February 25, 2015
Charting Progress to 2040 is the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization’s next Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The LRTP creates a 25-year vision for transportation in the region and sets priorities for future federally funded transportation planning studies and projects. It will guide the allocation of an expected $2 billion over the planning period.
Attendees will participate in an activity through which they, like MPO members, will grapple with the challenge of prioritizing future transportation investments within the constraints of available funding by balancing the region’s goals with its needs. Each table will receive a stack of chips totaling $2 billion: the amount of discretionary funds that likely would be available for the Boston region between now and 2040.
Using their equal share of chips, each participant will express his/her initial, individual preferences for funding priorities by dividing their chips among the MPO’s spending programs (on the “board” at the center of the table). Participants at each table then will review the combined results and negotiate a group consensus for the amount of spending in each of the investment programs.
These sources provide the primary funding for maintenance, modernization, and expansion of the transportation system:
A portion of the funds from the federal highway program are allocated to each MPO to be programmed for transportation infrastructure priorities in their region.
The Boston Region MPO’s discretionary funding is indicated by the green slice of the pie chart. This is the funding the MPO will have available to fund its priorities for transportation infrastructure investments over the next 25 years.
Average Annual Transportation Funding
Description: Modernizes existing or adds new intersections to improve safety and mobility. Safety improvements could consist of turning lanes, shortened crossing distances for pedestrians, and striping and lighting for bicyclists. Improvements to sidewalks and curb cuts also will enhance accessibility for pedestrians. Updated signal operations will reduce delay and improve transit reliability.
Share of Past MPO Investments: 5%
Average Cost: $2.5 million per project
Description: Modernizes roadways to improve safety and mobility for all users. Improvements could consist of continuous sidewalks and bike lanes, cycle tracks, and other bicycle facilities, and update signals at intersections along a corridor. Improvements will reduce delay and improve transit reliability. Expanded transportation options and better access to transit will improve mobility for all and encourage mode shift.
Share of Past MPO Investments: 33%
Average Cost: $6 million per mile
Description: Expands the bicycle and pedestrian networks to improve safe access to transit, schools, employment centers, and shopping destinations. Projects could include constructing new, off-road bicycle or multi-use paths, improving bicycle and pedestrian crossings, or building new sidewalks.
Share of Past MPO Investments: 3%
Average Cost: $2 million per mile
Description: Modernizes and/or expands expressways and major arterials to reduce congestion and improve safety. Projects could include reconstructing expressway interchanges to eliminate weaving and reduce the likelihood of rollovers, adding travel lanes on expressways, or adding/removing grade separations on major arterials.
Share of Past MPO Investments: 54%
Cost Range: $20–$300 million
Description: Provides funding to launch locally developed transit services that support first-mile/last-mile connections to existing transit services and other destinations by purchasing shuttle buses and/or funding operating costs. This program also targets funding to construct additional parking at transit stations already at capacity. Other projects to improve mobility and air quality and promote mode shift could be included in the future.
Share of Past MPO Investments: 2%
Cost Range: $35,000 per parking space, $100,000–$400,000 per Clean Air and Mobility project, and $1.5 million per new service
Description: Funds transit improvements beyond those needed to bring the system into a state-of-good-repair and to conduct routine maintenance and modernization. Projects could include expanding the transit system (such as bus rapid transit routes or ferry service) or upgrading transit assets (such as transit vehicles, vessels, or other equipment).
Share of Past MPO Investments: 3%
Cost Range: $10–$250 million