Executive Order

Executive Order No. 579: Establishing the Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth

Date: 01/23/2018
Issuer: Governor Charlie Baker

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth’s transportation system is critical not only to meeting mobility needs but also to supporting economic development and achieving sustainability objectives;

WHEREAS, demographics, climate, and increasingly disruptive changes in transportation technology and business models  likely will have a significant impact on the future of transportation in the Commonwealth; 

WHEREAS, Massachusetts does not have a statewide, comprehensive transportation blueprint and lacks the foundation needed to create such a blueprint without better understanding how these changes will affect transportation patterns and needs during in the future;

WHEREAS, those same forces could affect the types of capital investments Massachusetts will need and should make as well as the sources of revenue to support such future infrastructure investments in the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, this Administration recognizes that input from leaders, experts, and other stakeholders outside of the Administration will help more clearly define future transportation needs and challenges and solutions to those challenges;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2, § I, Art. I, do hereby order as follows:

Section 1.  The Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth is hereby established to advise the Governor and Lieutenant Governor on how to ensure that transportation planning, forecasting, operations and investments for the period from 2020 through 2040 can best account for likely demographic, technological, climate, and other changes in future mobility and transportation behaviors, needs and options. 

Section 2.  The Commission shall consist of up to 18 members, including a Chair.  The members shall be leaders, experts and other stakeholders drawn primarily from outside the Administration.  Each member shall have expertise in one or more of the following areas: policy and planning; transportation policy; disruptive transportation technologies; transportation business and mobility models; climate; energy; economic or demographic forecasting; and land use or development.  In addition to the external members, the Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Secretary and CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation shall serve as members of the Commission ex officioEach member, including the Chair, shall be appointed by the Governor and shall serve at his pleasure, without compensation, in an advisory capacity, until the report referenced in Section 5 is delivered, whereupon the Commission shall disband. 

Section 3.  The Commission shall, at a minimum, investigate the following topics that are critical to laying a foundation for understanding anticipated changes in population, employment, and demographics in Massachusetts as well as forthcoming developments in transportation-related technologies, energy use, climate change and other factors that may affect transportation:

  1. Climate and Resiliency: What changes will be needed to reduce transportation greenhouse gas emissions consistent with Commonwealth targets for 2040?  What kinds of investments will be needed to make transportation infrastructure more resilient?
  2. Transportation Electrification: To what extent should the Commonwealth encourage or promote electrification of personal vehicles, transit systems and other transportation systems?  What changes might be needed to energy infrastructure to support electrification?
  3. Autonomous and Connected Vehicles: Over what timeframe will autonomous vehicles likely be deployed in Massachusetts and under what policy framework?  What changes to policy and infrastructure might be needed to support deployment of autonomous and connected vehicles?
  4. 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?
  5. 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 relevant time frame for this analysis shall be 2020-2040.  The Commission and its working groups should develop analyses, assumptions and scenarios that can help inform a common understanding of the future of transportation in the Commonwealth.  The Commission and its working groups are encouraged to involve other experts, stakeholders and members of the public in its work through listening and working group sessions or whatever other mechanisms the Commission chooses.

Section 4.  The Commission shall be supported by staff from the Governor’s Office, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and may utilize outside resources to provide consulting and other services as necessary. 

Section 5.  The Commission shall provide its report and recommendations to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor by December 1, 2018. 

Section 6.  This Executive Order shall take effect upon execution and shall continue in effect until amended, superseded or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 23rd day of January in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred forty-one.

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