No more gas-powered cars. Frequent commuter rail trains, running all day. Maybe even hefty fees on drivers who insist on driving into downtown Boston and adding to the already fearsome traffic.
This could be the futuristic vision of getting around Massachusetts in just a few decades, as recommended Friday by a commission assembled by Governor Charlie Baker to tackle some of the most vexing transportation challenges, including ever-growing congestion, pollution, and decrepit infrastructure.
At the heart of the mammoth report’s many recommendations, said Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, is fixing public transit and putting it on sound financial footing, with the explicit goal of reducing the number of cars on the road.
“Whether today or in the future, we simply must move more people in fewer vehicles if we are serious about reducing congestion and greenhouse gas pollution,” Pollack said.
So maybe it’s no surprise the gas guzzler comes in for a bit of a drubbing.
Massachusetts should develop tools to phase out the use of gas-powered cars and light trucks after 2040, the commission said, by offering rebates and other incentives to steer people to electric vehicles, for example. While internationally, France, the United Kingdom, and others are moving toward such policies, in the United States only California has come close to even broaching such an aggressive idea. (read more)
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