Don Berwick on Technology



$600M via gas tax indexing for transportation financing

Joe Avellone called the indexing provision included in last year's transportation financing plan a "backdoor tax." Grossman said the Legislature in 2013 made a "modest downpayment" of $600 million in new revenue to support transportation, but criticized the likely Republican nominee Charlie Baker for opposing gas tax indexing. "I would challenge Charlie Baker to say where on earth are you going to get the $1 billion we're going to lose over the next 10 years," he said.
Source: WWLP 22-News on 2014 Massachusetts gubernatorial debate , Jun 10, 2014

Nurture public transportation, resist fare increases

Regarding transportation, Berwick said he would focus on catching up on maintaining transportation infrastructure and implementing new innovations.

"Depending on which report you read, we may be $15 billion behind in maintenance," said Berwick. "We need to put money into our roads and rails and bridges. We're approaching the edge of service limitations that are hurting our economy."

"Beyond that, I'm really excited about the innovations we could have, like 'smart streets' which are ways to give buses more responsive routes," said Berwick. "I'd nurture public transportation, resist fare increases, improve schedules in regional transit, and look for more high speed rail opportunities."

Source: Walpole Times on 2014 Massachusetts Governor race , Jan 25, 2014

Safe, convenient, responsive, reliable transportation system

Berwick said that if elected, his agenda for transportation projects would evaporate the disparity in project funding between Eastern and Western Massachusetts and prioritize long-neglected projects across the commonwealth.

"Massachusetts deserves a safe, convenient, responsive and reliable transportation system--one we can count on. We will have that if, and only if, we treat the system with respect, like we would our own car," Berwick said. "That means making prudent, regular investments that create jobs, improve safety and begin to make up for decades of chronic neglect."

In regards to the question of whether projects will be paid for by new taxes or mass transit fare increases, Berwick pledged that he would work with legislators to find other ways to come up with revenue. Additionally, he said that the gas tax increase instituted under Gov. Deval Patrick that took effect in July "may be necessary in the current environment, but it is not our future."

Source: Springfield Republican on 2014 Massachusetts Governor race , Jan 8, 2014

Switch from gas tax to pay-per-use fees on mileage

Berwick said that the gas tax increase instituted under Gov. Deval Patrick that took effect in July "may be necessary in the current environment, but it is not our future." Berwick said that he is instead inclined to explore a pay-per-use type of system in which people are taxed based on the number of miles they drive while paying "strict attention to privacy concerns" in regards to the tracking technologies that monitor such usage.

The candidate also said that deferred maintenance has led to increased repair costs for many roads and bridges and putting off investments in regional transit authorities has led to inadequate hours of operations.

"It's 'pay now or pay more later,' and as governor I will support smart, focused and equitable investment. We know that investing in transportation is a win-win for our economy and our commonwealth," Berwick said. "Upgrading transportation puts people to work. Evidence is clear that transportation investment in MA supports 1000s of jobs each year.

Source: Springfield Republican on 2014 Massachusetts Governor race , Jan 8, 2014

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