Identifying Future Investments
The MPO formulates a long-range transportation plan (LRTP) that prioritizes transportation investments to meet the identified needs of users in the Boston region. To inform its decisions, the MPO seeks public input about various investments and assesses how different packages of investment strategies and projects could advance the MPO’s vision and goals.
Each investment scenario includes regionally significant infrastructure projects that the MPO’s partners commit to fund and construct—projects identified in plans such as the MBTA’s Focus40, MassDOT’s Statewide Bicycle, Pedestrian, Rail, and Freight Transportation Plans, and the City of Boston’s GoBoston 2030 initiative. The scenarios differ based on how the MPO’s discretionary federal funding is allocated to complement these regionally significant projects.
In its previous LRTP, Charting Progress to 2040, the MPO determined that it could best achieve its goals by setting aside at least half of its discretionary funding for smaller-scale, lower-cost projects that improve mobility and safety for all roadway users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, motorists, and transit riders. Destination 2040, the next LRTP, offers the MPO an opportunity to reprioritize its investments in these smaller-scale, lower-cost improvements.
The Recommended Plan
The recommended investments included in Destination 2040 were chosen from the Universe of Programs and Projects. MPO staff developed the Universe to provide the MPO and the public with a comprehensive set of programs and projects eligible for inclusion in Destination 2040. The Universe of Programs lists potential investment programs recommended by staff to address the needs identified in the Needs Assessment. Investment programs include projects that do not have to be listed in the LRTP because they cost less than $20 million and/or do not add capacity to the system. Instead of listing specific projects, programs provide direction for the kinds of lower-cost projects the MPO will consider funding via the TIP throughout the life of the plan and signal to municipalities and agencies that the MPO has funds available for specific types of projects. The Universe of Projects includes projects under consideration for inclusion in the LRTP. These are projects that cost more than $20 million and/or add capacity to the transportation network. These must be listed in the LRTP before they can be funded in the TIP.
After presenting the Universe to the MPO board and inviting project proponents to advocate for eligible projects, MPO staff presented recommended investment programs, projected available finances, and evaluations for eligible projects. In May, the MPO endorsed the FFYs 2020–24 TIP, which will become the first time band of the new LRTP. Also in May, MPO staff presented a recommended mix of programs and projects for inclusion in the remaining time bands of Destination 2040 (2024–2040). After reaching consensus on a recommended scenario to include in the plan, staff conducted environmental justice and air quality analyses and presented the draft plan to the MPO for approval to release it for public review.
To review the Destination 2040 development process and relevant documents, visit the Timeline.
What’s Happening Now?
The MPO will accept comments on the draft LRTP, Destination 2040, until August 23, 2019. The new plan consists of two documents: the Needs Assessment, which analyzes the transportation needs of the region, and the draft plan (pdf) (html), which recommends programs and projects to meet those needs. Tell the MPO whether the recommended investments represent the best way to achieve its vision.
The MPO board will consider the staff’s recommendations, federal and state requirements, equity and air quality analyses, financial constraints, and public input before voting to adopt Destination 2040.
For more information, please contact Anne McGahan, MPO staff, at 857.702.3676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.