The region’s network of buses, commuter rail lines, and subways has not kept up with the tremendous growth in demand for living and working in dense, walkable communities that depend on public transportation. Despite limited new investments, on the whole, service has gotten worse. Delays and disruptions are rising, debt is increasing, maintenance and repairs are pushed off, and major capacity-expansion proposals are over budget and behind schedule—or simply not on the table at all. Meanwhile, our roads and highways, many of which are in deteriorating condition, are constantly congested.
The institutional and funding structures we have today are not capable of delivering an efficient transportation network, and should be reformed. Reducing the cost of building new projects is essential to improving the transportation network. Decision-making and regulatory and labor practices should be updated to deliver projects faster and cheaper. Agencies and authorities need to be restructured to improve accountability and prioritize service delivery and accountability. Congestion should be managed far more effectively by charging drivers in the region’s Central Business District, and ultimately, on other highways and roads.