A study released in late March by the Massachusetts Transportation Finance Commission concludes that the state’s transportation system is "unsustainable," with maintenance needs outpacing financial resources during the next 20 years by $15 billion to $19 billion without addressing necessary system expansion or enhancements.

"The MBTA, our region’s major transit agency is over 100 years old and has been undermaintained for at least the last few decades," the commission says in its report. "The Interstate Highway System is 50 years old, and similarly has been undermaintained. … The Massachusetts transportation system is in deep financial trouble because we have not faced up to the reality of how much it costs to preserve the system. We have frequently chosen to develop new (and often desirable) transportation projects. But these have come at the direct expense of maintaining the system that we have."

According to the commission:

  • virtually every transportation agency in the state is running structural deficits and resorting to short-term quick fixes that hide systemic financial problems;
  • road, bridge, and transit system conditions are all in broad decline;
  • revenue is being squeezed from all sides; and
  • the state lacks money for transit or highway enhancements or expansions without further sacrificing the existing systems and exacerbating problems.

Download the complete Massachusetts Transportation Finance Commission report at www.eot.state.ma.us/default.asp?pgid=content/tfcNotice&sid=about.