The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) oversees roads, public transit, aeronautics, and transportation licensing and registration in the US state of Massachusetts. It was created on November 1, 2009 by the 186th Session of the Massachusetts General Court upon enactment of the 2009 Transportation Reform Act.
|Formed||November 1, 2009|
|Headquarters||10 Park Plaza Boston, Massachusetts, US |
In 2009, Governor Deval Patrick proposed merging all Massachusetts transportation agencies into a single Department of Transportation. Legislation consolidating all of Massachusetts' transportation agencies into one organization was signed into law on June 26, 2009. The newly established Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MASSDOT) assumed operations from the existing conglomeration of state transportation agencies on November 1, 2009.
This change included:
In June 2018, The Boston Globe reported 467 current and former Massachusetts Department of Transportation employees were using the E-ZPass transponders for free. This employee benefit that has been going on since at least 2009 costs the Massachusetts taxpayers approximately $1 million dollars per year. It is not clear if MassDOT has paid taxes on the benefit or reported it to the Internal Revenue Service, or who would be responsible if a payment to the IRS is required.
As an executive department, the Governor of Massachusetts appoints the state Secretary of Transportation, who is also the "Chief Executive Officer" of the Department. The governor also appoints a five-person Board of Directors which approves major decisions. The Department directly administers some operations, while others remain semi-autonomous.
Formerly an independent state entity, which until 1992 even had its own uniformed police force for vehicular traffic law enforcement, the Registry of Motor Vehicles Division is now directly administered by MassDOT. It is the equivalent of the Department of Motor Vehicles in most states, and processes driver's licenses and motor vehicle registrations.
All public transportation agencies are administered independently. However, the DOT Board of Directors is also the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the major provider of public transportation in the Greater Boston area.
The remaining 15 public transit authorities are called Regional Transit Agencies (RTAs), and they provide public bus services in the remainder of the state. The regional transit authorities are:
The regional transit authorities shown in italics above are within MBTA's commuter rail service area, and provide connections to MBTA trains.
DOT retains oversight and statewide planning authority, and also has a Rail section within the Mass Transit Division. Intercity passenger trains are operated by the federally owned Amtrak, and freight rail is privately operated.
MassDOT is a member of the Northeast Corridor Commission.
The Aeronautics Division, formerly the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission, administers state financing of its airports; inspects and licenses airports and landing pads; registers aircraft based in Massachusetts as well as aircraft dealers, regulates airport security, safety, and navigation; and is responsible for statewide aviation planning. The Department of Transportation does not own any airports; the state-owned airports are controlled by the independent Massachusetts Port Authority (which shares its headquarters with the Aeronautics Division).
Government regulation of aviation in the United States is dominated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Airline passenger and baggage screening is provided by the federal Transportation Security Administration, but airport security is provided locally.
The 2009 reform law also created within MassDOT:
and outside of DOT but supported by it:
The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) remains independent from the Department of Transportation, but the Secretary of Transportation serves on the Massport Board of Directors. Massport owns and operates the maritime Port of Boston, Boston's Logan International Airport, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport, which was transferred from the City of Worcester in 2010.
The Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority regulates all ferry services to and from the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, and also operates its own passenger, vehicle, and freight ferries. The Authority has an effective monopoly on car ferry service, but private companies operate various passenger routes.
Transportation funding available to the state and its agencies include:
Local cities and towns also receive vehicle excise tax revenues, and levy property taxes. Both state and municipal agencies can levy fines for parking and traffic violations.
Article 78 (LXXVIII) of the Massachusetts Constitution says all motor vehicle fees and taxes (except registration excise tax in lieu of property tax), including fuel taxes, must be spent on transportation, including roads, mass transit, traffic law enforcement, and administration. Transportation is thus a net recipient of general state funds.
and three non-metropolitan planning organizations covering the remainder of the state:
By law, all federal transportation grants must be allocated by the responsible MPO. Statewide planning and coordination of MPOs is handled by the Department of Transportation.
|Massachusetts Transportation Capital Planning Documents|
|Acronym||Name||Responsible agency||Horizon||Purpose / References|
|STIP||State Transportation Improvement Program||DOT||3 years||Collects all 13 regional TIPs plus statewide projects for state and federal transportation and environmental review. Required for federal funding, financially constrained. Approved by FHWA, FTA, and EPA.|
|TIP||(Regional) Transportation Improvement Program||13 regional MPOs||3 years||Approve road and transit projects of regional scale for federal funding based on transportation and environmental criteria. Determine consistency with federal air quality goals. MPO approval required for federal funding; plan must be fiscally constrained. TIP projects come from RTP projects and immediate needs. Each project has an "advocate" agency to oversee planning and implementation, file for federal funding, and provide local funding match.|
|RTP||(Regional) Transportation Plan||13 regional MPOs||~25 years, updated every 4 years||Financially unconstrained listings and evaluation of regional road and transit projects. Required for federal funding. Projects are added to the RTP from public input, from CMS/MMS recommendations, and by government agencies. In Boston, transit projects are filtered through the MBTA PMT and two RTAs.|
|PMT||Program for Mass Transportation||MBTA (by CTPS)||25 years, updated every 5 years||Identify and evaluate public transit projects in the MBTA service area. Financially unconstrained. Required by state law.|
|CIP||MBTA Capital Improvement Plan||MBTA||4–5 years||Actually approve projects for MBTA funding. 100% state and federally funded projects are also noted, as are anticipated federal matching funds subject to outside approval. Fiscally constrained.|
|MBP||Massachusetts Bicycle Plan||DOT||25 years||Identify bicycle access capital improvement projects, coordinate statewide bicycle policies and programs.|
|UPWP||Unified Planning Work Program||13 regional MPOs||1 year||A list of transportation studies to be conducted by the MPO. Required for federal funding.|
|MMS or CMS||Mobility Management System or Congestion Management System||13 regional MPOs||4 years?||Identify and measure congested corridors; recommend solutions. Required for federal funding.|
|SRP||State Rail Plan||State DOT||Not specified||Identify rail projects with the best return on investment, fulfill federal requirements.|
CTPS is the Central Transportation Planning Staff, which is the staff of the Boston MPO and with which the MBTA contracts for planning assistance.
The Highway Division accepts submissions for projects from its district offices and municipalities.
The Accelerated Bridge Program is a bond bill signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick in August 2008, a year after the I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapse put the state's bridges in the spotlight. The $3 billion, 8-year accelerated bridge program will replace and rehabilitate around 270 bridges statewide. 300–500 additional bridges will be preserved to prevent further deterioration. As of September 1, 2015, the program has reduced the number of structurally deficient bridges to 408, from 543 in 2008. The program is paid for using bonds in anticipation of future federal transportation grants to be issued to the state.
The MassDOT has called the Accelerated Bridge Program the "Laboratory of Innovation". Engineers on each project are invited to investigate other options to replace the bridges faster and more efficiently to reopen the bridges to traffic faster. Some of these options for the projects are:
As of September 2015, there were 198 active or completed contracts, including replacement or repair of the following bridges (some of which span multiple contracts):
Alewife Brook Parkway is a short parkway in Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It begins at Fresh Pond in Cambridge (linking to Fresh Pond Parkway via Concord Avenue), and heads north on the east bank of Alewife Brook, crossing into West Somerville and ending at the Mystic River on the Medford town line, where it becomes Mystic Valley Parkway. The entire length of Alewife Brook Parkway is designated as part of Massachusetts Route 16 (Route 16), while the southernmost sections are also designated as part of Route 2 and U.S. Route 3 (US 3). It is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation responsible for bridge maintenance.Chelsea station (MBTA)
Chelsea is an MBTA Silver Line bus rapid transit station in Chelsea, Massachusetts. It opened on April 21, 2018 as the terminus of the new SL3 route. An adjacent MBTA Commuter Rail stop will open in 2021.Freetown station
Freetown is a planned commuter rail station on the Fall River Subdivision in the Assonet village of Freetown, Massachusetts. Under current plans, the station would open for MBTA Commuter Rail service in 2023 as part of the first phase of the South Coast Rail project.French King Bridge
The French King Bridge is the three-span "cantilever arch" bridge that crosses the Connecticut River on the border between the towns of Erving and Gill, Massachusetts, United States. The bridge, part of Massachusetts Route 2, carries automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic and is owned and managed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).Grand Prix of Boston
The Grand Prix of Boston was a proposed IndyCar Series race scheduled to be first held on September 4, 2016. The race was to have taken place on a 2.25 mile route along the South Boston Seaport. The city of Boston, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, and the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority had reached an agreement with Indycar to allow the race to move forward. However, it was ultimately decided that the race would be cancelled at its originally planned venue, although it is possible that the race will be moved to another Boston-area location.Alongside the IndyCar Series, the weekend was also scheduled to have races from the Indy Lights, Stadium Super Trucks, and IMSA Super Trofeo series.The event was replaced on the 2016 IndyCar Series schedule by a race at Watkins Glen.Green Line Extension
The Green Line Extension (sometimes abbreviated as GLX) is an initiative to expand transit services in Greater Boston by extending the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Green Line light rail beyond its current northern terminus at Lechmere in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The 4.3-mile (6.9 km) extension is intended to improve mobility and regional access for residents in the densely populated municipalities of Somerville and Medford, two cities currently underserved by the MBTA relative to their population densities, commercial importance, and proximity to Boston.
The project will extend service northward to Medford, near Tufts University, and to Union Square in Somerville using a two-branch operation, both to be operated within existing MBTA Commuter Rail rights-of-way. The extension is projected to have a total weekday ridership of about 52,000. The Green Line would see an increase in boardings of 30,700, and the MBTA system would see between 7,000 and 8,000 new transit users.While on the drawing board since 1990, the project has proceeded in fits and starts. Construction finally broke ground on Phase 1 of the Green Line Extension in 2012, with service targeted to begin in December 2021.Interstate 190 (Massachusetts)
Interstate 190 (I-190) is an auxiliary Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Spanning approximately 19 miles (31 km) along a south–north axis, it is a spur route of I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) in Central Massachusetts. However, its southern terminus exists at its split from I-290 in Worcester, which itself splits from the turnpike in Auburn. Its northern terminus lays at an interchange with Route 2 in Leominster.Interstate 290 (Massachusetts)
Interstate 290 (I-290) is an auxiliary Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Spanning approximately 20 miles (32 km), it is signed as an east-west spur route of I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) in Central Massachusetts. The route begins in Auburn at I-90 as a northward continuation of I-395. It follows L-shaped route, the nominally western half of the route runs north into the city of Worcester, and upon leaving the city, turns to the east to its eastern terminus at I-495 in Marlborough. Past I-495, the road continues as an unnumbered 1-mile connector to the town of Hudson.Interstate 395 (Connecticut–Massachusetts)
Interstate 395 (I-395) is an auxiliary Interstate Highway in the U.S. states of Connecticut and Massachusetts; it is maintained by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Spanning nearly 67 miles (108 km) on a south–north axis, it is the only spur route of Interstate 95 in Connecticut. The 36-mile (58 km) section between its splits from I-95 in East Lyme and Route 695 in Plainfield is a component highway of the Connecticut Turnpike. Within that state, the highway is named the American Ex-Prisoner of War Memorial Highway from Plainfield to Thompson.
The highway was first established as part of the Connecticut Turnpike in 1958, while the Route 52 designation was applied to the portion north of the turnpike in 1967. Route 52 was intended to become a southern extension of I-290, although the current designation of I-395 was ultimately assigned in 1983.Interstate 495 (Massachusetts)
Interstate 495 (I-495) is an auxiliary route of I-95 in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Spanning 120.74 miles (194.31 km), it is the second-longest auxiliary route in the Interstate Highway System, ranking behind I-476 in Pennsylvania by a difference of roughly 11 miles (18 km).Serving as one of two beltways (the other being Route 128) that forms a semicircle around Boston, and being the "outer" beltway, I-495 has its northern terminus in Salisbury, where it splits from I-95. Its route forms an arc with an approximately 30-mile (48 km) radius around the city, and intersects seven additional radial expressways: I-93, U.S. Route 3 (US-3), Route 2, I-290, I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike), Route 24, and I-95 once more. I-495 has its southern terminus in Wareham, at the meeting of I-195 and Route 25. Originally, the stretch from Route 24 to I-195 was signed as Route 25, that status now only begins east of I-195.
I-495 and areas to its immediate west are often regarded as the outermost boundary of the Greater Boston region. The freeway's northern segment parallels the New Hampshire border, at one point coming as close as 400 feet (120 m) of the boundary, and its southern end is roughly 10 miles north of Cape Cod. West of I-495 is the Worcester area and Central Massachusetts. The stretch of I-495 north and east of Route 2 until its terminus at I-95 in Salisbury is also the main thoroughfare connecting the communities of the Merrimack Valley region, separate from its purpose as a beltway around Boston.Interstate 93
Interstate 93 (I-93) is an Interstate Highway in the New England region of the United States. It begins in Canton, Massachusetts, in the Boston metropolitan area, at I-95; and ends near St. Johnsbury, Vermont, at I-91. It is one of three mainline Interstate highways located wholly within New England, the other two being I-89 and I-91. The largest cities along its route are Manchester, New Hampshire and Boston, Massachusetts. It also passes through the New Hampshire state capital of Concord.
For most of its length, I-93 indirectly parallels U.S. Route 3. Particularly in New Hampshire, the two highways have several interchanges with each other, as well as a concurrency through Franconia Notch State Park. I-93 follows the Southeast Expressway south of downtown Boston, the Central Artery through Boston, and the Northern Expressway from Boston to the New Hampshire state line.Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities
The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities is the Public Utilities Commission of the State of Massachusetts. There are currently three members of the commission. Its major duties include the regulation of public utility companies that distribute electric power, natural gas and water to the citizens of Massachusetts. Current commissioners as of 2011 are Ann G. Berwick, Chair, Jolette A. Westbrook, and David W. Cash. DPU also has some transportation oversight duties not handled by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.Massachusetts Highway Department
The Massachusetts Highway Department (abbreviated MassHighway) was the highway department in the U.S. state of Massachusetts from 1991 until the formation of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) in 2009.The responsibilities of MassHighway included the design, construction and maintenance of all state highways and bridges and signage of numbered routes. During that time it was a part of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation (EOT), which was also reorganized into the Department of Transportation. As part of the reorganization, the separate Massachusetts Turnpike Authority was dissolved and its duties assumed by the MassDOT highway division.The department was split into five district offices managed by a District Highway Director (DHD) under the supervision of the Chief Engineer at MassHighway headquarters in Boston. This district plan has been continued under MassDOT and the Boston area (westward along the Mass Turnpike to Weston and south through to Randolph) was the basis for a sixth district in 2010.The Massachusetts Highway Department conducts an annual traffic data collection program. A traffic counting program is conducted each year by the Statewide Traffic Data Collection section of the Massachusetts Highway Department. This data is available online by autoroute and city/town list or as an interactive map. The 2009 program involved the systematic collection of traffic data utilizing automatic traffic recorders located on various roadways throughout the state.Massachusetts State Highway System
The Massachusetts State Highway System in the U.S. state of Massachusetts is a system of state-numbered routes assigned and marked by the highway division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). U.S. Highways and Interstate Highways are included in the system; the only overlaps are with the end-to-end U.S. Route 3 and Route 3 and the far-apart Interstate 295, shared with Rhode Island, and Route 295, shared with New York State. A state highway in Massachusetts is a road maintained by the state, which may or may not have a number. Not all numbered routes are maintained or owned by the state.Massachusetts Turnpike
The Massachusetts Turnpike (colloquially "Mass Pike" or "the Pike") is a toll road in the U.S. state of Massachusetts that is maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). The turnpike begins at the New York state line in West Stockbridge, linking with the Berkshire Connector portion of the New York State Thruway. Spanning 138 miles (222 km) along an east–west axis, it is entirely concurrent with the portion of Interstate 90 (I-90) that lies within the state. The turnpike is the longest Interstate Highway in Massachusetts, while I-90 in full (which begins nationally in Seattle, Washington) is the longest Interstate Highway in the United States.
The turnpike opened in 1957, and it was designated as part of the Interstate Highway System in 1959. The original western terminus of the turnpike was located at Route 102 in West Stockbridge before I-90 had been completed in New York state. The turnpike intersects with several Interstate Highways as it traverses the state, including I-91 in West Springfield; I-291 in Chicopee; I-84 in Sturbridge; the junction of I-290 and I-395 in Auburn; and I-495 in Hopkinton. The turnpike originally ended at Route 128 (now concurrent with I-95) in Weston; it was extended to Allston in 1964, and to the Central Artery (now designated as I-93, US 1, and Route 3) in Downtown Boston in 1965. The "Big Dig" megaproject provided for the construction of the Ted Williams Tunnel, which has carried the turnpike to its current eastern terminus at Route 1A beyond Logan International Airport since 2003. As an Interstate Highway, the turnpike is supplemented by I-190 and I-290 as auxiliary Interstate Highways.
The turnpike was maintained by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority until the department was replaced by the Highway Division of MassDOT in 2009. The implementation and removal of tolls in some stretches of the turnpike have been controversial; presently, travel between most, but not all, exits requires payment. The Fast Lane electronic toll collection system was introduced alongside cash payment in 1998; it was later folded into the E-ZPass branding in 2012. The original toll booths were demolished and replaced by toll gantries with the transition to open road tolling in 2016, which replaced cash payment with "pay-by-plate" billing.O'Neill Tunnel
The Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill Jr. Tunnel is a highway tunnel built as part of the Big Dig in Boston, Massachusetts. It carries the Central Artery underneath downtown Boston, and is numbered as Interstate 93 (I-93), U.S. Route 1 (US 1), and Route 3. It roughly follows the route of the old elevated Central Artery, though the northbound entrance, at the corner of Kneeland Street and Atlantic Avenue, is somewhat east of the southbound exit (at Kneeland and Albany streets) to allow for a reconfigured interchange with the Massachusetts Turnpike. It runs from the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge at its north portal—barely 165 feet (50 m) east of the TD Garden sports facility's eastern corner—to Boston's Chinatown at its south portal. The tunnel is named for Tip O'Neill, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.Schell Bridge
The Schell Memorial Bridge is a steel cantilever Pennsylvania (Petit) truss bridge spanning the Connecticut River in the town of Northfield, Massachusetts. Designed by Edward S. Shaw, the bridge was built by the New England Structural Company of East Everett, Massachusetts. Construction began in 1901 and was completed in 1903. In 1985, due to advanced deterioration of the steel truss members, the bridge was barricaded and abandoned.
The Schell Bridge is eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.Despite recent efforts by preservationists to save the historic bridge, demolition of the bridge is currently being planned for the winter of 2018-2019 by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.After initially being scheduled for demolition by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation in 2007 or 2008, efforts by local preservationists to save the historical landmark delayed the proposed demolition. In 2013, a group called "Friends of the Schell Bridge", which had been dedicated to saving the bridge, reversed course and sided with the state in favor of demolishing the historic bridge.South Coast Rail
South Coast Rail is a project to build a new southern line of the MBTA Commuter Rail system along several abandoned and freight-only rail lines. The line has been planned to restore passenger rail service between Boston and the towns of Taunton, Berkley, Fall River, Freetown, and New Bedford, on the south coast of Massachusetts. It would restore passenger service to some of the southern lines of the former Old Colony Railroad and the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (service along the southeastern lines was largely restored in 1997 and 2007).
After previous service was discontinued in 1958, the project surfaced in the 1980s. A full planning process was held from 1990 until its suspension in 2002. Planning restarted from the beginning in 2007; the Final Environmental Impact Statement was issued in August 2013. Several separately-funded projects, such as bridge reconstructions, have been undertaken, including major tie replacement (beginning in November 2013), and $2.3 billion was appropriated to the project in an April 2014 state bill. As of June 2017, the project is expected to cost $3.42 billion and not reach completion until 2030, with some service beginning in 2023.Tobin Bridge
The Maurice J. Tobin Memorial Bridge (formerly and still sometimes referred to as the Mystic River Bridge or less often the Mystic/Tobin Bridge) is a cantilever truss bridge that spans more than two miles (3 km) from Boston to Chelsea over the Mystic River in Massachusetts. The bridge is the largest in New England. It is operated by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and carries U.S. Route 1. It was built between 1948 and 1950 and opened to traffic on February 2, 1950, replacing the former Chelsea Street Bridge. The 36-foot (11 m) wide roadway has three lanes of traffic on each of the two levels with Northbound traffic on the lower level and Southbound traffic on the upper level.
|Railroads & commuter rail|
|Rapid transit and light rail|