Transportation First is a Chamber initiative to address the transportation crisis in Massachusetts.

Creating a world class transportation system requires policymakers, employers, and residents to recognize that transportation is a public good and should be treated as such urgently. By putting transportation first, the Commonwealth will be in a better position to solve other policy issues which are barriers to the region’s continued growth and prosperity like housing, climate decarbonization and adaption, economic development, economic opportunity, and education access. 

The moment calls for a long-term and sustainable mobility funding plan, systemic reform, and a vision for strategic super-investments. This will result in business and job growth across the Commonwealth, timelier and more affordable commutes, more accessible and equitable educational opportunities, lower emissions, livable and more affordable neighborhoods, and inclusive economic development.

Questions? Contact us.

Benjamin Stuart
Benjamin Stuart

Vice President, Finance & Technology

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

We are on a collision course and will soon be unable to fund transportation:

How we will implement change:


The Chamber will continue its role as a leading voice on transportation policy. We will facilitate knowledge transfer between the public and private sector.

Policy Advocacy
Policy Advocacy

We will identify and advocate for reforms to transportation funding that seek to generate revenue while also influencing commuter behavior.


The Chamber will convene members and other stakeholders to discuss the future of transportation in the region.

Action is Needed: Housing

Commonwealth’s highest housing prices align closely with commuter rail routes.

Opening up the transportation network will expand opportunities for development and the places people look for housing and create better access to good, affordable homes.

Action is Needed: Jobs

The cost, reliability, and reach of the state’s transportation network impacts decisions about work and school.

Massachusetts residents have the 5th longest commutes in the country; MBTA buses are late 30% of the time; and commuter rail round trips are as much as $20/day.

MLK blog social image

Action is Needed: Climate

Boston is the 4th most congested city in the world, amounting to 134 hours in delays per year for Boston-area drivers.

Those hours in congestion contribute to making transportation the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts.

Latest on Transportation

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Public Policy

Chamber President & CEO Appointed to State’s Transportation Funding Task Force by Governor Healey


Chamber Releases Commissioned Market Data for MBTA General Manager Salary

Public Policy; Transportation

Chamber Transportation Agenda

In the News:

The Boston Globe

Tolls, taxi fees, & gas taxes are on the table

“We’re still without a mechanism for figuring out how to deal with a long-term strategy for funding and pricing mobility. Our way of dealing with transportation funding is to lurch from crisis to crisis…That does not allow us to have a comprehensive, strategic funding approach to transportation.”

The Boston Globe

The T is on track to be broke soon.

And for now, the proposal doesn’t include a sustainable, long-term funding fix for the T’s day-to-day expenses. Chamber president Jim Rooney, a former GM of the T, said solutions that could include tolls & congestion pricing will be “incredibly politically difficult things to implement. It’s patch the leak in the roof while we figure out how we’re going to pay for a new roof.”

The Boston Herald

Boston Chamber CEO talks new ways to fund the MBTA

“I’m not predisposed to a new tax. I think that the genesis of that is that some other jurisdictions have sort of gone in that direction,” Chamber President Jim Rooney told the Herald. “Broad-based taxes either have not been part of the equation in Massachusetts, or when they were, for example, the sales tax that was dedicated to the T back in the 90s, it failed miserably.”

The Boston Herald

Congestion pricing possibly down the road

Jim Rooney, Chamber President & CEO, said congestion pricing, or an additional tolling tax for drivers, is among the strategies the Governor’s transportation task force will be considering: “Doing nothing is not an option. There’s a bunch of things that have positive and negative aspects to them, but doing nothing is not an option, particularly when the gas tax is going away.”

MA Department of Transportation

Healey Administration Swears in Task Force Members

The Healey-Driscoll Administration swore in members of the new Transportation Funding Task Force, which is tasked with developing recommendations for a long-term, sustainable transportation finance plan. The recommendations will address the need for a safe, reliable, equitable & efficient transportation network, including roadways, bridges, railways, & bus and transit systems.

The Boston Globe

Chamber pushes Healey to pay up to hire new T boss

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce is pushing Governor Healey’s administration to offer a new MBTA boss a big pay hike over the last one, with the hope that the governor recruits the most talented person for what promises to be a difficult but crucial job.

CommonWealth Beacon

Chamber Confident MBTA Turning a Corner

“I am more confident that we have turned a corner on truly prioritizing our mobility needs than I have felt in decades,” said Rooney, who previously spent 17 years at the MBTA, rising to deputy general manager. “Let’s face it, the transportation policies of the past 30 years have left us in a mess and the biggest challenge in fixing it will be figuring out how to pay for it.”

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