Senator Friedman has sponsored the following bills relative to transportation in the 2019-2020 legislative session:

S286 An Act relative to transportation reimbursement for recovery high schools

  • Summary: This bill would treat recovery high schools’ transportation costs like those for other regional schools – making them eligible for state reimbursement.

S1664 An Act relative to the continuation of the tax on transportation network companies

  • Summary: This bill would eliminate the 2027 sunset provision in Chapter 187 of the Acts of 2016 (An Act regulating transportation network companies). It would also make permanent the Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund and the per-ride assessment charged to transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft, which is credited to the fund. These funds would continue to be collected and distributed to address the municipal and state impacts of transportation network services.

S2082 An Act to ensure greater transparency and accountability in the Commonwealth commuter rail system

  • Summary: This bill would require the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to provide written notice to the clerks of the House and Senate no less than 30 days prior to the remittance or forgiveness of any fines or penalties levied against any current or future commuter rail service provider.

S2083 An Act establishing transit improvement districts

  • Summary: This bill would allow a municipality or group of municipalities to form a Transit Improvement District (TID) for the purpose of creating a transit improvement program within the TID and levy fees to support the program. In addition, it would establish requirements the municipality or municipalities must follow prior to creating a TID, including public meeting and vote ratification requirements, as well as the process for making any changes subsequent to the establishment of a TID.

Senator Friedman has co-sponsored the following bills relative to transportation in the 2019-2020 legislative session:

S102 An Act relative to transportation network company rider assessments

  • Summary: This legislation would add a charge to transportation network companies during rush hours. Monies would be invested in local roads and transit programs, including investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Further, this bill would encourage shared rides by reducing charges for pooled rides.

S1694 An Act relative to regional transportation ballot initiatives

  • Summary: This bill would establish regional transportation ballot initiatives that would enable a municipality or a group of municipalities to raise additional local funds for transportation projects via ballot initiatives.

S2042 / H3118 An Act to reduce traffic fatalities

  • Summary: The legislation establishes a safe passing distance when passing a pedestrian or cyclist; establishes a uniform reporting tool for crashes involving a pedestrian or cyclist; establishes a process to lower the default speed limit to 25mph on state highways and parkways in thickly settled or business districts; requires bicyclists to have red rear lights when riding at night; and requires side guards on state-owned and state-contracted trucks.

S2057 An Act relative to hands free cell phone devices

  • Summary: This bill would make it illegal to operate a vehicle while talking on a cell phone unless that device is hands-free. A violation of this section would be punishable by a fine of $50 for the first offense, $100 for a second.

S2063 An Act to reduce traffic and encourage shared rides

  • Summary: This bill would increase fees on ride share companies to mitigate the cost of added traffic and emissions from the cars on the road. It would create a fee structure of 6.25% of each ride for single user trips and 4.25% for shared trips to encourage use of the carpool features on ride share apps and help reduce traffic on busy roads.  It also empowers local municipalities that receive MBTA service to levy a congestion assessment that the municipality can use for municipal public transit, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements, or electric charging stations. Additionally, the legislation would encourage the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to update data requirements imposed on Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), in an effort to give local and state officials better access to trip information on Uber and Lyft rides that could help improve the entire transportation network. With access to this data, public agencies and officials will be in a better position to make informed planning, policy, operational, and infrastructure investment decisions.

S2102 An Act ensuring equitable access to subway and bus service

  • Summary: In November 2017, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) contracted for the development of the Automated Fare Collection 2.0 system and began exploring new methods to charge and collect fares, including distance based fares. Distance based transit fares have been shown to be highly inequitable, and disproportionately harmful to lower-income communities and communities of color that have limited housing options and work opportunities. With housing prices in the core of the MBTA service area skyrocketing, working class people are increasingly forced further from jobs in the city. This bill would ensure that fares are not set based upon distance traveled for MBTA core service in buses and subways.

H2983 An Act establishing transit improvement districts

  • Summary:  This bill would establish an innovative new funding mechanism to assist cities and towns in the creation of first mile/last mile transit options, providing sustainable ongoing funding that can be used in conjunction with a Regional Transit Authority (RTA) and Transportation Management Association (TMA) to deliver more transit services. This bill is an essential step toward connecting commuters to larger transit options, and it is critical to increasing ridership of commuter rail, traditional bus routes, and bus rapid transit (BRT) services, and to reducing the presence of single occupancy vehicles (SOVs).