MAPC Applauds Baker Admin for Joining TCI Program to Advance Climate Goals

MAPC Applauds Baker Admin for Joining TCI Program to Advance Climate Goals

For immediate release: Monday, December 21, 2020

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) issued the following statement today after four jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, agreed to establish a cap-and-invest system in the transportation sector.

“Establishing a multi-state initiative to curb transportation emissions was a key recommendation of Governor Baker's Future of Transportation Commission,” said MAPC Deputy Director Rebecca Davis, a member of the Commission. “Joining the Transportation Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) is the best way for the Commonwealth to tackle transportation's role in carbon emissions, improve air quality in our environmental justice communities and raise revenue for essential investments in a sustainable system.

“MAPC applauds the Baker Administration for leading the historic effort to advance TCI and for reaching the important milestone of a final memorandum of understanding (MOU). The Commonwealth, in partnership with Rhode Island, Connecticut and Washington D.C., has taken a crucial step toward reducing carbon emissions and building a greener, more equitable transportation system.

"We are pleased to see the final agreement include provisions that will help ensure TCI-P revenue is allocated to investments in underserved and overburdened communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the connection between our changing climate and public health disparities, heightening the urgency to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality in our most underserved and overburdened communities.

"In addition to helping Massachusetts reach its goal of net zero emissions by 2050, TCI-P will raise much-needed revenue to invest in clean transportation solutions, enhanced transit and improved roads, sidewalks and cycling infrastructure.

"A strategic, community-led process for determining what these investments will look like will be critical for addressing some of the inequities laid bare by our dual public health and economic crises. We urge the Baker Administration to put environmental justice communities front and center when determining how TCI dollars will be invested in the Commonwealth.

"Once the Commonwealth is safely able to proceed through the stages of reopening, we cannot return to congestion-choked roadways and a chronically underfunded public transit system. TCI will be one important component of a larger set of revenue-raising mechanisms we need to make sure our transportation system does not hold us back from revitalizing our economy and getting people back to work. Investments in a clean transportation system will be an essential component of an equitable economic recovery while helping to build the clean energy workforce we need to achieve our climate goals.

"We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration, the Legislature and our municipal and regional partners to build a robust, resilient and equitable 21st century transportation system."

Elise Harmon
Digital Communications Specialist
Metropolitan Area Planning Council