The new Seaport rail link is a great example of how transportation finance translates into innovative solutions that support the economy and boost our quality of life (“Talk about innovation! Train will get us where we want to be,” Shirley Leung, Page A1, Sept. 6). For months, the headlines have been about the cost of repairing and expanding our transportation network, but the public needs to know about the benefits too.
All across the state, legislation to invest in mobility will help expand opportunity, reduce delays and pollution, and save us money in the long term by better maintaining and using what we have. On the horizon are regional bus service, critical bridge projects, new rail cars, more bikeways, funding for local roads, and more.
Are taxes unwelcome? Of course. Was the public process imperfect? It was painful. And are we done yet? Certainly not. We must always be developing smart solutions to get around quickly and safely, and then discuss the costs and merits in public view.
Our stewardship of transportation is just as much about what we get as what we pay. Taxes don’t stop being our money after we pay at the pump. We all own the roads, rails, water crossings, and air corridors. We all benefit when people and goods can travel easily. I hope that the coming debates about taxes for transportation include due credit for smart investments.
The writer is a member of the Natick Board of Selectmen and of the Transportation Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.