Life Cycle Delivery of Public Infrastructure

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Life-cycle delivery of infrastructure projects demands our attention. As the Commonwealth faces the interlocking threats of massive finding deficits, creeping levels of deferred maintenance, and unabated demands for expansion, public-private partnerships (PPPs) offer some potential relief.

Additional Reforms for the Governor’s Accelerated Bridge Repair Proposal

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The Governor's proposal to fix structurally deficient bridges is an aggressive approach to addressing the massive backlog of deferred maintenance in the Commonwealth. To be sure, this approach does not create revenues, it only accelerates planned future spending. However, this acceleration will result in greater value by fixing hundreds of decaying bridges sooner rather than later; thereby avoiding the effect of construction inflation and higher future repair costs due to ongoing deterioration.

Our Legacy of Neglect: The Longfellow Bridge and the Cost of Deferred Maintenance

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The Longfellow Bridge, connecting Boston and Cambridge, is in bad shape, due not only to its age and the ravages of our weather, but also to a troubling and persistent lack of maintenance. Fixing the bridge, in effect paying the bill for our unwillingness to maintain it, is estimated to cost at least $180 million, with the potential for cost overruns reaching into the hundreds of millions.

The EZ-ID License Plate Program

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The EZ-ID License Plate Program offers a unique reform to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) license plate system. The program is designed to make motor vehicle license plates more easily recognizable for law enforcement purposes. It incorporates an easily recognizable symbol such as a circle, square, triangle, heart, diamond or star into the registration number itself.

GPS for State Contractors

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The Massachusetts Highway Department, or MassHighway, solved a longstanding management problem by using technology in an innovative way. Contractors who work for MassHighway, such as snowplow operators, are now assigned GPS-enabled cell phones so that managers can track where and when work is being done. This capability ensures that workers, equipment and budget dollars are used efficiently.

Beyond the Gas Tax: Defining Transportation Needs, Emphasizing Economic Growth, and Maintaining Our Assets

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Our goal in this paper is to highlight how current thinking on transportation is needlessly and wastefully constrained by the bureaucratic structures of the past. To maximize the region’s economic potential and conserve scarce fiscal resources, transportation planning needs to be objective, transparent, and data driven.

Privatization and the MBTA

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Privatization and the MBTA testimony provided in July 1999.

Missing the Bus: The Fight to Contract Competitively for MBTA Bus Service

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Public transit agencies across the nation are struggling to control costs without reducing service. One effective strategy used by a growing number of public transit agencies is to contract competitively for bus operations. Almost without exception, these agencies report that private bus companies can deliver equal or better service at a 20 to 30 percent lower cost.

If We Build It Will They Come? And Other Questions About the Proposed Boston Convention Center

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In 1965 Boston's War Memorial Auditorium (later Hynes Convention Center) opened to great fanfare and anticipation. But, by the mid-1970s, Boston officials were already proclaiming Hynes too small for growing conventions and promising that an expanded convention center would draw far more meetings and visitors to the city.