Commuter Shuttle Bill Initiated by Acton Transportation Leaders Signed into Law
Use of shuttles and public transportation encouraged.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following was submitted by Michael Carr.)
State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), State Representative Jen Benson (D-Lunenburg), and State Representative Cory Atkins (D-Concord) announced today that legislation they sponsored, House Bill 901, An Act relative to commuter shuttles and public transportation improvements, was signed into law by Governor Patrick.
The new law will encourage the use of commuter shuttles and public transportation across the state by allowing cities and towns the opportunity to use parking revenues to help fund transportation programs.
By giving communities the option to fund commuter shuttle services, this law will address the growing issue of getting commuters to and from commuter rail stations while also saving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing dependence on foreign oil. For Acton, H.901 will allow the town to use revenues from the South Acton train station parking lot to fund the town’s commuter shuttle program, the MinuteVan, and possibly other transportation enhancements.
“I’m pleased that Governor Patrick signed H.901, which represents an early example in the New Year of the commitment that state government has to providing more flexible transportation options to communities across Massachusetts, in order to improve services to area residents,” said Senator Eldridge. “I particularly want to praise Franny Osman of the Acton Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) and Doug Halley, Director of the Acton Public Health Department, for developing this concept that turned into legislation, and for advocating for the bill’s passage.”
“This bill is a great example of local government looking for creative solutions,” said Rep. Benson. “I was very happy to file this bill and fight for Acton and every other community who can benefit from this thoughtful, yet simple, legislation.”
“Increased access to the Commuter Rail is vital to the quality of life in our community,” said Rep. Atkins. “It decreases traffic and vehicle emissions and it allows people to enjoy a quiet ride into Boston and Cambridge. I am delighted that Governor Patrick signed this bill into law.”
“This is a perfect example of a local need that translated into a statewide opportunity,” said Franny Osman of the Acton Transportation Advisory Committee. “This law will surely lead to creative improvements in public transportation in many towns, not just Acton. Thank you to our hardworking legislators for a job well done.”
“The passage of H.901 provides the necessary flexibility for communities to address transportation issues on the local level,” said Doug Halley, Director of the Acton Health Department. “Its timing is provident given that Governor Patrick is addressing the same issue on the state level. Senator Eldridge, Representative Benson and Representative Atkins' foresight and tenacity got the job done!”
"Thank you to the citizens of Acton and your vote to financially support the Minute Van at our 2012 Town Meeting. This project wouldn't have proceeded without your support and the initiation of a home rule petition that led to House Bill 901 and the signing of that bill by Governor Patrick,” said Pam Harting-Barrat, Chair of the Acton Board of Selectmen . “A special thank you to Senator Eldridge, and Reps. Benson and Atkins for their commitment to perpetuating and fostering a "Green Acton" which is so important to who we are as a community."