Governor Charlie Baker appointed an 18-member group called the Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth charged with advising the Administration on future transportation needs and challenges. Transportation came up as one of the major concerns during listening session conducted by another commission appointed by Baker to address aging in Massachusetts.
The Commission members will focus on at least five key areas anticipated to have a dramatic impact on transportation in the future:
- Climate and resiliency;
- Transportation electrification;
- Autonomous and connected vehicles, including ride-sharing services;
- Transit and mobility services; and
- Land use and demographic trends.
Of those, the Healthy Aging Collaborative believes older adults may be considered a significant part of the final two, which are explained in further detail below, according to Executive Order No. 579:
- Transit and Mobility Services: To what extent will “mobility as a service” change transportation in Massachusetts? How will the role of public transportation evolve if on-demand and mobility-as-a-service options become more widespread in the future.
- Land Use and Demographics: What changes in land use and demographics could either drive or be driven by the types of disruptive climate, technology and business model changes likely to occur in transportation? What other context issues should the Commonwealth consider when planning for its transportation future?
The Commission will meet monthly and will provide a report on the analysis of members and make recommendations by December 1, 2018.
“This commission will advise our administration on the future of transportation in Massachusetts that sensibly accounts for impending disruptions due to changes in technology, climate, demographics and more,” said Governor Baker in a press release. “Making informed transportation decisions and policy guided by the best analysis possible will be the foundation for success across the board in years to come to keep our innovation economy thriving and competitive.
The Baker-Polito Administration began a series of statewide listening sessions in September 2017 to discuss possible solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. Following the forums, state environmental and transportation leaders continue to develop the Commonwealth’s strategy to reduce transportation sector emissions, develop a comprehensive regional strategy for the deployment of zero emission vehicles, and increase the resilience of transportation infrastructure as the climate changes.
The Commission will engage with a range of non-profit groups, academic thought leaders and other stakeholders. As needed, Commonwealth of Massachusetts knowledge experts in various secretariats will be providing information to the Commission.
For additional information on Executive Order No. 579, please click here.