Statewide and regional business associations from across the Commonwealth have joined to create the Massachusetts Business Coalition on Transportation (MBCT). The group’s mission is to develop and promote a collaborative statewide business agenda for transportation to increase ridership on public transportation, decrease road congestion, and improve bridge and road conditions.
The formation of the MBCT is driven by worsening traffic congestion and increasing demand for more and better public transit, as well as the business community’s dissatisfaction with the current pace of improvements to our state’s transportation systems and services. While MBCT members represent a wide range of business advocacy groups and geographic areas, each with their own unique and complex transportation systems and agendas, all Coalition members believe that improving our statewide transportation infrastructure is an urgent policy priority, particularly as it relates to the support of business, commerce, economic competitiveness and growth.
In addition, the MBCT feels that the business community has a responsibility to partner with government on solutions, particularly when it comes to issues like public/private partnerships, workforce scheduling and applications of technology as well as sharing expertise on complex issues of financing, governance and management, contracting, and project delivery.
The MBCT will be chaired by James E. Rooney, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce (GBCC); Timothy P. Murray, president and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Wendy Northcross, CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, and Richard Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council (EDC). A complete list of all participating business groups can be found at the end of this story.
The Coalition’s mission is consistent with Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo’s call to the business community to join the conversation on statewide transportation policy proposals and builds off of Governor Charlie Baker’s Commission on the Future of Transportation. In addition, the Coalition’s conversations around new revenues for transportation initiatives will be coordinated with the efforts of Senate President Karen Spilka’s working group charged with examining the state’s revenue sources.
“Transportation, and particularly public transportation, is a critical component to Greater Boston’s, and indeed the state’s, talent and workforce strategy, housing crisis strategy, economic opportunity efforts, climate resiliency, and our commitment to improving the overall quality of life for the people who live and work in Massachusetts, said Rooney. “It’s time for a united voice from the business community that can be a powerful driver of progress. I’m proud to work with my colleagues from across the Commonwealth to deliver results to GBCC members and work towards achieving the world class transportation systems that our entire state needs to thrive.”
“A modern and efficient statewide transportation network presents the opportunity to address the Commonwealth’s critical housing and economic development needs,” said Murray. The MBCT’s goal is to provide pathways including possible funding mechanisms on how to create a state-of-the-art transportation system across Massachusetts.”
“Cape Cod’s two automobile bridges and surrounding roadways are at the top of the Chamber’s list for transportation investment. They are not only key to our economic health they are critical to our wellbeing,” said Northcross. “We did not hesitate to step up and work with our colleagues across the state to advance transportation solutions. We know that when the rest of the Commonwealth does well, Cape Cod thrives as well.”
“It is imperative that there be regional equity in all future investments that are made to our transportation system, said Sullivan. “There needs to be an appreciation for the regional differences and needs of our residents and our businesses. The definition of transportation infrastructure needs to expand beyond just roads and bridges to include broadband, internet and wifi investments so that the less populated regions of the state can take advantage of new technologies, uber-like solutions, and innovative solutions to transportation.”
So far, the MBCT has met twice to formulate a mission and shared principles and to discuss transportation policies that will become a formal agenda. Although the Coalition will work to formulate a common business community statewide transportation agenda, participation does not preclude members from advocating for region-specific programs and projects, and the MBCT expects to develop additional strategic collaborations during the process.
Massachusetts Business Coalition on Transportation (MBCT) Members