Blog: Better Government

In 2014, MassDOT proposed the construction of West Station, a new transit hub in Allston-Brighton that would significantly improve the connectivity of Boston’s western suburbs with Cambridge and North Station. Using an old freight corridor called the Grand Junction Railroad, the project initially seemed like a neat work-around to the inevitably exorbitant costs and disruptiveness...
In an Open Letter to the Massachusetts Governor, Pioneer Institutes presents its concerns about the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project, and its impact on those who will be most affected during the project’s construction
Despite recent good news about declines in alcohol, traditional cigarette, and hard drug use among young people, it seems that retailers of these heavily regulated (or just plain illegal) substances aren’t going away any time soon. The number of Massachusetts bars and nightclubs - or, in the words of the Census Bureau, “places primarily engaged...
As we do each January, Pioneer shares the resolutions it hopes state leaders will adopt to bring government actions into better focus and invigorate our democracy with heightened public engagement.
In the final video of a new three-part animated series, Pioneer Institute explores how the MBTA's commuter benefit program called Perq saves you money, lowers your tax burden, and shortens your commute - all while helping the planet.
In part two of a new three-part animated video series, Pioneer Institute highlights an MBTA commuter pass program called Perq, that helps Greater Boston businesses attract and retain top talent, and results in savings through tax benefits. [ytp_video source="d1b5K4iPORI"] The video features two characters, one of whom recommends that the other, an employer, begin offering...
Understanding debt limits Municipalities issue debt to fund long-term capital projects such as schools and other buildings. In well-run communities, bond terms align with the lives of the capital assets being funded, a practice that provides resources for future projects. Paying debt service on assets long out of use can have dire financial consequences. So...
It’s safe to say that Boston is the economic hub of Massachusetts and will be for the foreseeable future. However, a number of cities have the potential to boost the Commonwealth’s economy in the long-run. These communities, known as "gateway cities", were once home to booming industries that have since left; but what these industries...
For those who have kept up with Pioneer’s work on pensions, it’s clear that Massachusetts’s public retirement systems are troubled. However, readers still may wonder how these systems compare to those in other states.  Unfortunately, a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that the Commonwealth’s state-run pensions are underperforming relative to other states. This...
In recent weeks, many MBTA riders have expressed frustration about the T’s recent fare hike. In fact, some riders are volunteering to stand on platforms and lead a conversation about what riders can do to roll back the hike. However, the T is unlikely to budge. Even when ridership declines for a period, fare revenue...