportation. Eligible entities—which can include states, municipalities, or MPOs, depending on the program guidelines—can apply for funding for project activities, including design and construction. Examples include the National Infrastructure Investment program (also known as the Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure Program with Sustainability, or RAISE program), which has funded large-scale infrastructure projects; and the Safe Streets and Roads for All Program, which supports regional, local, and Tribal safety initiatives.

 

The BIL authorizes a single amount for each year for all federal highway funding programs combined. The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) then apportions that amount to the states based on formulas specified in federal law. Each year, a state may use its apportionment only up to a ceiling referred to as the obligation authority, a limit set by Congress to control federal expenditures. The obligation authority represents the federal government’s commitment to reimburse the state for eligible expenditures on approved projects.

 

A state must obligate its apportionment of funds, up to its obligation authority limit, to specific transportation projects and programs before the close of the federal fiscal year, September 30. In August, FHWA follows a process established by Congress to redistribute obligation limitations to states that can obligate more than their initial share by the year-end deadline. In recent years, this process, which is referred to as the August redistribution, has granted Massachusetts the ability to obligate more funds than its initial limit when other states were not expected to reach their obligation limits. However, Massachusetts and other states have been subject to rescissions, when the federal government rescinds the unused balances of previously authorized funds.

 

FHWA will reimburse states for costs associated with federal-aid eligible projects out of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). The primary source of revenue for the HTF is the federal tax on motor fuels. Additional revenue comes from other transportation-related fees and interest on trust fund reserves.

 

In recent years, the HTF has been at risk of insolvency, in part because its revenues are heavily dependent on fuel taxes. According to the Congressional Research Service, the HTF has needed significant transfers of general revenues to remain solvent. During the life of Destination 2050, a key challenge will be to ensure a stable source of federal funding for surface transportation.

 

State Aid

Revenues for the region’s highway system are also generated at the state level. The Massachusetts Legislature authorizes the issuance of bonds for transportation expenditures through passage of transportation bond bills. This allows the Commonwealth to provide matching funds to federal-aid projects, to pay for fully state-funded (nonfederal aid) projects, and to offer support to municipalities through local-aid programs, such as Chapter 90.

 

The two main types of bonds the Commonwealth issues are General Obligation bonds, which are backed by the full taxing authority of the Commonwealth, and Special Obligation Bonds, which are backed primarily by gas taxes and fees from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The funds generated by taxes and fees are deposited in the Commonwealth Transportation fund and are used to pay debt service on the bonds and to fund MassDOT, the MBTA, and other regional transit authorities (RTAs) in the Commonwealth.

 

The Commonwealth supports other infrastructure improvements in the region using revenue collected from three tolled facilities: the Western Turnpike (Interstate 90 west of Interstate 95); the Metropolitan Highway System (MHS) tolled facilities east of Interstate 95; and the Tobin Bridge. The projected annual net revenues on each of the toll facilities—after operating expenses and debt service payments of the MHS—are available for capital projects as pay-go capital funds. The term pay-go is short for Pay As You Go, which refers to the practice of financing projects with funds that are currently available rather than borrowed.

 

Other Funding Sources

In the BIL, as in some past federal transportation funding acts, congressional earmarks provide funding for specific projects. In addition, with federal approval, MassDOT can access funding from the Central Artery Project Repair and Maintenance Trust Fund to address eligible MHS projects. Funding for transportation projects, including matching funds, may also be provided by municipalities or private institutions. For example, MassDOT is exploring the use of public-private partnerships as a financing mechanism for transportation projects.

 

            Highway System Spending

MassDOT is the recipient of federal highway aid to the Commonwealth. Between FFYs 2024 and 2050, Massachusetts will receive approximately $28 billion from the federal government to invest in the state’s highway system, based on funding details and assumptions provided by MassDOT. This total reflects annual estimates that account for both anticipated Massachusetts apportionments and additional obligation authority that MassDOT expects the federal government will redistribute from other states to the Commonwealth through the August redistribution process. These projections assume that Congress will enact a future transportation authorization act that will provide similar funding levels to those in the BIL (after it expires on September 30, 2026), and that the Highway Trust Fund will be sufficient to provide reimbursements for state transportation spending.

 

To create this $28 billion estimate, MassDOT developed near-term funding estimates for the first five-year period in the Massachusetts MPOs’ LRTPs, FFYs 2024 to 2028. Between FFYs 2024 and 2028, the annual percentage change in the Massachusetts apportionment is an approximate two percent increase per year. Federal agencies also advised MassDOT and the MPOs to assume that federal apportionments to Massachusetts will increase by two percent each year from FFY 2029 to FFY 2050. This growth factor is based on an analysis of actual federal funding allocations to the Commonwealth in recent years. The assumption is that Massachusetts will receive a consistent level of redistributed obligation authority from FHWA, which is estimated at $50 million per year between FFYs 2024 and 2028.

 

When MassDOT allocates its apportionment of federal dollars for the highway system, it first deducts the Commonwealth’s debt service payments owed to the federal government. It then allocates the remaining federal funds, which are matched with state funds, to statewide road and bridge programs for projects prioritized by MassDOT, and to the MPOs in the Commonwealth for projects prioritized by these regional bodies. The sections that follow provide additional detail about each stage of this funding distribution process.

 

Debt Service Payments

In recent years, the Commonwealth has used a highway project financing mechanism known as grant anticipation notes (GANs) to pay for major highway projects. GANs are bonds issued by the state that are secured by anticipated, future federal highway funds. In the late 1990s, the Commonwealth issued $1.5 billion in GANs to finance construction of a portion of the Central Artery/Ted Williams Tunnel Project. The majority of the project was completed in 2006. The Commonwealth made its final payment on this debt in 2014.

 

While the Central Artery/Tunnel repayments were winding down, the Commonwealth issued GANs again in 2010 for the Accelerated Bridge Program (ABP). This action followed the passage in 2008 of the Accelerated Bridge Program Act, which authorized issuance of as much as $1.108 billion in GANs and $1.876 billion in Commonwealth special obligation bonds. The ABP has advertised more than 200 construction contracts with a combined budget of $2.43 billion.

 

The debt that the Commonwealth has incurred for the ABP will continue into the period covered by Destination 2050. The GANs for the ABP began to mature in state fiscal year (SFY) 2015 and are anticipated to continue to mature until SFY 2026.

 

Between FFYs 2023 and 2027, MassDOT expects to invest more than $3 billion repairing the Commonwealth's bridges. This amount includes $816 million already programmed in the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) under  the BIL's reauthorization of existing programs, $1.1 billion under the BIL's new Bridge Formula Program, and $1.25 billion in bonding authority under the Commonwealth's Next Generation Bridge Program (NGBP).

 

The Commonwealth has also issued GANs for the NGBP. Like the ABP, the NGBP will leverage state bonding capacity to accelerate the rehabilitation and replacement of critical or structurally deficient bridges across Massachusetts, and the debt payments on these bonds will be paid using future federal formula funding.The GANs for the NGBP will begin to mature in SFY 2032 and are anticipated to continue to mature until SFY 2045. The total GANs repayment amounts during the life of Destination 2050 are estimated to be $739.8 million.

 

Regional Priorities

Available Funding

After MassDOT has allocated funding to GANs repayments, it designates the remainder for spending on state and regional (MPO) priorities. These remaining federal dollars, which come through several FHWA funding programs established in the BIL, must be matched in some portion by state or local dollars, as dictated by the funding split formula of each particular program. Federal funds usually cover 80 percent of a project’s cost, and the state or local government covers 20 percent. Some federal programs offer a 90 percent federal share or full funding. MassDOT customarily provides the non-federal match, though other entities can also provide it.

 

States and MPOs must consider the eligibility requirements of federal-aid highway programs when spending money on projects and programs. Table F-1 lists FHWA programs that generally supply funding to MassDOT and the Commonwealth’s MPOs.

 

Table F-1
Federal Highway Administration Programs Applicable to MassDOT and Massachusetts MPOs

BIL Program

Eligible Uses

Bridge Formula Program (BFP)

Efforts to replace, rehabilitate, preserve, protect, and construct highway bridges

Carbon Reduction Program (CRP)*

Projects designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from on-road highway sources

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ)

A wide range of projects to reduce congestion and improve air quality in nonattainment and maintenance areas for ozone, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter

Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP)

Implementation of infrastructure-related highway safety improvements

Metropolitan Planning

Facilities that contribute to an intermodal transportation system, including intercity bus, pedestrian, and bicycle facilities

National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program

Projects that support the strategic deployment of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and establish an interconnected EV network to facilitate data collection, access, and reliability

National Highway Freight Program (NHFP)

Projects that improve the efficient movement of freight on the National Highway Freight Network

National Highway Performance Program (NHPP)

Improvements to interstate routes, major urban and rural arterials, connectors to major intermodal facilities, and the national defense network; replacement or rehabilitation of any public bridge; and resurfacing, restoring, and rehabilitating routes on the Interstate Highway System

Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) Program*

Efforts to make surface transportation more resilient to natural hazards, including climate change, sea level rise, flooding, extreme weather events, and other natural disasters through support of planning activities, resilience improvements, community resilience and evacuation routes, and at-risk coastal infrastructure

Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program

A broad range of surface transportation capital needs, including roads; transit, sea, and airport access; and vanpool, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities

Transportation Alternatives (TA)

A set-aside from the STBG program that funds the construction of infrastructure-related projects (for example, sidewalk, crossing, and on-road bicycle facility improvements)

* Although MassDOT will be directing the use of these funds, their apportioned amounts are factored into the amount of regional target funding allocated to MPOs and projected as part of RTP financial estimates.

BIL = Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. FHWA = Federal Highway Administration. MassDOT = Massachusetts Department of Transportation. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization. RTP = Regional Transportation Plan.
Source: Federal Highway Administration.

 

The distribution of funds to MPOs is determined by a formula established by the Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies (MARPA), which factors in each region’s share of the state population. This formula was last updated in 1991. Of the 10 MPOs and three transportation planning organizations in the Commonwealth, the Boston Region MPO receives the largest portion (approximately 43 percent) of this Regional Target funding through this formula-based distribution because of its large population. Again, these funds must be programmed in the TIP and, subsequently, the STIP before construction can be authorized using federal-aid funds. The STIP describes the federal-aid funded projects to be implemented statewide over a five-year period.

 

Table F-2 summarizes the distribution of federal funds expected in Massachusetts between FFY 2024 and FFY 2050 for Boston Region MPO Regional Target funding, other Massachusetts MPO Regional Target funding, funding for MassDOT’s statewide programs, and GANs repayments. Funding is summarized in each category by Destination 2050 time band.

 

Table F-2
Federal Highway Funding for Massachusetts

Federal Fiscal Years

Boston Region MPO Funds

Other
MPO
Funds

Statewide Program Funds

GANs Repaymenta

Total

2024–28

$697.6

$925.9

$3,152.8

$349.8

$4,776.2

2029–33

$833.0

$1,105.7

$3,753.6

$25.0

$5,692.3

2034–38

$898.6

$1,192.8

$4,007.9

$150.0

$6,099.3

2039–43

$988.4

$1,311.9

$4,408.3

$160.0

$6,708.6

2044–50

$1,592.6

$2,113.9

$7,103.4

$25.0

$10,809.9

Total

$5,010.1

$6,650.2

$22,426.0

$684.8

$34,086.3

Note: Dollar values are shown in millions. Totals may not match the sums of values due to rounding.
a The GANs Repayment dollar values include federal funds only. All other categories include state matching funds.
GANs = Grant Anticipation Notes. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Source: Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

 

Boston Region MPO LRTP Programming

Each MPO in the state can decide how to prioritize its Regional Target funding, and the MPO engages its 97 cities and towns in this decision-making when developing its LRTP every four years and its TIP each year. Given that the Regional Target funding originates from the Federal-Aid Highway Program, the Boston Region MPO board typically programs the majority of its Regional Target funding on roadway projects. However, the MPO board has flexed portions of its Regional Target funding to transit projects, such as when it gave support to the Green Line Extension transit expansion project.

 

As mentioned previously, the MPO expects to receive approximately $5 billion in Regional Target funds (federal dollars plus a state match) to spend on transportation projects in the region between FFYs 2024 and 2050. This estimate is based in part on MassDOT’s and the MPO’s assumption that federal appropriations to Massachusetts will increase by two percent per year.

 

MPOs must document selected projects and programs in ways that comply with federal requirements before construction can be authorized with federal-aid funds. When the Boston Region MPO develops its LRTP, which has a horizon of 20 years or longer, it must list, describe, and provide cost estimates for projects that are regionally significant. Using FHWA’s definition, the MPO defines regionally significant projects as those that would change the capacity of the transportation system on regionally significant facilities (roadways classified as principal arterials or higher, or fixed-guideway transit systems), regardless of whether they are funded with federal-aid or nonfederal-aid sources.

 

A challenge for MPOs and MassDOT when selecting projects and programs to fund is that project costs are expected to inflate by four percent per year over the life of Destination 2050, while federal funding is only expected to increase by two percent per year. If these projections hold true, the MPO expects project cost growth to outpace funding growth, which will result in diminished buying power in future years. For example, a project costing $10 million if constructed in FFY 2029 would cost increasingly more if programmed in the outer years of the LRTP. To deliver the same project in FFY 2050, the cost would be $22.8 million, while the available revenues for that project would be only $15.2 million.

 

The MPO considers these anticipated project cost growth rates as well as projected revenues when it allocates funding to investment programs and selects transportation projects for its LRTP. This helps the MPO ensure that it meets fiscal constraint requirements.

 

The projects and programs outlined in Chapter 5 set the long-term framework for the short-term funding decisions that the MPO makes annually when developing its rolling five-year TIP. Projects that are scheduled to be implemented in that five-year period, regardless of cost or regional impact, must be documented in the TIP. When making decisions about the TIP each year, the MPO accounts for the timing of regionally significant projects and considers how other candidate projects may fit into its investment programs. Each year, the TIPs from all the MPOs in the state are combined to form the STIP.

 

In addition to documenting federally funded projects for which the state has obligation authority, the TIP and STIP also document projects that would be funded using the Advance Construction financing method. In these cases, a state may receive approval from FHWA to begin a project before the state has received the necessary obligation authority. This prequalification allows a project to move forward initially with state funding and request federal reimbursements later.

 

State Priorities

The Boston Region MPO’s investments in the roadway system are complemented by the Commonwealth’s roadway investment priorities overseen by MassDOT. State priorities play a primary role in addressing the operations and infrastructure maintenance needs of the highway system in the Boston region.

 

MassDOT’s rolling five-year Capital Investment Plan (CIP) directs how MassDOT’s component divisions prioritize capital improvements for Massachusetts’ transportation system. The CIP process is based on a framework that prioritizes funding according to MassDOT’s strategic goals (listed in order of priority):

 

 

MassDOT creates investment programs for the CIP that relate to these strategic goals, and it allocates funding to these goals and programs in ways that emphasize their priority. MassDOT’s operations and maintenance investments are funded through these programs, which are referenced in the sections that follow. MassDOT’s decisions about how to manage its assets via these programs are shaped by an array of asset management tools and systems. One important tool is MassDOT’s Transportation Asset Management Plan for National Highway System (NHS) assets in Massachusetts. This plan provides an inventory and assessment of bridge and pavement assets, identifies performance gaps, discusses the results of life cycle cost and risk management analyses, and describes investment strategies and a financial plan MassDOT will follow to improve the system.

 

Bridges

MassDOT is responsible for prioritizing bridge projects statewide. In addition to the Next Generation Bridge Program, bridge preservation and maintenance projects are funded through the statewide Bridge Program, one of MassDOT’s reliability-oriented capital programs. Funding for this program comes from several of the federal-aid highway programs mentioned in Table F-1: the National Highway Performance Program (NHPP), the Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program, and the Bridge Formula Program. NHPP funding is generally applied to projects involving bridges on the NHS, while the STBG Program generally funds bridges on public roads that may not be on the NHS. A portion of STBG Program funding is also set aside for “Off-System Bridges,” or highway bridges located on a public road that is not a federal-aid highway. Projects funded through the statewide bridge program typically receive 80 percent federal funding and a 20 percent nonfederal match. When programming funding toward bridge improvements, MassDOT programs federally required minimum amounts of NHPP funds to address NHS bridge performance needs.

 

The portion of total statewide federal dollars (including match funding) dedicated to the statewide bridge program each year ranges between 32 and 40 percent between FFY 2024 and FFY 2028. From FFY 2029 through 2050, it comprises approximately 41 percent of statewide federal dollars and match funding each year. Between FFY 2024 and 2050, MassDOT expects to dedicate $9 billion to the statewide bridge program. MassDOT’s decisions about federal-aid bridge project programming are based on data from asset management systems and condition-based criteria; they are not shaped by region-level allocations. As a result, federal bridge funding projections specific to the Boston region between FFYs 2024 and 2050 are not included here.

 

MassDOT also expects to spend nonfederal aid on NHS bridge maintenance and improvement and NHS roadway preservation between FFYs 2024 and 2050. MassDOT uses the MARPA formula to estimate the portion of funds that will be spent in each regional planning area in Massachusetts; however, the actual expenditure of funds in each region will be informed by MassDOT’s asset management systems. The Boston Region MPO expects that MassDOT will allocate approximately 43 percent of the funding to the region in accordance with that formula, and a portion of those funds will be spent to improve bridges.

 

Interstate Maintenance and Pavement Management

MassDOT’s pavement programs for interstate and non-interstate (MassDOT-owned) highways also support its Reliability strategic goal area. The federal funding source for these programs is the NHPP.

 

Between FFYs 2024 and 2050, MassDOT expects to make approximately $1.4 billion in federal dollars (including state match funds) available for interstate pavement maintenance throughout Massachusetts. This funding comprises six percent of total statewide federal dollars. Approximately 39 percent of the interstate lane miles in the Commonwealth are in the Boston Region MPO area, thus the MPO expects to receive that proportion of statewide interstate maintenance funds over the span of the LRTP, amounting to $541 million.

 

MassDOT also expects to make approximately $2.38 billion in federal funding (including state match funds) available for non-interstate NHS pavement maintenance throughout the state between FFYs 2024 and 2050. The portion of total statewide federal dollars (including match funding) dedicated to the non-interstate MassDOT-owned NHS network ranges between 10 and 13 percent each year between FFY 2024 and FFY 2050.

 

In addition to its interstate lane mileage, the Boston Region MPO area contains 27 percent of the lane miles of non-interstate NHS roadways that are eligible to receive funding through the non-Interstate MassDOT pavement program. As a result, the MPO expects to receive 27 percent of this statewide funding for other highway preservation projects, which will amount to $648 million during the span of this LRTP.

 

In addition, MassDOT anticipates making additional nonfederal aid available for NHS bridge maintenance and improvement and NHS roadway preservation between FFYs 2024 and 2050. Forty-three percent of that funding is expected to be spent in the Boston region during that timeframe, and a portion of that funding will be spent to address pavement preservation needs.

 

Other Statewide Programs Addressing Transportation Needs

MassDOT’s CIP framework includes additional programs that meet statewide transportation needs, including other aspects of maintaining and operating the roadway network:

 

 

Regionally significant projects funded by the Commonwealth may be partially or wholly paid for through these programs.

 

These statewide programs are supported by a range of funding sources noted in Table F-1, including, but not limited to, the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program, the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), and Transportation Alternatives (TA) Program. For example, CMAQ supports transportation projects that reduce traffic congestion and thereby improve air quality, and HSIP funding is used to reduce the number and severity of crashes at locations identified as particularly hazardous based on crash reports on file at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. In addition, TA funding supports projects such as transportation enhancements, multiuse trails, and projects that create safe routes for children to access schools.

 

MassDOT expects to spend approximately $9.6 billion in federal and statewide match funding on these other statewide programs between FFY 2024 and FFY 2050. The portion of total statewide federal funding (including state match) dedicated to other statewide investment programs ranges between 41 and 49 percent each year. MassDOT projected each region’s share of this funding using the MARPA formula. The Boston region is expected to receive 43 percent of available funding, or $4.14 billion, between FFY 2024 and FFY 2050.

 

Table F-3 summarizes the funding MassDOT expects to have available in each of its statewide priority areas: statewide bridges, interstate maintenance, non-interstate NHS maintenance, and other statewide programs. This information is organized by Destination 2050 time band.

 

Table F-3
Projected Funding for Statewide Priority Areas

Federal Fiscal Years

Statewide Bridge

Interstate Maintenance

Non-Interstate NHS Maintenance

Other Statewide Programs

Total

2024–28

$1,082.7

$213.7

$355.8

$1,486.3

$3,138.5

2029–33

$1,500.8

$226.9

$385.9

$1,626.9

$3,740.5

2034–38

$1,656.9

$250.5

$426.1

$1,674.4

$4,007.9

2039–43

$1,829.4

$276.6

$470.4

$1,831.9

$4,408.3

2044–50

$2,885.4

$436.3

$742.0

$3,015.0

$7,078.7

Total

$8,955.2

$1,404.1

$2,380.2

$9,634.5

$22,374.0

Note: Dollar values are shown in millions. Totals may not match the sums of values due to rounding.
NHS = National Highway System.
Source: Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

 

Table F-4 summarizes the funding the Boston region expects to receive for interstate maintenance, non-interstate NHS pavement maintenance, and other statewide transportation programs by Destination 2050 time band.

 

Table F-4
Estimates of Projected Funding for Statewide Roadway Investments in the Boston Region

Federal Fiscal Years

Interstate Maintenance

Non-Interstate NHS Maintenance

Other Statewide Programs

Total

2024–28

$82.4

$96.8

$638.6

$817.8

2029–33

$87.4

$105.0

$699.1

$891.5

2034–38

$96.5

$116.0

$719.4

$931.9

2039–43

$106.6

$128.0

$787.1

$1,021.7

2044–50

$168.1

$201.9

$1,295.5

$1,655.5

Total

$540.9

$647.8

$4,139.7

$5,328.3

Note: Dollar values are shown in millions. Totals may not match the sums of values due to rounding. This table excludes funding through the statewide federal-aid bridge program, as specific projections are not available for the Boston region.
NHS = National Highway System. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Source: Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

 

The Commonwealth will also support maintenance and operations needs on the region’s transportation system using revenue collected from its tolled facilities. In its SFY 2024–28 CIP, MassDOT notes that over the next five years it expects to spend $840 million on the MHS, $503 million on the Western Turnpike, and $132 million on the Tobin Bridge. As mentioned above, these would be pay-go funds. In addition, according to the SFY 2024–28 CIP, MassDOT expects to spend $166 million in funds from the Central Artery Tunnel Project Repair and Maintenance Trust Funds.

 

Local Priorities

Several Commonwealth programs are geared towards providing funding to address municipal-level transportation priorities. The largest of these is the Chapter 90 program, which reimburses municipalities for spending on local roadway and bridge projects. The Massachusetts Legislature establishes Chapter 90 funding on an annual basis. According to the SFYs 2024–28 CIP, MassDOT estimates that the Commonwealth will spend approximately $200 million in Chapter 90 funds statewide each year during that five-year period. Funding is allocated to municipalities based on a legislatively established formula. Municipalities have the discretion to select their projects, which may include maintenance of municipal roadways, sidewalk improvements, right-of-way acquisition, landscaping, drainage improvements, street lighting, and upgrades to traffic control devices. The Commonwealth’s SFY 2024 apportionment of Chapter 90 funds to Boston region municipalities is $79.9 million.

 

Other programs that support local priorities include MassDOT’s Complete Streets program (which is distinct from the MPO’s Complete Streets investment program). This program provides funding and technical assistance to communities for the construction of facilities that enhance pedestrian, bicycle, and transit travel for roadway users of all ages and abilities. As noted in its SFY 2024–28 CIP, MassDOT expects to spend $75 million through this program over five years.

 

In addition, the Commonwealth’s Municipal Small Bridge program assists municipalities by providing repair or replacement funding for town-owned bridges that are shorter than 20 feet and are therefore not eligible for federal bridge funding. MassDOT’s SFY 2024–28 CIP reports that MassDOT will spend $75 million through this program over the next five years.

 

Additional funding for transportation may be available to municipalities from sources beyond MassDOT. For example, the Transportation Network Company (TNC) Division of the Department of Public Utilities must collect a $0.20 per-ride assessment on all TNC rides (such as Uber or Lyft) originating in the Commonwealth. In 2022, half of the total $12.1 million assessment was distributed to MassDevelopment, the Commonwealth’s economic development and finance agency, and to the Commonwealth’s Transportation fund. The other half was distributed to Massachusetts cities and towns based on the number of TNC rides that originated in each municipality. Municipalities spent this money on an assortment of transportation initiatives including bikeshare operational support and the purchase of benches, bollards, and other streetscape elements.

 

In addition, the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which is administered by the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, provides capital funds to municipalities and other eligible public entities for infrastructure projects that support and accelerate housing production, spur private development, and create jobs throughout Massachusetts. In 2022, twelve Boston Region municipalities— Arlington, Bellingham, Braintree, Foxborough, Franklin, Holbrook, Littleton, Lynn, Marlborough, Newton, Rockland, and Weymouth—received MassWorks funding for projects with transportation components.

 

            Transit System Funding

Transit systems require funding for capital improvements, to operate service, and to conduct maintenance to provide safe and reliable transit service. This sectionreports on funding for the three transit providers that receive federal funds in the Boston region on an ongoing basis: the MBTA, CATA, and MWRTA. These three agencies report their federally funded investments in the Boston Region MPO’s LRTP and TIP. This section also provides information on MassDOT-managed statewide grant funding (partially funded with federal dollars) that a variety of transit providers in the region can access to improve their systems. Finally, information on funding resources and expected costs associated with operating and maintaining the MBTA’s, CATA’s, and MWRTA’s transit systems is provided.

 

            Transit Capital Funding Sources

Federal Aid

Congress has authorized federal aid for transit programs through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law until September 30, 2026. Approximately 80 percent of federal funding for public transportation in the United States comes from the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund, while the remainder comes from the general fund of the US Treasury. Like federal funding for highways, federal funding for transit is dependent on both transportation authorization bills such as the BIL and the availability of resources from the HTF. In addition, as with federal highway funding, federal transit dollars are subject to obligation authority limits.

 

FTA provides funding for transit through both formula-based programs and non-formula grants. Formula-based aid is allocated to urbanized areas (UZAs), which are areas defined by the US Census that have populations of 50,000 or more. MassDOT receives federal aid for the Boston UZA and allocates it to transit agencies within the UZA based on a negotiated split agreement. Transit agencies can also access federal funds by applying to FTA non-formula, or discretionary grant, programs. Transit agencies may also be eligible to apply to discretionary grant programs administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and USDOT. Federal funds provided to transit agencies must be matched by funds from state, local, or other sources. These match requirements vary by program.

 

Table F-5 describes FTA and FRA programs that have provided funds to the Boston region’s transit systems in recent years.

 

Table F-5
Federal Transit Administration and Federal Railroad Administration Programs Applicable to Transit Providers in the Boston Region

BIL Program

Federal Agency

Program Type

Eligible Uses

Section 5307: Urbanized Area Formula Grants

FTA

Formula

Transit capital and operating assistance in urbanized areas

Section 5337: State of Good Repair Program

FTA

Formula

Maintenance, rehabilitation, and replacement of transit assets to maintain a state of good repair

Section 5339: Bus and Bus Facilities

FTA

Includes formula and discretionary grant components

Capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment, to construct bus-related facilities, and to purchase or lease low- or no-emission buses

Section 5310: Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities

FTA

Formula

Capital expenses that support transportation to meet the special needs of older adults and persons with disabilities

Section 5309: Capital Investment Grants

FTA

Discretionary grant

Grants for new and expanded rail, bus rapid transit, and ferry systems that reflect local priorities to improve transportation options in key corridors

Positive Train Control Grant Program

FTA and FRA

Discretionary grant

Installation of positive train control systems on commuter rail systems*

*Positive train control systems are advanced systems designed to stop a train automatically before certain accidents occur.
FRA = Federal Railroad Administration. FTA = Federal Transit Administration. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Sources: FTA, FRA, and the Boston Region MPO.

 

Federal Funding for the MBTA

The MBTA receives formula funding from the Urbanized Area Formula Grants program (Section 5307), the State of Good Repair program (Section 5337), and the Bus and Bus Facilities program (Section 5339), as described in Table F-6. The MBTA, which has the largest transit service and asset portfolio of the transit agencies in the Boston region, is the recipient of the preponderance of federal transit funds that come to the region via these programs.

 

As with the federal sources of highway funding, MPO staff developed estimates of FTA formula funds expected to be available for transit agencies throughout the Commonwealth. The MBTA typically provides a 20 percent match to these FTA formula funds.

 

Table F-6 shows the amounts of Section 5307, Section 5337, and Section 5339 federal formula funds that the MBTA is expected to receive between FFY 2024 and FFY 2050, grouped by Destination 2050 time band. This table also shows a projected amount of MBTA match funding, based on an 80 percent federal share and 20 percent local share of funding through these programs. More information about the sources of MBTA match funding is available in the sections that follow.

 

Table F-6
Federal Formula Funds for the MBTA

Federal Program

FFYs 2024–28

FFYs 2029–33

FFYs 2034–38

FFYs 2039–43

FFYs 2044–50

Total

Section 5307: Urbanized Area Formula Grants

$943.4

$943.4

$943.4

$943.4

$1,320.8

$5,094.6

Section 5337: State of Good Repair Grants

$1,137.7

$1,137.7

$1,137.7

$1,137.7

$1,592.8

$6,143.6

Section 5339: Bus and Bus Facilities

$30.4

$30.4

$30.4

$30.4

$42.6

$164.4

MBTA Match for All Formula Programs

$527.9

$527.9

$527.9

$527.9

$739.1

$2,850.6

Total

$2,639.5

$2,639.5

$2,639.5

$2,639.5

$3,695.3

$14,253.2

Note: Dollars are shown in millions. Federal program funds are expected to remain constant each year.

FFY = Federal Fiscal Year. MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Sources: FTA, MassDOT, the MBTA, and the Boston Region MPO.

 

In addition to these federal formula funds, the MBTA will continue to pursue discretionary funding opportunities in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. As of February 2023, the MBTA had won $249.4 million in discretionary grant funding in state fiscal years 2022 and 2023. Some examples of this funding include the following :

 

Federal Funding for CATA

CATA receives a portion of the Urbanized Area Formula Grants program (Section 5307) funds that come to the Boston UZA. MPO staff assumed that these funds would increase two percent per year between FFY 2024 and FFY 2050. These projections are shown in Table F-7.

 

Table F-7
Federal Funds for CATA

Federal Program

FFYs 2024–28

FFYs 2029–33

FFYs 2034–38

FFYs 2039–43

FFYs 2044–50

All Years

Section 5307: Urbanized Area Formula Grants

$3.8

$4.2

$4.6

$5.1

$8.1

$25.8

Note: Funding amounts are shown in millions. FTA Section 5307 funds are expected to increase by two percent per year. Matching funds are not shown in this table.
CATA = Cape Ann Transportation Authority. FFY = Federal Fiscal Year. FTA = Federal Transit Administration. MassDOT = Massachusetts Department of Transportation. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Sources: FTA, MassDOT, and the Boston Region MPO.

 

CATA can spend these Urbanized Area Formula funds on capital projects and is eligible to spend as much as 75 percent of its annual Urbanized Area Formula funding allocation on operating costs or use the funds for capital costs, per FTA. CATA typically spends a portion of this funding on preventative maintenance for its vehicles each year; this is an operating expense that FTA has deemed eligible as a capital project that can be funded 80 percent with federal dollars. It allocates the rest to capital investments.

 

Both CATA and MWRTA typically receive capital dollars from the Commonwealth’s RTA Capital Assistance (RTA CAP) fund. MassDOT works with RTAs to provide matching funds for individual capital projects that are approved for inclusion in the MassDOT CIP, with the match amount based on the amount of federal funds that RTAs pledge toward each project. FTA formula funds typically require a 20 percent local match, which MassDOT typically fulfills, although in some cases MassDOT may provide a larger share.

 

Federal Funding for MWRTA

Like CATA, MWRTA receives Urbanized Area Formula Grants program (Section 5307) funds to support its capital infrastructure. Table F-8 shows the amount of these funds expected to be available to MWRTA during the life of Destination 2050, based on MassDOT projections.

 

Table F-8
Federal Funds for MWRTA

Federal Program

FFYs 2024–28

FFYs 2029–33

FFYs 2034–38

FFYs 2039–43

FFYs 2044–50

Total

Section 5307: Urbanized Area Formula Grants

$16.4

$18.5

$21.0

$23.7

$38.5

$118.2

Note: Funding amounts are shown in millions. FTA Section 5307 funds are expected to increase by 2.5 percent per year. Matching funds are not shown in this table.
FFY = Federal Fiscal Year. FTA = Federal Transit Administration. MassDOT = Massachusetts Department of Transportation. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization. MWRTA = MetroWest Regional Transit Authority.
Sources: FTA, MassDOT, and the Boston Region MPO.

 

MWRTA is also similar to CATA in that it is eligible to spend as much as 75 percent of its allocation on operating costs, per FTA. MWRTA typically spends a significant share of its Urbanized Area Formula funds on operating expenses each year, particularly to support its ADA paratransit service. MWRTA allocates its remaining Section 5307 funding to capital projects after operating needs are met. As discussed previously, the Commonwealth matches federal funding for CIP-approved RTA capital projects on an individual project basis; typically, MassDOT’s match share is 20 percent, although this share can vary from project to project.

 

Other Federal Funding for Transit

MassDOT oversees the distribution of other federal funding for transit in the Boston region. Each year, MassDOT’s Rail and Transit Division administers the competitive Community Transit Grant Program, which awards funding to help meet the transportation and mobility needs of seniors and people with disabilities. This program is supported by both the federal Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities program (Section 5310), and Mobility Assistance Program (MAP) funds from the Commonwealth. Awards from this program fund mobility management initiatives, operational costs, and capital equipment, such as vehicles. A Community Transit Grant Program committee advises MassDOT staff by reviewing and scoring applications for Section 5310 and MAP funding through this program. Once awards are made, MassDOT submits a Section 5310 funding application to FTA.

 

While MassDOT distributes federal Section 5310 funding through a competitive grant process, a designated portion of this funding must be allocated within the Boston UZA, as Section 5310 is a formula-based program. Table F-9 shows the expected amount of Section 5310 dollars that MPO staff expect to be available in the Boston UZA.

 

Table F-9
Federal Section 5310 Funds for the Boston Urbanized Area

Federal Program

FFYs 2024–28

FFYs 2029–33

FFYs 2034–38

FFYs 2039–43

FFYs 2044–50

Total

Section 5310: Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities

$29.4

$32.4

$35.8

$39.5

$62.4

$199.5

Note: Funding amounts are shown in millions. FTA Section 5310 funds are expected to increase by two percent per year.
FFY = Federal Fiscal Year. FTA = Federal Transit Administration. MassDOT = Massachusetts Department of Transportation. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Sources: FTA, MassDOT, and the Boston Region MPO.

 

MWRTA and CATA are eligible to receive funds through the Community Transit Grant Program. For example, in SFY 2023, MWRTA was awarded $80,000 for MWRTA TOP, which improves individual mobility and enhances transportation equity and accessibility by making travel independence possible within the MetroWest area. In that same year, CATA was awarded $61,320 to provide van transportation for people going to dialysis and medical appointments in Beverly, Danvers, and Peabody as well as a direct transfer to the MBTA RIDE. Other types of entities that may receive these funds include municipal governments and private, nonprofit transportation providers in the Boston UZA. Funds awarded through the Community Transit Grant Program may be matched by local sources, depending on their use.

 

State Aid

The Commonwealth supplements federal dollars for transit capital spending with state revenues, including bond funds. The Commonwealth issues general obligation bonds and special obligation bonds. In its SFY 2024–28 CIP, MassDOT expects to make the following investments in the MBTA:

 

 

Commonwealth bond funds are also used to provide RTA CAP funding to RTAs such as MWRTA and CATA. These funds provide the match funding for federal dollars or help RTAs to make additional capital investments. RTAs coordinate with the MassDOT Rail and Transit Division to identify funding for individual projects that are approved for inclusion in the CIP. According to MassDOT’s draft 2024–28 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), MassDOT expects to spend $169 million statewide in RTA CAP funding, portions of which would support MWRTA and CATA.

 

Finally, MassDOT’s Mobility Assistance Program provides funding that helps to support the Community Transit Grant Program. The MassDOT CIP notes that the MAP is expected to make approximately $103 million available statewide between SFYs 2024–28.

 

Other Funding Sources

The MBTA has several other funding sources that supplement Commonwealth and federal dollars for transit capital improvement projects. MBTA revenue bonds, including sustainability bonds, help provide matches for federal dollars and otherwise support MBTA capital projects. The MBTA’s ability to issue these bonds is contingent on the ability of its operating budget to support increased debt service, and market variables will have an impact on the costs of new debt and the bond proceeds available to support the capital program from future debt issuance.

 

Other funding sources for MBTA capital projects include the following:

 

 

MWRTA and CATA projects may also be supported by local funds. In some cases, revenues from tolls—referred to as toll credits—can also be used to match federal funds.

 

            Transit Capital Spending

The transit funding sources described previously help to support the capital investments that the MBTA, MWRTA, and CATA will make between FFYs 2024 and 2050. As with highway investments, transit capital investments can be organized according to the strategic goals in the MBTA CIP, which parallel those in the MassDOT CIP: reliability and modernization, and expansion. These transit agencies’ priorities are also shaped by their respective transit asset management plans, which include transit asset inventory and condition assessments and strategies to bring vehicles, facilities, and other infrastructure into a state of good repair. This section explains the MBTA’s, MWRTA’s, and CATA’s approaches to spending federal funds to meet their systems’ state of good repair, modernization, and other needs.

 

MBTA Capital Investment

The MBTA’s capital investments are driven by two overarching priorities:

 

 

The MBTA has investment programs that it uses to support its priorities. The investment programs are sized annually to align with the MBTA’s needs and goals. The MBTA’s investment programs are shown in Table F-10.

 

Table F-10
MBTA CIP Investment Programs and Priority Areas

Priority Area

Related Capital Investment Programs

Reliability and Modernization

Bridge and Tunnel

Guideway, Signal, and Power

Maintenance and Administrative Facilities

Passenger Facilities

Vehicles

Business and Operational Support

Technology and Innovation

Expansion

Green Line Extension

South Coast Rail

Other Expansion Projects

Source: Draft MBTA SFYs 2024–28 Capital Investment Plan.

 

The MBTA is required by FTA to develop an asset management program to prioritize asset investments based on current condition assessments. Annually, the MBTA reports information about its assets to the National Transit Database and sets forward-looking asset performance targets for fleet age, speed restrictions, and facility condition. These targets are reviewed and approved each year by the MPO and FTA.

 

The MBTA also updates its Transit Asset Management Plan (TAMP) every four years to identify existing and proposed levels of service and determine life cycle management needs by asset class. The TAMP is intended to document the MBTA’s asset portfolio, current condition, and asset management practices and establish the MBTA’s approach to maintaining the more than 50,000 assets and 11 asset classes that make up its transit system.

 

Between SFY 2024 and SFY 2028, the MBTA proposes to spend $9.2 billion on 600 capital projects. Table F-11 shows the MBTA’s proposed spending by category.

 

Table F-11
MBTA Proposed Capital Spending, SFY 2024 to 2028

Primary Mode

Proposed Spending

Number of Projects

Commuter Rail

$2,372

117

Systemwide

$1,841

220

Green Line

$1,654

55

Bus

$1,204

65

Red and Orange Lines

$696

7

Red Line

$598

35

Multimodal

$442

47

Orange Line

$149

18

Blue Line

$79

17

Mattapan Line

$78

3

Ferry

$38

7

Paratransit

$29

4

Silver Line

$28

5

Note: Dollars are shown in millions.

SFY = State Fiscal Year.

Source: Draft MBTA SFYs 2024–28 Capital Investment Plan.

 

More information can be found in the MBTA’s SFY 2024–28 CIP.

 

RTA Capital Investment

MassDOT’s SFYs 2024–28 CIP also includes programs in its reliability and modernization goal areas that are specific to RTAs. Table F-12 lists these programs.

 

Table F-12
RTA-Related CIP Programs and MassDOT Strategic Goal Areas

Strategic Goal Area

Related Capital Investment Programs

Reliability

RTA Facility and Vehicle Maintenance

RTA Vehicle Replacement

Modernization

RTA Facility and System Modernization

RTA Fleet Upgrades Program

CIP = Capital Investment Plan. MassDOT = Massachusetts Department of Transportation. RTA = Regional Transit Authority. SFY = State Fiscal Year.
Source: SFYs 2024–28 MassDOT Capital Investment Plan.

 

The CIP reflects upcoming capital expenditures by MWRTA and CATA, which are informed by their TAM Plans. CATA’s upcoming capital expenses include replacement vehicle purchases, shelter replacements, improvements to the parking lot at CATA’s Pond Road facility in Gloucester, and purchases of other shop equipment and software. Ongoing capital funding will be needed to support vehicle replacement and facility improvements. Table F-7 shows that CATA can expect to receive $25.8 million in federal Urbanized Area Formula funds to support its capital investments over the life of Destination 2050.These funds would be matched by RTA CAP or local funds on a project-by-project basis. These funds may be supplemented by capital awards from MassDOT’s Community Transit Grant Program, which are made on an annual basis. CATA uses a large share of its Urbanized Area Formula funds for preventative maintenance for its vehicles. CATA staff notes that in recent years, RTA CAP support from MassDOT has made it possible for the agency to catch up on vehicle replacements.

 

MWRTA’s upcoming capital expenses include continued investment in vehicles, with a goal of replacing one-fifth of its fleet per year. MWRTA will also invest in bus support equipment and IT infrastructure, and it will maintain and make improvements at both its Blandin Avenue facility in Framingham and at the operations center at the Framingham commuter rail station, which it manages and maintains under contract with the MBTA.

 

Table F-8 shows that MWRTA can expect to receive $118.2 million in federal Urbanized Area Formula (Section 5307) funds over the life of Destination 2050.MWRTA typically spends a significant share of these Urbanized Area Formula funds on operating costs each year. It allocates remaining Urbanized Area Formula funds to capital projects after operating needs are met. MWRTA staff also notes that it seeks additional capital funding to help support MWRTA’s current level of service (provided six days per week); it also seeks to increase frequency and add evening and Sunday service.

 

            Transit Operations and Maintenance Financing

Transit agencies in the Boston region must not only invest in the capital assets of their transit systems, but also operate and maintain them on an ongoing basis. This section describes the types of revenues and costs associated with MBTA, CATA, and MWRTA operations and maintenance. This section also provides projections of costs and revenues related to operations and maintenance between now and FFY 2050.

 

MBTA

In SFY 2024, the MBTA expects to receive operating funds from the following sources:

 

MBTA operating expenses typically include wages, benefits, payroll taxes, materials, supplies, purchased transportation services, and debt service payments.

 

Table F-13 shows preliminary projections of available revenue and expenses for the MBTA’s operations and maintenance activities during the Destination 2050 planning period. These estimates reflect baseline service as accounted for in the MBTA’s SFY 2024 budget. These baseline estimates reflect year-over-year  inflationary increases for each category of spending on wages, materials, and services and contracts.

 

Table F-13
Projected MBTA Operations and Maintenance Revenues and Costs

Category

SFYs 2024–28

SFYs 2029–33

SFYs 2034–38

SFYs 2039–43

SFYs 2044–50

Operations and Maintenance Revenues

 

 

 

 

 

Fare Revenue

$2,346.7

$2,718.9

$3,147.9

$3,644.6

$6,088.3

Non-Fare Revenue

$497.9

$589.4

$695.7

$821.3

$1,404.6

Sales Tax and Local Assessments

$8,379.4

$9,549.4

$10,882.6

$12,401.9

$20,324.6

Additional State Assistance

$935.0

$935.0

$935.0

$935.0

$1,309.0

Federal and One-Time Revenue

$30.6

$0

$0

$0

$0

Total Revenues

$12,189.5

$13,792.6

$15,661.2

$17,802.7

$29,126.4

Operations and Maintenance Costs

 

 

 

 

 

Wages, Materials, and Services and Contracts

$11,549.0

$13,985.3

$17,051.4

$20,789.8

$36,980.0

Debt Service

$2,803.1

$3,654.4

$4,807.7

$6,324.9

$12,343.4

Total Costs

$14,352.1

$17,639.7

$21,859.1

$27,114.7

$49,323.4

Difference Between Revenues and Costs

-$2,162.6

-$3,847.0

-$6,197.9

-$9,312.0

-$20,196.9

Note: Funding amounts are shown in millions. Totals may not sum due to rounding. These estimates reflect baseline service as accounted for in the MBTA’s SFY 2024 budget.
MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. SFY = State Fiscal Year.
Source: MBTA.

 

MWRTA and CATA

The operation and maintenance needs of the MWRTA and CATA are funded through a variety of sources, including

 

 

Both RTAs’ operating expenses include administrative staff expenses (salaries, benefits, and payroll taxes), vehicle-related expenses, building- and parking-facility related expenses, and office and business expenses (such professional services and advertising). MWRTA staff note that it is able to reduce its energy expenses significantly through the use of its solar photovoltaic canopy. RTA operations and maintenance costs also include purchased transportation; these costs include the operating expenses of the private companies that, under contractual arrangements, operate the RTA’s services, and management fees. The RTAs are required by law to contract out the operation of their transit service to a private company. These operating arrangements are expected to continue in the future.

 

To produce estimates of CATA’s operating and maintenance costs over the life of Destination 2050, MPO staff obtained a SFY 2023 budget from CATA and projected operations revenues and costs using various inflation factors as recommended by CATA. Table F-14 shows projected estimates of CATA’s operations and maintenance revenues and costs over the approximate life of Destination 2050. These expected dollar amounts will be adjusted on an annual basis and may differ compared to the numbers presented in the table. As shown in the table, revenues are expected to cover costs. However, CATA currently provides limited service throughout the service area, with its most frequent bus service provided hourly. Future service improvements, such as more frequent service and service offered later in the day, will require additional support.

 

Table F-14
Projected CATA Operations and Maintenance Revenues and Costs

Category

SFYs 2024–28

SFYs 2029–33

SFYs 2034–38

SFYs 2039–43

SFYs 2044–50

Operations and Maintenance Revenues

 

 

 

 

 

FTA Fundsa

$6.0

$6.6

$7.3

$8.1

$12.7

State Contract Assistance

$8.3

$9.4

$10.7

$12.1

$19.6

Local Assessments

$4.4

$5.0

$5.6

$6.4

$10.3

Fares

$1.0

$1.0

$1.0

$1.0

$1.3

Other Revenues

$1.8

$1.8

$1.8

$1.8

$2.5

Total Revenues

$21.4

$23.8

$26.4

$29.3

$46.5

Operations and Maintenance Costs

 

 

 

 

 

Operations and Maintenance Costs

$21.4

$23.8

$26.4

$29.3

$46.5

Difference Between Revenues and Costs

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

Note: Funding amounts are shown in millions. Totals may not sum due to rounding.
a This category reflects FTA Urbanized Area Formula (Section 5307) funds. CATA spends these dollars on preventative maintenance, a capital expense, but reflects them as part of their annual operations and maintenance budget.
CATA = Cape Ann Transportation Authority. FTA = Federal Transit Administration. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization. SFY = State Fiscal Year.
Sources: CATA and the Boston Region MPO.

 

Table F-15 shows projected estimates of MWRTA’s operations and maintenance revenues and costs during the life of Destination 2050, following the same approach used to project CATA’s operations and maintenance revenues and costs. As with the CATA information presented in Table F-14, dollar amounts will be adjusted on an annual basis and may differ compared to the numbers presented in the table. As shown below, MWRTA’s revenues are expected to cover costs. It should be noted, however, that the MWRTA provides limited service six days per week. Future service improvements, including evening and Sunday service, will require additional support.

 

Table F-15
Projected MWRTA Operations and Maintenance Revenues and Costs

Category

SFYs 2024–28

SFYs 2029–33

SFYs 2034–38

SFYs 2039–43

SFYs 2044–50

Operations and Maintenance Revenues

 

 

 

 

 

FTA Fundsa

$16.4

$18.5

$21.0

$23.7

$38.5

State Contract Assistance

$19.3

$21.8

$24.7

$28.0

$45.4

Local Assessments

$19.4

$21.9

$24.8

$28.1

$45.6

Fares

$3.2

$3.7

$4.2

$4.7

$7.7

Other Revenues

$3.4

$3.8

$4.3

$4.9

$7.9

Total Revenues

$61.7

$69.8

$79.0

$89.4

$145.2

Operations and Maintenance Costs

 

 

 

 

 

Operations and Maintenance Costs

$61.7

$69.8

$79.0

$89.4

$145.2

DifferenceBetween Revenues and Costs

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

Note: Funding amounts are shown in millions. Totals may not sum due to rounding.
a This category reflects FTA Urbanized Area Formula (Section 5307) funds. MWRTA spends this funding on operating costs, particularly for its ADA paratransit service.
ADA = Americans with Disabilities Act. FTA = Federal Transit Administration. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization. MWRTA = MetroWest Regional Transit Authority. SFY = State Fiscal Year.
Sources: MWRTA and the Boston Region MPO.

 

 

https://www.mbta.com/financials/capital-investment-plan

 

US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration, “FTA Circular 9030.1E: Urbanized Area Formula Grants Program: Program Guidance and Application Instructions” (January 16, 2014), accessed June 5, 2023 at https://www.transit.dot.gov/sites/fta.dot.gov/files/docs/FINAL_FTA_circular9030.1E.pdf, pg. E-1.

 

 

 

The MassDOT CIP is available at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/developing-the-capital-investment-plan.

 

US Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administration and John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Fiscal Constraint in Long-Range Transportation Planning: Best Practices Case Studies (2012), pg. 4, accessed on June 5, 2023. https://www.planning.dot.gov/documents/fiscalConstraint_rpt.pdf.

Ibid. pg. 4.

 

US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Overview of Highway Provisions” (November 2022), pgs. 5 and 10, accessed May 15, 2023. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bipartisan-infrastructure-law/docs/BIL_overview_update_2022-11-8b.pdf.

U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, “Apportionment of Federal Aid Highway Program Funds for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022” (December 2021), accessed May 15, 2023. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/notices/n4510858/.

US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Funding Federal-aid Highways (January 2017), pg. 34, accessed June 5, 2023. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/olsp/fundingfederalaid/FFAH_2017.pdf.

US Congressional Research Service, Funding and Financing Highways and Public Transportation (May 11, 2020), pg. 1, accessed June 5, 2023. https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R45350.

Ibid., pg. 1.

 

 

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Appendix G: Systems Performance Report

Introduction

 

This appendix discusses the Boston Region MPO’s (MPO) performance-based planning and programming (PBPP) process. It also describes the MPO’s current set of performance measures and targets, as well as baseline values that reflect the current state-of-the-region’s transportation system. Finally, it explains how Destination 2050 will help the Boston Region MPO make progress toward its performance goals.

 

Overview of Performance-Based Planning and Programming

 

Performance-based planning and programming is a process that uses data to help achieve desired transportation outcomes. It improves project and program delivery, informs investment decisions, and provides greater transparency and accountability to the public around transportation project performance.

 

Performance-based planning and programming activities include

 

 

The MPO’s PBPP process is shaped by both federal transportation performance management requirements and the MPO’s goals and objectives, which are updated every four years as part of the MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).

 

Federal Performance Management Requirements

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) directed states, MPOs, and public transit providers to carry out a performance and outcome-based surface transportation program, and these requirements are continued under current federal regulations under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act as well as the most recent federal surface transportation reauthorization law, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) of 2021. MAP-21 identified seven national goals for the nation’s highway system:

 

Table G-1 shows the relationship between national goal areas and the MPO’s goal areas. The MPO’s goals and related objectives are described in more detail in Chapter 1.


 

 

Table G-1
National and Boston Region MPO Goal Areas

National Goal Area

Boston Region MPO Goal Area

Safety

Safety

Infrastructure Condition

Mobility and Reliability, Resiliency

System Reliability

Mobility and Reliability

Congestion Reduction

Mobility and Reliability

Freight Movement/Economic Vitality

Mobility and Reliability, Access and Connectivity

Environmental Sustainability

Clean Air and Healthy Communities, Resiliency

Reduced Project Delivery Delays

Not applicable

Not applicable

Transportation Equity

MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Source: Boston Region MPO.

 

The PBPP mandate is also designed to help the nation’s public transit systems provide high-quality service to all users, including people with disabilities, seniors, and individuals who depend on public transportation.

 

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has established measures in performance areas that support the national goals. Table G-2 lists federally required performance measures for public transit systems and Table G-3 lists those for roadway safety. These performance measures and relevant performance targets are discussed in more detail later in this chapter.

 

Table G-2
Federally Required Public Transit Performance Measures

National Goal Area

Transit Performance Area or Asset Category

Performance Measures

Relevant MPO Goal Area

Safety

Fatalities

Total number of reportable fatalities and rate per total vehicle revenue-miles by mode

Safety

Safety

Injuries

Total number of reportable injuries and rate per total vehicle revenue-miles by mode

Safety

Safety

Safety Events

Total number of reportable events and rate per total vehicle revenue-miles by mode

Safety

Safety

System Reliability

Mean distance between major mechanical failures by mode

Safety

Infrastructure Condition

Equipment

Percent of vehicles that have met or exceeded their ULB

Mobility and Reliability

Infrastructure Condition

Rolling Stock

Percent of revenue vehicles within a particular asset class that have met or exceeded their ULB

Mobility and Reliability

Infrastructure Condition

Infrastructure

Percent of track segments with performance restrictions

Mobility and Reliability

Infrastructure Condition

Facilities

Percent of facilities within an asset class rated below 3.0 on the Federal Transit Administration’s Transit Economic Requirements Model scale

Mobility and Reliability

MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization. ULB = Useful Life Benchmark.

Sources: National Public Transportation Safety Plan (July 2018), the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan Rule (Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Part 673), and the Transit Asset Management Rule (49 CFR Part 625).

 

Table G-3
Federally Required Roadway Performance Measures

National Goal Area

Highway Performance Area

Performance Measures

Relevant MPO Goal Area

Safety

Injuries and Fatalities

  • Number of fatalities
  • Fatality rate per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled
  • Number of serious injuries
  • Serious injury rate per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled
  • Number of nonmotorized fatalities and nonmotorized serious injuries

Safety

Infrastructure Condition

Pavement Condition

  • Percent of pavements on the Interstate System in good condition
  • Percent of pavements on the Interstate System in poor condition
  • Percent of pavements on the non-Interstate NHS in good condition
  • Percent of pavements on the non-Interstate NHS in poor condition

Mobility and Reliability

Infrastructure Condition

Bridge Condition

  • Percent of NHS bridges by deck area classified as in good condition
  • Percent of NHS bridges by deck area classified as in poor condition

Mobility and Reliability

System Reliability

Performance of the NHS

  • Percent of the person-miles traveled on the Interstate System that are reliable
  • Percent of the person-miles traveled on the non-Interstate NHS that are reliable

Mobility and Reliability

System Reliability, Freight Movement, and Economic Vitality

Freight Movement on the Interstate System

Truck Travel Time Reliability Index (for truck travel on interstate highways)

Mobility and Reliability

Congestion Reduction

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality

  • Annual hours of peak hour excessive delay per capita (for travel on NHS roadways)
  • Percentage of non-single-occupant vehicle travel

Access and Connectivity, Mobility and Reliability, Clean Air and Healthy Communities

Environmental Sustainability

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality

Total emissions reduction for applicable pollutants and precursors for CMAQ-funded projects in designated nonattainment and maintenance areasa

Clean Air and Healthy Communities

a As of the FHWA 2021 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program performance requirements applicability determination, the Boston Region MPO area contains an area designated as in maintenance for carbon monoxide, so the MPO is currently required to comply with this performance measure requirement. This designation expired in April 2022; however, the MPO must fulfill these performance requirements at least until FHWA issues an updated applicability determination related to CMAQ performance requirements.

CMAQ = Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement. FHWA = Federal Highway Administration. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization. NHS = National Highway System.

Sources: Highway Safety Improvement Program Rule (23 CFR 924), National Performance Management Measures Rule (23 CFR 490).

 

Federal performance measure rulemakings identify key activities that agencies receiving federal transportation dollars must complete in order to integrate these federally required performance measures into their planning processes:

 

 

Other Performance-based Planning and Programming Activities

The MPO’s PBPP process must respond to the federal performance management requirements established under MAP-21 and the BIL, but it can also address other areas that pertain to its 3C responsibilities or to the MPO’s goals and objectives. For example, MAP-21 and the BIL do not specify transportation equity (TE) performance measures for states and MPOs to monitor. However, the MPO has established a TE goal to

 

Facilitate an inclusive and transparent transportation planning process and make investments that eliminate transportation-related disparities borne by people in disadvantaged communities.

 

TE populations include people who identify as minority, low-income population, people with limited English proficiency, older adults, youth, and people with disabilities. These populations include those protected by federal laws and regulations and that have been disproportionately and adversely impacted by the region’s transportation system.

 

The MPO’s TE goal and its associated objectives are rooted in several federal regulations and presidential executive orders, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 12898 (addressing environmental justice [EJ]), the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other USDOT orders. To comply with these regulations, the MPO addresses the concerns of populations that these regulations protect, referred to here as TE populations, throughout the MPO planning process. Currently, the MPO evaluates projects proposed for funding in the TIP to determine whether and how they will benefit TE populations. In addition, after projects are selected, the MPO assesses the impacts of the projects, in the aggregate, in the LRTP and TIP, on TE populations to identify any disproportionately high and adverse effects. MPO staff are developing additional ways to monitor a wider range of impacts in order to assess project impacts relative to existing transportation inequities in the Boston region, which the MPO can use to adjust project investments as needed to address inequities that persist.

 

Moving forward, the MPO will examine whether and how to incorporate other performance measures and practices into its PBPP process. The creation of additional performance measures may allow MPO programs to more efficiently allocate money toward improving its long-range goals and objectives.

 

Performance-based Planning and Programming Activities

The PBPP process involves three key phases: (1) planning, (2) investing, and (3) monitoring and evaluating.

 

Planning Phase

In the planning phase, agencies set goals and objectives for the transportation system, identify performance measures, and set performance targets that will guide their decision-making. They identify and acquire data and conduct analyses necessary to support these processes. They also create the frameworks they will use in key planning documents.

 

The Commonwealth creates performance-based plans for Massachusetts, such as the SHSP, TAMP, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) TAM Plan, along with modal plans—such as its Freight Plan, Bicycle Transportation Plan, and Pedestrian Transportation Plan—which include PBPP elements. Similarly, transit agencies, including the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA), and Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA), create TAM plans and PTASP that describe the data and processes these agencies will use to address transit state of good repair and safety needs. The Commonwealth is responsible for setting performance targets for the federally required roadway performance measures in Table G-3, while transit agencies must set targets for the measures in Table G-2. MassDOT’s annual Tracker report (massdottracker.com) describes the agency’s performance measure targets, including measures pertaining to the MBTA and the Commonwealth’s regional transit authorities.

 

MPO activities in the planning phase include setting goals for the transportation system through its LRTP and establishing targets for federally required performance measures. To establish these targets, the MPO may elect to support performance targets set by the Commonwealth or public transit providers (depending on the measure), or it may set separate targets for the MPO area. MPOs typically have 180 days after a state establishes a set of performance targets to choose to support those state targets or to adopt separate targets for the MPO region. For transit safety and asset management targets, MPOs work with local transit providers to develop targets that are appropriate for the region. These agencies update their performance targets based on defined cycles, which vary for different measures:

 

 

Investing Phase

In the investing phase, agencies use the PBPP framework established in the planning phase to create strategies for investing in transportation improvements. The MPO develops investment programs and selects projects to fund with its Regional Target funds and documents those decisions in the LRTP and TIP. The LRTP identifies major infrastructure projects that may be funded in the region over the next 20 years or more, as well as establishes investment programs through which smaller-scale projects will be funded in the TIP. As the MPO’s capital program, the TIP documents funding provided for all surface transportation in the region for a given five-year timeframe. Similarly, MassDOT, the MBTA, CATA, and MWRTA follow their processes to size programs and select projects for inclusion in the MassDOT Capital Investment Plan (CIP). The federally funded investments in the CIP are also documented in the STIP.

 

Monitoring and Evaluating Phase

In the last step, agencies evaluate their progress by reviewing and reporting on the performance of their transportation investments. Activities include tracking trends, collecting data to understand the impacts of project investments, and comparing targets to actual performance. At the statewide level, MassDOT reports performance to USDOT, including information about its federally required performance targets from the TIP. MassDOT’s Tracker website (massdottracker.com) also includes detailed information about the agency’s targets and progress. Transit agencies report progress on TAM measures to the NTD each year. The MPO reports on performance in the LRTP and through its Congestion Management Process, as well as through other tools, such as its PBPP webpage (https://www.bostonmpo.org/performance) and the MPO’s Performance Dashboard. The MPO also assesses the need for new data, analysis tools, or methods to support its PBPP process, and may designate resources to address these needs in its Unified Planning Work Program.

 

Figure G-1 summarizes the three phases of this process, with a focus on MPO activities taking place in each phase.

 

Figure G-1
Phases in the MPO’s Performance-Based Planning and Programming Process

A diagram illustrating the relationship between the MPO's Transportation Improvement Program, Long Range Transportation Plan, Unified Planning Work Program, and Performance Based Planning Process.

 

LRTP = Long-Range Transportation Plan. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization. TIP = Transportation Improvement Program. UPWP = Unified Planning Work Program.
Source: Boston Region MPO.

 

Coordination

States, public transit operators, and MPOs must coordinate with one another and share information and data to ensure consistency across PBPP processes. In Massachusetts, coordination responsibilities are outlined in the 2019 Performance-Based Planning and Programming Agreement between MassDOT, Massachusetts MPOs, municipalities, the MBTA, and regional transit authorities operating in Massachusetts.

 

Staff from Massachusetts MPOs, MassDOT, and other stakeholders coordinate on PBPP implementation through the Transportation Program Managers Group’s subcommittee on performance measures. For performance measures that states and MPOs track at the Boston UZA level, coordination responsibilities are documented in the 2018 Boston Urbanized Area Memorandum of Understanding. G-2

 

The LRTP’s Role in Performance-based Planning and Programming

The LRTP plays several key roles in the MPO’s PBPP process, many of which fall into the planning phase.

 

 

Once the LRTP is completed and in effect, the MPO refers to it on an ongoing basis to support its PBPP process. The LRTP’s investment strategies also inform the short-term capital investment decisions the MPO makes each year in the TIP, which describes the links between short-term capital investment priorities and the MPO’s performance goals, measures, and performance targets. The system performance report in the LRTP provides a snapshot in time that the MPO can use to benchmark its progress in improving both the transportation system and transportation performance outcomes.

 

Boston Region Transportation System Performance

As of July 2018, FHWA and FTA published final rules for all performance measure rulemakings associated with the performance management mandate first included in MAP-21 and continued as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This section is the MPO’s second report on system performance since those federal rules were finalized. It provides information about plans, measures, baselines, and targets that are relevant to each MPO goal area, and it concludes with a description of how Destination 2050’s investment strategies—including its investment programs and projects—support progress in achieving MPO goals and federally required performance areas.

 

Safety Performance

 

Relevant Goals, Policies, and Plans

The MPO’s safety goal is to

 

Achieve zero transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries and improve safety for all users of the transportation system.

 

The MPO has committed to investing in projects and programs that reduce the number and severity of crashes for all modes, and to reducing serious injuries and fatalities occurring on the transportation system. Similarly, the Massachusetts SHSP includes a long-term goal to move “toward zero deaths” by eliminating fatalities and serious injuries on the Commonwealth’s roadways and has set interim goals for 2024 to reduce fatalities and serious injuries for a five-year average by two percent. G-3 The MPO works closely with the MBTA, CATA, and MWRTA to make safety-oriented investments and implement related initiatives as identified in their PTASPs.

 

Roadway Safety Measures, Baselines, and Targets

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the MPO track traffic crashes, fatalities, and injuries involving motor vehicles using information from the Massachusetts Crash Data System and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis and Reporting System. These data inform the targets that the Commonwealth and the MPO must set each calendar year (CY) for five federally required roadway safety performance measures:

 

 

Table G-4 lists the Commonwealth’s 2017–21 rolling average values for the fatality and serious injury performance measures; these make up Massachusetts’ current roadway safety baselines for these measures. This table also lists the Commonwealth’s current (CY 2023) targets for the federally required roadway safety performance measures. The MPO elected to support the Commonwealth’s CY 2023 roadway safety performance targets in February 2023. In doing so, the MPO agrees to plan and program projects that contribute to achieving these targets.

 

Table G-4
Massachusetts Highway Safety Performance Baselines and CY 2023 Targets

Highway Safety Performance Measure

Baseline:
2022 Safety Measure Value (2017–21 Rolling Average)

2023 Safety Measure Target (Expected 2019–23 Rolling Average)

Number of fatalities

359.20

355.00

Rate of fatalities per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled

0.59

0.59

Number of serious injuries

2,624.80

2,569.00

Rate of serious injuries per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled

4.29

4.25

Number of nonmotorized fatalities and nonmotorized serious injuries

467.60

437.00

Note: All values have been rounded to the hundredth place.

CY = calendar year.

Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Reporting System, Massachusetts Crash Data System, and Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

 

These measures pertain to fatalities and serious injuries from motor vehicle crashes and apply to all public roads, and are expressed as five-year rolling annual averages. The Commonwealth set its current set of roadway safety performance targets to reflect a 2019–23 rolling annual average, as required by FHWA. When setting these targets, the Commonwealth considered the following:

 

 

Figure G-2 shows historic and projected values for the number of fatalities resulting from motor vehicle crashes, while Figure G-3 shows the fatality rate per 100 million VMT. The Commonwealth considered this information when setting targets for lowering the number of fatalities. Meanwhile, VMT has been gradually increasing for both the Boston region and Massachusetts as a whole, which also has contributed to historic and projected decreases in the fatality rate.

 

Figure G-2
Fatalities from Motor Vehicle Crashes

 

A chart showing the number of fatalities statewide per year across four-year time rolling average bands, starting with 2009 to 20013 and updating annually, with the most recent being 355 average fatalities each year between 2019 and 2023.

Note: Values reflect five-year rolling annual averages and have been rounded to the nearest integer.

MA = Massachusetts.

Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis and Reporting System, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

Figure G-3
Fatality Rate per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles Traveled

A plot illustrating the fatality rate incurred per 100 million vehicle miles traveled on Massachusetts' roadways, targeted at 0.59 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles travelled in 2019 through 2023 statewide.

Note: Values reflect five-year rolling annual averages and have been rounded to the hundredth decimal place.

MA = Massachusetts. VMT = vehicle-miles traveled.

Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis and Reporting System, Massachusetts Department of Transportation., and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

Figure G-4 shows historic and projected values for the number of serious injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes, and Figure G-5 shows the serious injury rate per 100 million VMT. G-4

 

Figure G-4
Serious Injuries from Motor Vehicle Crashes

A chart showing the number of serious injuries targeted for a four year 2019 to 2023 average time band for Massachusetts' roadways and within the Boston Region.

Note: Values reflect five-year rolling annual averages and have been rounded to the nearest integer.

 

Sources: Massachusetts Crash Data System, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

Figure G-5
Serious Injury Rate per 100 Million Vehicle-Miles Traveled

A chart showing the number of serious injuries targeted for a four year 2019 to 2023 average time band for Massachusetts' roadways and within the Boston Region.

Note: Values reflect five-year rolling annual averages and have been rounded to the hundredth decimal place.

VMT = vehicle-miles traveled.

Sources: Massachusetts Crash Data System, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

Figure G-6 shows historic and projected values for the number of fatalities and serious injuries experienced by people traveling by nonmotorized transportation for the Boston region and Massachusetts as a whole. This category reflects bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries, as well as those experienced by others traveling by nonmotorized modes (such as skateboarders and people using wheeled mobility devices).

 

Figure G-6
Nonmotorized Fatalities and Serious Injuries

A plot illustrating the serious injury rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled on Massachusetts' roadways, targeted at 4.25 injuries per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2019 through 2023 statewide.

Notes: Values reflect five-year rolling annual averages and have been rounded to the nearest integer.

 

Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis and Reporting System, Massachusetts Crash Data System, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

Transit System Safety Measures and Targets

The National Public Transportation Safety Plan details performance measures for which transit agencies subject to the PTASP rule must set targets. The PTASP rule requires public transit providers, MPOs, and states to coordinate in developing targets for federally established transit asset performance measures. Once transit agencies develop their safety plans and performance targets, they must share them with state Department of Transportations and MPOs, which set targets for their states and regions, respectively. General information on these topics is available in the Destination 2050 Needs Assessment. Required performance measures include the following include the following:

 

 

 

MBTA Safety Targets

The MBTA sets targets for four modes: heavy rail (Red, Orange, and Blue Lines), light rail (Green Line and the Mattapan High Speed Line), bus, and The RIDE paratransit system. Table G-5 shows averages for the transit safety measures for MBTA heavy rail, light rail, bus, and The RIDE from CYs 2019 to 2021.

 

Table G-5
Past Safety Performance Data for MBTA Transit Services
(CYs 2019–21 Averages)

MBTA Mode

Average Fatalities


Average Fatality

Rate1

 

Average

Injuries

Average Injury Rate1

Average Safety Events

Average Safety Event
Rate1

Average

System Reliability Value2

Heavy Rail

0.33

0.01

184.00

8.16

25.00

1.09

43,713.00

Light Rail

0.00

0.00

81.00

14.64

28.00

5.04

7,515.00

Bus

1.00

0.05

292.00

12.48

100.00

4.29

29,099.00

The RIDE

0.00

0.00

27.00

2.31

21.00

1.77

61,231.00

Notes: This table reflects data available at the time the MBTA developed its targets.

1 Fatality, injury, and safety event rates are expressed per one million VRM. Rate values have been rounded to the nearest hundredth.

2 The system reliability measure is expressed as mean VRM traveled per major mechanical failure.

CY = calendar year. MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. VRM = vehicle revenue-miles.

Source: MBTA and the Boston Region MPO staff.

 

The MBTA’s safety performance targets for CY 2023 are shown in Table G-6. When setting targets, the MBTA varied its approach by measure:

 

 

Table G-6
MBTA CY 2023 Safety Performance Targets

MBTA Mode

 Fatalities Target

 Fatality

Rate Target1

Injuries Target

Injury Rate Target1

Safety Events Target

Safety Event
Rate

Target1

System Reliability Target2

Heavy Rail

0.0

0.0

180.0

7.99

24.0

1.07

44,500

Light Rail

0.0

0.0

79.0

14.35

27.0

4.94

7,650

Bus

0.0

0.0

286

12.23

98.0

4.21

29,500

The RIDE3

0.0

0.0

27.0

2.27

20.0

1.74

62,500

1 Fatality, injury, and safety event rates are expressed per one million VRM. Rate values have been rounded to the nearest tenth.

2 The system reliability measure is expressed as mean VRM traveled per major mechanical failure.

3 The injuries target for The RIDE remains the same as past averages due to rounding.

CY = calendar year. MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. VRM = vehicle revenue-miles.

Source: MBTA and the Boston Region MPO staff.

 

CATA Safety Targets

CATA monitors safety performance and sets targets for its fixed-route bus service and its demand response service. Table G-7 provides SFY 2018–22 averages for the fatality, injury, safety event, and system reliability measures for CATA’s fixed-route bus and demand response systems. G-7 

 

Table G-7
Past Safety Performance Data for CATA Transit Services
(SFY 2018–22 Averages)

CATA Mode

Average Fatalities

Average Fatality

Rate1

Average

Injuries

Average Injury Rate1

Average Safety Events

Average Safety Event

Rate1

Average

System Reliability Value2

Fixed- Route Bus

0.0

0.0

0.2

0.1

2.4

0.2

73,603

Demand Response

0.0

0.0

0.2

0.2

1.2

0.8

133,848

Note: Values have been rounded to the nearest tenth.

1 Fatality, injury, and safety event rates are expressed per one hundred thousand VRM.

2 The system reliability measure is expressed as mean VRM traveled per major mechanical failure.

CATA = Cape Ann Transportation Authority. CY = calendar year. VRM = vehicle revenue-miles.

Sources: CATA, the National Transit Database, and the Boston Region MPO staff.

 

Table G-8 provides a summary of CATA’s SFY 2023 performance targets, which cover the period from July 2022 to June 2023. Targets are expressed per one hundred thousand VRM. In general, CATA used past data and averages as the basis for determining its transit safety performance targets for SFY 2023. When CATA set targets, it reviewed data for years when injuries or safety events did take place.

 

Table G-8
CATA SFY 2023 Safety Performance Targets

CATA Mode

 Fatalities Target

 Fatality

Rate Target1

Injuries Target

Injury Rate Target1

Safety Events Target

Safety Event
Rate

Target1

System Reliability Target2

Fixed- Route Bus

0.0

0.0

1.0

0.5

2.5

1.5

70,000.0

Demand Response

0.0

0.0

1.0

0.5

1.5

1.0

135,000.0

Note: Values have been rounded to the nearest tenth.

1 Fatality, injury, and safety event rates are expressed per one hundred thousand VRM.

2 The system reliability measure is expressed as mean VRM traveled per major mechanical failure.

CATA = Cape Ann Transportation Authority. SFY = state fiscal year. VRM = vehicle revenue-miles.

Source: CATA and the Boston Region MPO staff.

 

MWRTA Safety Targets

MWRTA monitors performance and sets targets for fixed-route bus service and demand response services. Table G-9 shows SFY 2018–22 averages for the transit safety measures for MWRTA’s transit services. G-8 MWRTA’s rate values are expressed in 100,000 VRM.

 

Table G-9
Past Safety Performance Data for
MWRTA Transit Services (SFYs 2018–22 Averages)

MWRTA Mode

Average  Fatalities

Average Fatality

Rate1

 

Average

Injuries

Average Injury Rate1

Average Safety Events

Average Safety Event Rate1

Average

System Reliability Value2

Fixed- Route Bus

0.0

0.0

0.6

0.05

1.4

0.13

128,551

Demand Response

0.0

0.0

0.6

0.07

1.6

0.20

67,468

Note: Values have been rounded to the nearest tenth.

1 Fatality, injury, and safety event rates are expressed per one hundred thousand VRM.
2 The system reliability measure is expressed as mean VRM traveled per major mechanical failure.

MWRTA = MetroWest Regional Transit Authority. VRM = vehicle revenue-miles.

Sources: MWRTA, the National Transit Database, and the Boston Region MPO staff.

 

Table G-10 provides a summary of MWRTA’s SFY 2022 performance targets, which include fatality, injury, and safety event rates expressed per one hundred thousand VRM. MWRTA set its transit safety performance targets by reviewing historic safety data for its fleet and by planning to operate as safely as possible and by proactively addressing hazards as they are identified.

 

 

 

Table G-10
MWRTA SFY 2023 Safety Performance Targets

MWRTA Mode

 Fatalities Target

 Fatality

Rate Target1

Injuries Target

Injury Rate Target1

Safety Events Target

Safety Event
Rate

Target1

System Reliability Target2

Fixed- Route Bus

0.00

0.00

12.00

1.0

15.0

1.25

75,000

Demand Response

0.00

0.00

8.00

1.0

10.0

1.25

75,000

Note: Values have been rounded to the nearest tenth

1 Fatality, injury, and safety event rates are expressed per one hundred thousand VRM.
2 The system reliability measure is expressed as mean VRM traveled per major mechanical failure.

MWRTA = MetroWest Regional Transit Authority. VRM = vehicle revenue-miles.

Source: MWRTA and the Boston Region MPO.

 

Mobility and Reliability Performance

 

Relevant Goals, Policies, and Plans

The MPO’s goal for this area is to

 

Support easy and reliable movement of people and freight.

 

Mobility policies for the region explore the ease with which people and goods can move throughout the region by car, on foot, on public transit, by bicycle, and through freight. Reliability encompasses bridges, pavement, sidewalks, and transit system assets, and addresses maintenance and state-of-good-repair needs to meet the transportation needs of the region.

 

Roadway Asset Condition

 

Bridge Condition

 

To meet federal performance monitoring requirements, states and MPOs must track and set performance targets for the condition of bridges on the NHS. FHWA’s bridge condition performance measures include the following:

 

 

NHS ratings classify bridge condition as good, fair, or poor based on the condition of three bridge components: the deck, the superstructure, and the substructure. G-9 The lowest rating of the three components determines the overall bridge condition. G-10 The performance measures express the share of NHS bridges in a certain condition by deck area, divided by the total deck area of NHS bridges in the applicable geographic area (state or MPO).

 

Table G-11 shows performance baseline condition of bridges on the NHS in Massachusetts and the Boston region. The Boston region has a larger share of NHS bridge deck area considered to be in good condition, and a slightly smaller share of NHS bridge deck area considered to be in poor condition, compared to Massachusetts overall.

 

Table G-11
Massachusetts and Boston Region NHS Bridge Condition Baselines

Geographic Area

Total NHS Bridges

Total NHS Bridge Deck Area
(square feet)

Percent of NHS Bridges in Good Condition

Percent of NHS Bridges in Poor Condition

Massachusettsa

2,246

28,689,888

16.9%

11.3%

Boston regionb

844

13,916,199

15.7%

12.9%

a Massachusetts baseline data are based on a Massachusetts Department of Transportation analysis conducted in 2022.

b Boston region comparison data are based on a Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization analysis conducted in 2022.

NHS = National Highway System.

Sources: Massachusetts Department of Transportation and Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

States set performance targets for NHS bridge performance measures at two-year and four-year intervals. The Boston Region MPO elected to support MassDOT’s four-year targets for these measures in February 2023. Table G-12 shows MassDOT’s NHS bridge performance targets. The two-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2023, and the four-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2025. These targets reflect anticipated conditions based on historic trends and planned bridge investments.

 

 

 

 

Table G-12
MassDOT’s NHS Bridge Condition Targets

Federally Required Bridge Condition Performance Measure

2022 Measure Value (Baseline)

Two-Year Target
(CY 2023)a

Four-Year Target
(CY 2025)a

Percent of NHS Bridges [by deck area] that are in good condition

16%

16%

16%

Percent of NHS Bridges [by deck area] that are in poor condition

12%

12%

12%

a The two-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2023, and the four-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2025.

CY = calendar year. NHS = National Highway System.

Source: Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

 

Federal Pavement Condition

States and MPOs monitor and set targets for the condition of pavement on NHS roadways, a network that includes the Interstate Highway System and other roadways of importance to the nation’s economy, defense, and mobility. Applicable federal performance measures include the following:

 

 

The performance measures classify interstate pavements as in good, fair, or poor condition based on their International Roughness Index (IRI) value and one or more pavement distress metrics (cracking and/or rutting and faulting) depending on the pavement type (asphalt, jointed concrete, or continuous concrete). The FHWA sets thresholds for each metric that determine whether the value is good, fair, or poor, along with thresholds that determine whether the pavement segment as a whole is in good, fair, or poor condition. G-11 Non-interstate NHS pavements are subject to the same thresholds for IRI values.

 

MassDOT uses information from its Pavement Management program to track the condition of Massachusetts’ NHS network. G-12 MassDOT’s targets are shown along with baseline data in Table G-13. The two-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2023, and the four-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2025.

 

Table G-13
Massachusetts NHS Pavement Condition Baselines and MassDOT NHS Pavement Condition Performance Targets

Federally Required Pavement Condition Performance Measure

2021 Measure Value (Baseline)

Two-Year Target
(CY 2023)a

Four-Year Target
(CY 2025)a

Percent of Interstate Highway System pavement in good condition

71.8%

70.0%

70.0%

Percent of Interstate Highway System pavement in poor condition

0.0%

2.0%

2.0%

Percent of non-interstate NHS pavement in good condition

33.9%

30.0%

30.0%

Percent of non-interstate NHS pavement in poor condition

2.9%

5.0%

5.0%

a The two-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2023, and the four-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2025. MassDOT has developed both two-year and four-year targets for internal consistency.

CY = calendar year. MassDOT = Massachusetts Department of Transportation. NHS = National Highway System.

Source: MassDOT.

 

MPOs are required to set four-year interstate pavement condition and non-interstate NHS pavement condition performance targets by either supporting state targets or setting separate targets for the region. The MPO elected to support MassDOT’s four-year targets for these NHS pavement condition measures in February 2023. The MPO will work with MassDOT to meet these targets through its Regional Target investments. While it is the MPO’s policy to not use its Regional Target funds for projects that only resurface pavement, it does fund roadway reconstruction projects that include pavement resurfacing, in addition to other design elements.

 

Transit System Asset Condition

The Boston region has three transit agencies that receive FTA funds: the MBTA, CATA, and MWRTA. These agencies are responsible for meeting planning and performance-monitoring requirements under FTA’s TAM rule, which focuses on achieving and maintaining a state of good repair (SGR) for the nation’s transit systems. Transit agencies develop these performance targets based on their most recent asset inventories and condition assessments, along with their capital investment and procurement expectations, which are informed by their TAM plans. MBTA, MWRTA, and CATA share their asset inventory and condition data and their performance targets with the Boston Region MPO so that the MPO can monitor and set TAM targets for the Boston region. For the most recent targets, the MPO adopted the MBTA, CATA, and MWRTA state fiscal year (SFY) 2023 TAM performance targets.

 

Rolling Stock and Equipment Vehicles

FTA’s TAM performance measure for the SGR for rolling stock and equipment vehicles (service support, maintenance, and other nonrevenue vehicles) is the percentage of vehicles that meet or exceed their useful life benchmark (ULB). ULB uses vehicle age as a proxy for SGR (which may not necessarily reflect condition or performance), with the goal being to bring this value as close to zero as possible. FTA defines ULB as “the expected lifecycle of a capital asset for a particular transit provider’s operating environment, or the acceptable period of use in service for a particular transit provider’s operating environment.” For example, FTA’s default ULB value for a bus is 14 years. When setting targets, each agency has discretion to use FTA-identified default ULBs for vehicles or to adjust ULBs with approval from FTA. The MBTA uses FTA default ULBs for its rolling stock targets and MBTA-defined ULBs, which are based on agency-specific usage and experience, for its equipment targets. CATA and MWRTA use ULBs from other sources. G-13

 

Table G-14 shows SFY 2022 baselines and the MPO’s SFY 2023 targets for rolling stock, which refers to vehicles that carry passengers.

 

 

Table G-14
SFY 2022 Baseline Measures and SFY 2023 Targets
 for Transit Rolling Stock

 

 

SFY 2022 Baseline
(as of June 30, 2022)

SFY 2023 Targets
(as of June 30, 2023)

Agency

Asset Type

Number of Vehicles

Percent of Vehicles Meeting or Exceeding ULB

Percent of Vehicles Meeting or Exceeding ULB

MBTA

Buses

952

32%

32%

MBTA

Light Rail Vehicles

227

0%

0%

MBTA

Heavy Rail Vehicles

472

53%

39%

MBTA

Commuter Rail Locomotives

81

23%

23%

MBTA

Commuter Rail Coaches

393

8%

7%

MBTA

Ferry Boats

4

0%

0%

MBTA

THE RIDE Paratransit Vehiclesa

704

0%

0%

CATA

Buses

16

25%

30%

CATA

Cutaway Vehiclesb

16

63%

5%

MWRTA

Cutaway Vehiclesb

108

8%

25%

MWRTA

Automobiles

2

0%

0%

a The MBTA’s THE RIDE paratransit vehicles data and targets reflect automobiles, vans, and minivans. 

b The National Transit Database defines a cutaway vehicle as a vehicle in which a bus body is mounted on a van or light-duty truck chassis, which may be reinforced or extended. CATA uses nine of these vehicles to provide fixed-route services, and 14 of these vehicles to provide demand-response service.

CATA = Cape Ann Transportation Authority. MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. MWRTA = MetroWest Regional Transit Authority. SFY = state fiscal year. ULB = Useful Life Benchmark.

Sources: CATA, MBTA, MWRTA, and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

Table G-15 shows SFY 2022 baselines and the MPO’s SFY 2023 targets for transit equipment vehicles. MPO staff has aggregated targets for nonrevenue vehicle subtypes for each of the three transit agencies. Similar to transit rolling stock, transit agencies can make improvements on these measures by expanding their fleets or replacing vehicles within those fleets.

 

Table G-15
SFY 2022 Measures and SFY 2023 Targets for Transit Equipment Vehicles

 

SFY 2022 Baseline
(as of June 30, 2022)

SFY 2023 Targets
(as of June 30, 2023)

Agency

Number of Vehicles

Percent of Vehicles Meeting or Exceeding ULB

Percent of Vehicles Meeting or Exceeding  ULB

MBTAa

1,417

22%

25%

CATA

3

100%

100%

MWRTA

11

36%

50%

a MBTA equipment includes both commuter rail and transit system nonrevenue service vehicles.

CATA = Cape Ann Transportation Authority. MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. MWRTA = MetroWest Regional Transit Authority. SFY = state fiscal year. ULB = Useful Life Benchmark.

Sources: CATA, MBTA, MWRTA, and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

Facilities

FTA assesses the condition for passenger stations, parking facilities, and administrative and maintenance facilities using the FTA Transit Economic Requirements Model (TERM) scale, which generates a composite score based on assessments of facility components. Facilities with scores below three are considered to be in marginal or poor condition (though this score is not a measure of facility safety or performance). The goal is to bring the share of facilities that meet this criterion to zero. Infrastructure projects focused on individual systems may improve performance gradually, while more extensive facility improvement projects may have a more dramatic effect on a facility’s TERM scale score.

 

Table G-16 shows SFY 2022 measures and the MPO’s SFY 2023 targets for MBTA, CATA, and MWRTA facilities.

 

 

 

 

 

Table G-16
SFY 2022 Measures and SFY 2023 Targets for Transit Facilities

 

 

SFY 2022 Baseline
(as of June 30, 2022)

SFY 2023 Targets
(as of June 30, 2022)

Agency

Facility Type

Number of Facilities

Percent of Facilities in Marginal or Poor Condition

Percent of Facilities in Marginal or Poor Condition

MBTA

Passengera

382

6%

7%

MBTA

Administrative and Maintenance

427

68%

35%

CATA

Administrative and Maintenance

1

0%

0%

MWRTA

Administrative and Maintenance

1

0%

0%

Note: Facilities are classified as being in marginal or poor condition based on FTA’s Transit Economic Requirements Model (TERM) scale. Facilities assigned a rating of less than three are considered to be in marginal or poor condition.

a Passenger facilities include stations and parking facilities.

CATA = Cape Ann Transportation Authority. FTA = Federal Transit Administration. MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. MWRTA = MetroWest Regional Transit Authority. SFY = state fiscal year.

Sources: CATA, MBTA, MWRTA, and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

Fixed Guideway Infrastructure

Table G-17 describes SFY 2022 baselines and SFY 2023 targets for the condition of rail fixed guideways. The MBTA is the only transit agency in the Boston region with this type of asset. The performance measure that applies to these assets is the percentage of track that is subject to performance, or speed, restrictions.

 

 

 

 

Table G-17
SFY 2022 Measures and SFY 2023 Targets for MBTA Transit Fixed Guideway Infrastructure

 

 

SFY 2022 Baseline
(as of June 30, 2022)

SFY 2023 Targets
(as of June 30, 2023)

Agency

Track Type

Directional Route Miles

Percent of Miles with Speed Restrictions

Percent of Miles with Speed Restrictions

MBTA

Transit Fixed Guidewaya

127

5%

2%

MBTA

Commuter Rail Fixed Guideway

641

3%

4%

Note: The term “directional route miles” represents the miles managed and maintained by the MBTA with respect to each direction of travel (for example, northbound and southbound), and excludes nonrevenue tracks such as yards, turnarounds, and storage tracks. The baseline and target percentages represent the annual average number of miles meeting this criterion over the 12-month reporting period.

a The MBTA’s Transit Fixed Guideway information reflects light rail and heavy rail fixed guideway networks.

MBTA = Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. SFY = state fiscal year.

Sources: MBTA and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

Travel Time Reliability

FHWA requires states and MPOs to monitor and set targets for two performance measures that pertain to all travelers on NHS roadways:

 

 

These measures capture (1) whether travel times on an NHS segment are consistent (reliability); and (2) the extent to which NHS users’ travel may be affected by those conditions (percent of person miles). Several component metrics make up this measure:

 

 

Reliability is calculated by identifying the person-miles of travel for each NHS segment and then dividing the total person-miles on the relevant NHS network that are reliable by the total person-miles on the relevant NHS network. To support this analysis, FHWA provides travel-time and traffic-volume data as part of the National Performance Management Research Data Set (NPMRDS), in which travel time data are reported by traffic messaging channel (TMC) segments.

 

States are required to set two-year and four-year targets for these measures. G-15 Table G-18 shows MassDOT’s CY 2021 baselines and two-year and four-year targets for reliability measures. The MPO is required to establish only four-year targets by either supporting state targets or setting its own targets for the Boston region. In January 2023, the MPO board voted to support the state’s four-year targets.

 

Table G-18
Travel Time Reliability Performance Baselines and Performance Targets

Network

Measure

2021 Measure
Value (Baseline)

Two-Year Target
(CY 2023)a

Four-Year Target
(CY 2025)a

Massachusetts—Interstate Highway System

Percent of person-miles on the Interstate Highway System that are reliable

84.2%

74.0%

76.0%

Massachusetts—Non-interstate NHS System

Percent of person-miles on the non-interstate NHS that are reliable

87.9%

85.0%

87.0%

Boston region—Interstate Highway System

Percent of person-miles on the Interstate Highway System that are reliable

71.4%

n/a

See Massachusetts target

Boston region—Non-Interstate NHS System

Percent of person-miles on the non-Interstate NHS that are reliable

81.7%

n/a

See Massachusetts target

a The two-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2023, and the four-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2025.

CY = calendar year. n/a = not applicable. NHS = National Highway System.

Sources: National Performance Management Research Data Set, Cambridge Systematics, MassDOT, and the Boston Region MPO.

 

Truck Travel Time Reliability

FHWA requires states and MPOs to track truck travel reliability on the Interstate System to better understand the performance of the nation’s freight system. The applicable measure in this case is the Truck Travel Time Reliability (TTTR) Index. Like the LOTTR, this measure compares longer (95th percentile) truck travel times to average (50th percentile) truck travel times. The greater the difference between these two travel times on an interstate segment, the less reliable truck travel on that segment is. For each interstate segment, TTTR Index values are calculated for different days and time periods and the segment length is weighted by the maximum applicable TTTR Index value. G-16 The weighted segment lengths for all interstate segments are then summed and divided by the length of the full interstate network for the applicable geographic area. The greater this aggregate value is, the more unreliable the network is with respect to truck travel. Table G-19 displays these values.

 

Table G-19
Truck Travel Time Reliability Baselines and Performance Targets

Network

Measure

2021 Measure
Value (Baseline)

Two-Year Target
(CY 2023)a

Four-Year Target
(CY 2025)a

Massachusetts—Interstate Highway System

Truck Travel Time Reliability Index

1.61

1.80

1.75

Boston Region—Interstate Highway System

Truck Travel Time Reliability Index

2.03

n/a

See Massachusetts target

a The two-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2023, and the four-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2025.

CY = calendar year.

Sources: National Performance Management Research Data Set, Cambridge Systematics, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

The MPO’s approach to addressing freight needs is guided in large part by the Massachusetts Freight Plan, which sets a vision and goals for the freight system in the Commonwealth. MassDOT’s performance goals for the freight system include the following: G-17

 

 

Peak Hours of Excessive Delay per Capita

MassDOT and the MPO also examine mobility using the peak hour excessive delay (PHED) per capita measure, which is monitored to meet CMAQ requirements. It helps FHWA, states, and MPOs better understand the impacts of CMAQ-funded investments, which are intended to improve air quality and relieve congestion. CMAQ traffic-congestion-related performance measures apply to UZAs that contain geographic areas designated as not attaining US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for air pollutants and precursors from mobile sources (also known as nonattainment areas). G-18 The measures also apply to geographic areas that have a history of being in nonattainment and are thus required to maintain air quality monitoring and standard conformity processes (also known as maintenance areas).

 

Annual hours of peak hour excessive delay (PHED) per capita estimates the excessive delay on the NHS during peak periods. States and MPOs calculate this measure using several metrics:

 

 

The PHED per capita measure is calculated at the Boston UZA level by multiplying the hours of excessive delay during peak periods by the number of travelers during peak periods, and then dividing that total by the UZA population.

 

When proposing targets, MassDOT and New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) reviewed NPMRDS travel time data, speed data, annual average daily traffic information for NHS roadways, and population data from the American Community Survey (ACS) and the 2020 Decennial Census. Changes in travel patterns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and related public and private sector responses caused fluctuations in annual hours of PHED. When creating projections for this measure, MassDOT and NHDOT created an initial trend line based on a five percent growth rate, which reflects half of the rate of increase in PHED per capita between 2018 and 2019. This five percent growth rate accounts for the fact that traffic has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels. However, MassDOT and NHDOT acknowledge the large degree of uncertainty surrounding future demand for travel, including on the NHS. Travel activity for 2021, the most recent full year of data, is still heavily influenced by the pandemic and public and private sector responses, and the future growth rate of PHED per capita may be larger than anticipated. Figure G-7 shows the past annual PHED per capita values and projected growth rates included in Figure G-5, along with the target values.

 

 

Figure G-7
Estimates and Projected Growth Rates for Annual Hours of PHED
Per
Capita in the Boston MA-NH-RI UZA

A plot showing the Estimates and Projected Growth Rates for Annual Hours of PHED 
Per Capita in the Boston MA-NH-RI UZA

HPMS = Highway Performance Monitoring System. MA = Massachusetts. NH = New Hampshire. PHED = peak hour excessive delay. RI = Rhode Island. UZA = urbanized area.

Sources: HPMS data for Massachusetts and New Hampshire, US American Community Survey, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, New Hampshire Department of Transportation, the Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory (CATT Lab) at the University of Maryland, INRIX, and Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization staff.

 

Table G-20
Boston UZA Baseline and Performance Targets for Annual Hours of
Peak Hour Excessive Delay Per Capita

Geographic Area

2021 Measure Value (Baseline)

Two-Year Target
(CY 2022–23)a

Four-Year Target
(CY 2022–25)a

Boston Urbanized Area

18.0

24.0

22.0

a The two-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2023, and the four-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2025.

CY =calendar year. MA = Massachusetts. NH = New Hampshire. PHED = peak hours of excessive delay. UZA = urbanized area.

Sources: National Performance Management Research Data Set, US Census Bureau, Federal Highway Administration, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, and Cambridge Systematics.

 

Clean Air and Healthy Communities Performance

 

Relevant Goals, Policies, and Plans

The MPO aims to support clean air and healthy communities in the Boston region  by investing in projects that reduce GHG and other transportation-related pollutants. The MPO’s goal for this area is to

 

Provide transportation free of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants and that supports good health.

 

The MPO agrees that GHG emissions contribute to climate change. If climate change trends continue as projected, the Boston region will experience significant sea-level rise, storm-induced flooding, and warmer temperatures, which would adversely affect the region’s infrastructure, economy, human health, and natural resources. Massachusetts is  taking action to reduce the GHGs produced in the state, including those generated by the transportation sector. To that end, Massachusetts passed the Global Warming Solutions Act, which requires reductions of GHGs by at least 80 percent by 2050, relative to 1990 baseline conditions. The Commonwealth met its previous compliance requirement, reducing GHGs by 25 percent by 2020, relative to 1990 baseline conditions.

 

Transportation projects may also help reduce air quality pollutants and precursors—including carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOC), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO)—by improving traffic flow and increasing travel by public transit, bicycle, and walking. The MPO tracks the air quality benefits of transportation projects to identify projects that may be eligible for CMAQ funds. The MPO’s CMAQ Performance Plan includes targets for the amount of emissions the MPO expects will be reduced by CMAQ-funded projects in the region. As part of the plan, the MPO must note how it expects its CMAQ-funded projects to support improvements in these performance measures, which reinforces the connection between planning, investments, and expected performance outcomes. (The MPO must also track VOCs and NOx to meet EPA requirements. More detailed information about the MPO’s air quality status and related requirements is available in Appendix E.)

 

Emission Reduction Measure and Targets

The federally required CMAQ emissions reduction measure, shown in Table G-21, is the total emissions reduction for applicable pollutants and precursors for CMAQ-funded projects in designated nonattainment and maintenance areas. FHWA requires states and MPOs subject to CMAQ performance management requirements to establish a baseline by identifying emissions reductions associated with any CMAQ-funded projects programmed in air quality nonattainment or maintenance areas. They must also set two-year and four-year targets for the emissions reductions expected from CMAQ-funded projects programmed in nonattainment or maintenance areas.

 

The Boston region included an area (Waltham, Massachusetts) designated as being in maintenance for air pollutant standards in 2021. This designation expired in April 2022; however, the MPO must fulfill air quality performance requirements at least until the FWHA issues an applicability determination related to CMAQ performance requirements (expected in October 2023). Agencies in each UZA that are responsible for these measures set two-year and four-year targets.

 

Table G-21
Boston Region MPO CMAQ Emissions Reduction Baseline and Performance Targets

Performance Measure

FFYs 2018–21 Measure Value (Baseline)

Two-Year Target
(FFYs 2022–23)

Four-Year Target
(FFYs 2022–25)

Daily kilograms of CO emissions reduction from CMAQ projects in Boston region nonattainment or maintenance areas

0

0.354

0.354

CMAQ = Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality. CO = carbon monoxide. FFY = federal fiscal year. MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Source: Boston Region MPO.

 

Access and Connectivity Performance

The MPO is working to improve access and connectivity in the region in order to provide transportation options to key destinations, supporting economic vitality and a high quality of life for its residents. The MPO’s goal for this area is to

 

Provide transportation options and improve access to key destinations to support economic vitality and high quality of life.

 

The primary way the MPO assesses how it is improving access and connectivity is by measuring access to transit, biking, walking, and other non-single-occupancy-vehicle transportation options, which expand their travel choices and opportunities. The percentage of non-SOV travel performance is a key indicator of access to options that move people to their desired destinations.

 

Relevant Goals, Policies, and Plans

 

Percentage of Non-Single-Occupant-Vehicle Travel

States and MPOs that meet applicability criteria for CMAQ performance requirements must also monitor and set targets for the share of non-SOV travel in applicable UZAs. The percentage of non-SOV travel performance measure describes the extent to which people are using alternatives to SOVs and, thus, helping to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution from mobile sources.

 

Collectively, MassDOT, NHDOT, the Boston Region MPO, and the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments used ACS data from the US Census Bureau to estimate the percentage of workers aged 16 and older who commuted to work using an option other than driving alone. G-21, G-22 Examples of non-SOV commuting options include, but are not limited to carpooling, taking transit, bicycling, or walking. These ACS five-year period estimates are rolling annual averages. As Figure G-8 shows, the share of non-SOV travel in the Boston UZA has been increasing steadily over time.

 


 

Figure G-8
Historic Values and Performance Targets for the Percent of Non-SOV Travel in the Boston UZA

A plot showing the percent of travel in the Boston MA-New Hampshire-Rhode Island Urbanized Area not conducted in a single occupancy vehicle (SOV).

Note: The two-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2023, and the four-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2025.

ACS = US American Community Survey. CY = calendar year. SOV = single-occupant vehicle. UZA = urbanized area.

Sources: US Census Bureau, ACS Five-Year Estimates (Table DP03, “Selected Economic Characteristics”); the Massachusetts Department of Transportation; and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

 

Table G-22 lists the recent baseline and performance targets for the Boston UZA for the percentage of non-SOV travel. It also includes a baseline value for non-SOV travel that is specific to the Boston region, which is a larger percentage than for the Boston UZA.


 

 

Table G-22
Boston UZA Baseline and Performance Targets for Percent of Non-SOV Travel

Geographic Area

2016–20 Measure Value (Baseline)

Two-Year Target
(CY 2022–23)a

Four-Year Target
(CY 2022–25)a

Boston UZA

36.9%

38.8%

39.8%

a The two-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2023, and the four-year target reflects conditions as of the end of CY 2025.

CY = calendar year. SOV = single-occupancy vehicle. UZA = urbanized area.

Sources: Massachusetts Department of Transportation, New Hampshire Department of Transportation, the US Census Bureau, ACS Five-Year Estimates (Table DP03, “Selected Economic Characteristics”), and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

Transportation Equity Performance

The MPO aims to ensure that all residents fairly share in the benefits and burdens of its transportation planning investments, have meaningful opportunities to participate in the transportation planning process, and have a voice in the selection of transportation investments in their communities. To this end, the MPO integrates the transportation needs and interests of TE populations into its planning process and strives to address disparities in how the transportation network impacts TE populations through the selection of transportation projects that mitigate adverse impacts and provide benefits.

 

FHWA and FTA do not require states, MPOs, or transit agencies to monitor performance measures related to TE. However, as part of compliance with federal nondiscrimination and EJ mandates, MPOs must monitor how their investments are distributed relative to TE populations and whether the projects, in the aggregate, disproportionately affect minority and low-income populations. This helps ensure that these populations share in the benefits from MPO investments and are not unduly burdened by any potential adverse effects. In the LRTP, this is documented in the disparate impact and disproportionate burden (DIDB) analysis (see Appendix H). The DI/DB analysis determines whether projects in the Recommended Plan may result in potential future disparate impacts or disproportionate burdens on minority and low-income populations, respectively. G-23, G-24 The MPO has developed a DI/DB Policy (see Appendix H) that allows the MPO to make that assessment.

 

Destination 2050 Support for Improved Performance

Destination 2050 lists both major infrastructure projects that are required to be included in the MPO’s LRTP and describes the MPO investment programs that will be in place over the life of the plan. As this LRTP is implemented and projects are funded through the TIP, the MPO will describe in the TIP how it anticipates these projects will support progress toward the MPO’s performance targets, both for federally required performance measures and other measures, as applicable. In advance of more detailed discussions in TIP documents, this section describes how the MPO’s recommended set of projects and programs can support improvements with respect to federally required performance measures.

 

MPO Major Infrastructure Projects

Chapter 4 discusses the process the MPO followed to set aside funding for investment programs and to select major infrastructure projects to include the Recommended Plan. The MPO recommends allocating discretionary funding to eight projects that improve facilities that are important to regional travel and/or cost $50 million or more. The eight projects are shown below in Table G-23.

 

Table G-23
Boston Region MPO Projects funded in the Long-Range Transportation Plan

Project

Amount (Estimate)

Boston: Allston Multimodala

$675,500,000

Hopkinton: I-495 and I-90 Interchangea

$300,942,836

Boston: Reconstruction of Rutherford Avenue from City Square to Sullivan Square

 

$196,100,000

Framingham: Intersection Improvements at Route 126 and Route 135/MBTA and CSX Railroadb

 

$145,500,000

Lexington: Route 4/225 (Bedford Street) and Hartwell Avenueb

 

$57,000,000

Norwood: Intersection Improvements at Route 1 and University Avenue/Everett Street

 

$28,699,272

Somerville: McGrath Boulevard

 

$98,800,000

Wrentham: I-495/Route 1A Ramps

 

$20,117,638

aNote: This project is primarily funded by MassDOT and is not a Regional Target project.

bNote: This project is proposed for programming outside of the FFY 2024-2028 TIP, taking place after 2028.

 

MPO Investment Programs

The five MPO investment programs described in Chapter 4 may also help the MPO make progress toward federally required performance targets. Table G-24 describes how TIP projects funded through these various programs may address relevant measures.

 

Table G-24
Recommended Destination 2050 Investment Programs and Potential Performance Impacts

Investment Program

Potential Impacts Related to Federally Required Performance Measures

Intersection Improvements

Roadway Safety: reduce fatalities and injuries by updating roadway geometry, shortening crossing distances, and enhancing signals, lighting, signage, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.

NHS Pavement Condition: projects on the NHS may improve pavement condition.

NHS Travel Reliability and Congestion: Signal and geometry improvements at intersections on the NHS may support reliable travel and reduce congestion.

Non-SOV Travel: Improved bicycle or pedestrian accommodations at intersections may encourage shifts to nonmotorized travel. Intersection improvements may also support the mobility of transit vehicles, which may make transit a more attractive travel option.

Air Quality: Reduced congestion resulting from roadway and geometric improvements at intersections may help reduce emissions.

Complete Streets

Roadway Safety:  projects that improve roadway geometry, upgrade signals and crossways, and/or add or enhance sidewalks and bicycle pedestrian facilities may help reduce fatalities and serious injuries.

NHS Bridge and Pavement Condition: projects located on NHS roadways or bridges can improve these pavements or structures.

NHS Travel Reliability and Congestion: projects that improve signals and geometry on NHS roadways may support reliable travel and reduce congestion.  

Non-SOV Travel: Bicycle, pedestrian, or transit  improvements (such as dedicated bus lanes) may support shifts to non-SOV travel, especially if they support network connectivity and access to activity centers. 

Air Quality: Reduced congestion resulting from roadway and geometric improvements may help reduce emissions. Bicycle and pedestrian facility improvements may encourage people to shift to non-SOV modes, which can help reduce emissions.

Bicycle Network and Pedestrian Connections

Roadway Safety: New or improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities may help reduce fatalities and serious injuries, particularly for nonmotorized users.

Non-SOV Travel: New or improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities may encourage shifts to non-SOV travel, especially if they support network connectivity and access to activity centers.

Air Quality: Bicycle and pedestrian facility improvements may encourage nonmotorized travel, which can help reduce emissions.

Community Connections

Non-SOV Travel: Shuttle, parking improvement, and bicycle and pedestrian improvement-related projects funded through this program may encourage shifts to non-SOV travel, especially if these projects support access to activity centers.

Air Quality: Projects funded through this program may encourage shifts to non-SOV modes, which can help reduce emissions. 

Transit Transformation

TAM: Transit fleet and facility upgrades may improve asset performance.

Transit Safety: Improvements to transit facilities and vehicles may make conditions safer for transit customers, employees, and the public.

Non-SOV Travel: Modernizing transit facilities and vehicles may improve service and comfort, which may encourage people to shift to non-SOV travel.

Air Quality: Modernizing transit assets may help reduce emissions by encouraging non-SOV travel or by changing the amount or type of energy these assets use.

Bikeshare Support

Non-SOV Travel: New or improved Bluebikes stations may encourage shifts to non-SOV travel.

Major Infrastructure

NHS Bridge and Pavement Condition: projects located on NHS roadways or bridges can improve these pavements or structures.

NHS Travel Reliability and Congestion: Signal and geometry improvements on the NHS may support reliable travel and reduce congestion.

MPO = Metropolitan Planning Organization. NHS = National Highway System. SOV = single-occupancy vehicle. TAM = Transit Asset Management.

Source: Boston Region MPO.

 

Performance improvements supported by investment programs will be complemented by MassDOT and transit agency investments included in MassDOT’s CIP (see Chapter 3). The following list provides examples of how these programs relate to federally required performance areas.

 

 

Future MPO Performance-based Planning and programming activities 

There are three key phases in the MPO’s PBPP process—planning, investing, and monitoring and evaluating. Destination 2050 relates to all three of these phases in this framework. First, it documents the MPO’s goals, objectives, measures, and current performance targets, which are all key components of the planning phase. Second, it creates a framework for the MPO to use to invest in the Boston region’s transportation system over the next 20 years—a framework designed to focus spending to further the MPO’s goals. Finally, it contains an assessment of transportation system performance, which the MPO can use when conducting future monitoring and evaluation of progress. 

 

In the coming years, the MPO will expand its PBPP practice by engaging in new activities in each of the three phases and building on the foundation set by Destination 2050. Future planning activities include the following:

 

 

The MPO will update this system performance report in each LRTP to include information about progress the MPO has made toward its performance targets and updated targets, as appropriate. The MPO will also report on performance in other federally required plans and reports, including its CMAQ performance plan This information will be provided on the MPO’s PBPP web page (http://ctps.org/performance).

 

The Commonwealth and the region’s transit agencies also have reporting and evaluation responsibilities. MassDOT and the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security report roadway safety target information annually to FHWA and NHTSA. MassDOT reports other statewide performance targets and related information to FHWA on a biennial basis via FHWA’s Performance Management form. The MBTA, MWRTA, and CATA must report their TAM targets to the NTD, and in future years, these agencies will need to create and regularly submit PTASPs, which discuss their targets for transit safety performance measures. These reports include information about the progress that has been made with respect to performance measures and targets as compared to previous reports.

 

Going forward, the MPO will need to put the results of these reports and evaluations to use in its future planning and investment activities. As part of this work, the MPO will improve methods for understanding the impacts of MPO investments on various performance areas, including federally required performance areas and others identified by the MPO. Over time, the MPO expects that its actions in the PBPP, investment, and monitoring and evaluation phases will help ensure that the MPO’s investments are meeting its vision and goals for the region’s transportation system.

 

 

G-1 The National Highway System consists of interstates and other principal arterial roads that are important to the nation’s economy, defense, and mobility. Sources: US Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Highway Administration.

G-2 TE populations are identified using census data and are defined as follows:

• People who identify as a minority include those who identify as Hispanic or Latino/a/x and/or a race other than White.

• A person is considered to have a low income if their annual family income is less than or equal to 200 percent of the poverty level for their family size.

• People with limited English proficiency are those who report speaking English less than “very well” on the American Community Survey.

• The older adult population refers to people ages 75 years and older.

• The youth population refers to people ages 17 years and younger.

G-3 Urbanized Areas (UZAs) are defined by the US Census Bureau to represent the urban cores of metropolitan areas. The Boston UZA includes the 97 municipalities in the Boston Region MPO and includes portions of neighboring MPOs in eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

 

G-4 PTASP FFY 2023 Massachusetts Highway Safety Plan available at

  https://www.mass.gov/doc/ffy-2023-massachusetts-highway-safety-plan/download, pg. 27.

G-5 MassDOT defines serious injuries as incapacitating injuries, which it identifies through incident reporting by police and vehicle operators using the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report.

 

G-6 MBTA, MBTA Transit Safety Plan, pg. 37.

G-7 MBTA, MBTA Transit Safety Plan, pg. 40.

G-8 Specific data sources include the March 6, 2023, Monthly Modal Time Series file (available at ht