Governor Deval Patrick's Budget Recommendation - House 1 Fiscal Year 2012

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2012

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Transportation Reform

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Governor Patrick    FY2012 House 1 Budget Recommendation:
    Issues in Brief

    Deval L. Patrick, Governor
    Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor


Since the enactment of transportation reform legislation one year ago that creates a single, unified Transportation Department (MassDOT), MassDOT established the following four new divisions: Highway, Rail and Transit, Aeronautics and the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). In addition an Office of Planning and Programming provides shared services in the areas of finance, human resources, finance, legal, procurement, real estate management, information technology and planning.  Under the reform act, the MBTA remains a separate legal entity, but is subject to greater levels of oversight by and coordination with MassDOT.

An organization chart showing the hierarchy of MassDOT.  The department is organized into the following five divisions, Highway, Mass Transit, Aeronautics, and Motor Vehicles.

Transportation Reform Year One Successes

Over the past year employees from former state transportation agencies, quasi-independent authorities and other state agencies continue to implement the activities necessary to effect this historic reform act.  The Commonwealth has already realized the following savings, efficiencies and established programs dedicated to improving the system:

  • The creation of the first-ever strategic plan for the entire Massachusetts transportation system.  Each division and department of MassDOT has developed an operating plan that aligns to the strategic plan with specific objectives and measures that will achieve the goals of the plan.
  • The transfer of employees to the Group Insurance Commission, the health insurance purchasing group utilized by all other state employees.  This shift will save MassDOT and the MBTA an estimated $30 - $40 million annually.  The first transfer of employees occurred on February 1, 2010 and will continue over the course of the next year as collective bargaining agreements expire and pending litigation is resolved.
  • The savings of $261 million in cost avoidance associated with termination payments of interest rate swap agreements for the former Massachusetts Turnpike Association (MTA) because transportation reform allowed for an upgrade of the former MTA’s bond rating. $38 million in further savings were generated with MassDOT’s refinancing of existing debt at lower rates.  These additional savings will be reinvested in capital projects on the Western Turnpike and Metropolitan Highway System. 
  • The commencement of the Transportation Round Table, a monthly open forum dedicated to addressing issues in the work environment and to changing the culture of transportation in all MassDOT divisions. The Round Table includes employees from the Highway, Rail and Transit (MBTA), RMV and Aeronautics divisions to promote a diverse, engaged and inclusive workforce.
  • The completion or in process of completion of twenty of the twenty-two recommendations (90%) of the 2007 Transportation Finance Commission (TFC). 
  • The launch of GreenDOT Policy, a mandate for embedding environmental sustainability into all departmental initiatives and projects.
  • The launch of the MBTA “T Parking Made Simple” program.  This user-friendly, new customer service program for payments at parking lot allows commuters to easily utilize their mobile phones and an online account to pay for parking at MBTA lots. 
  • The realization of $49 million dollars in operating efficiencies. Reports and details on these savings can be found at

Capital Investments in our Transportation Infrastructure

The Patrick-Murray Administration significantly increased investments to improve our roads, bridges, transit and other transportation system assets by allocating a larger portion of the capital budget to transportation investments, initiating the Accelerated Bridge Program, and securing additional revenue dedicated to transportation.  Capital Infrastructure spending on transportation projects, including federal reimbursements for the statewide road and bridge program, and the “Chapter 90” aid for municipally owned roads and bridges will show an 89% increase in fiscal year 2012 when compared to fiscal year 2007.

The following chart shows capital infrastructure spending through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation between fiscal year 2007 and projected levels for fiscal year 2012

Transportation capital spending has increased from $1 billion in fiscal year 2007 to its highest level of $2.2 billion projected for fiscal year 2012.  Of this investment in fiscal year 2012, about $500 million will be used to finance projects in the accelerated bridge program.

Transportation Reform – Year 2

In fiscal year 2012, MassDOT will continue to focus on delivering excellent customer service and becoming the nation’s safest and most reliable transportation system.

  • MassDOT will continue to show statewide leadership in developing “Shared Services”.  Shared Services allows divisions to make policy and funding decisions while implementation of those decisions is managed by secretariat staff.  This creates additional freedom and resources for line level and division managers to focus on core mission activities.
  • At the direction of Governor Patrick, MassDOT, MBTA and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services will establish a special commission on paratransit services to explore options to control costs and maximize efficiencies while still providing consistent, exceptional service to all residents of the Commonwealth. 
  • Finally, MassDOT will focus on engaging with our employees and stakeholders to solicit ideas and further the conversation on how it can work with other agencies to meet the goal of becoming the nationally recognized as the best department of transportation.

The MassDOT website,, is routinely updated with progress reports demonstrating the department’s commitment to safety, becoming the national leader in transportation and regaining the public’s trust.

Prepared by Kelly Driscoll, Executive Office for Administration and Finance ·
For more information contact: (617) 727-2040

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