Markey Wins $4 Billion for Massachusetts in Surface Transportation Bill 

Washington (May 26, 2021) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today commended the inclusion of key provisions to update our nation’s road and highway infrastructure in the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021, which passed out of the Committee on Environment and Public Works today. The legislation includes many of Senator Markey's priorities on emissions reduction, electric vehicles, complete streets, active transportation, and cybersecurity, and it would provide more than $4 billion to Massachusetts for funding roads and bridges over the next five years -- $1 billion more than it received under the last surface transportation reauthorization passed in 2015. These figures do not include additional funding that Massachusetts will receive as other Senate committees develop their own legislation to fund rail, transit, and other surface transportation programs.
“Today’s legislation contains provisions that our states and cities can use to start the process of cutting greenhouse gas emissions from our transportation sector, and the bill provides an overdue increase in the funding that our states will get over the next five years,” said Senator Markey. “In addition, it contains my programs to promote more affordable, safe, and equitable transportation options for all users of the road. But today’s bill also demonstrates the limits of bipartisanship; this is nearly identical to legislation that would have been signed by Donald Trump in 2019. This surface transportation reauthorization cannot be a substitute for the American Jobs Plan. We need to move forward and pass a robust infrastructure package that focuses on real climate action and matches the scope and scale of the multiple intersecting crises we face.”
Senator Markey’s provisions incorporated into the legislation include:
  • The Complete Streets Act – The reauthorization legislation requires that states and metropolitan planning organizations set aside 2.5 percent of their highway planning funding for designing “complete streets” projects and policies that will improve safety and accessibility for all users of the road. A “complete street” is one designed to provide safe and accessible transportation options for multiple modes of travel, as well as for people of all ages and abilities.
  • Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act The surface transportation bill includes a bipartisan amendment that Senator Markey filed with Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) that will dedicate $1 billion over the next five years to connect walking and biking infrastructure into active transportation networks that allow people to reach destinations within a community, as well as travel between communities, without ever needing a car.
  • ESCAPE Act – As part of an overarching climate resiliency program, the legislation includes Senator Markey’s ESCAPE Act and authorizes $140 million over five years for projects to improve, fortify, or replace life-saving evacuation routes, including arteries like the Cape Cod Canal Bridges.
  • Bridge Investment Act – Senator Markey is an original co-sponsor of Senator Sherrod Brown’s legislation to establish a competitive grant program to assist with the repair and replacement of deficient and outdated bridges and ease the national bridge repair backlog. The surface transportation reauthorization includes this legislation and provides $3.265 billion over the next five years to assist state, local, federal and tribal entities in rehabilitating or replacing bridges, like the Cape Cod Canal Bridges. 
  • SPY Car Act – The reauthorization includes a section of Senator Markey’s SPY Car Act, which would require the Federal Highway Administration to create a “cybersecurity tool” and appoint a “cyber coordinator” that will help transportation authorities identify, detect, protect against, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents.
  • Equity for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure – The legislation includes a provision to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure in disadvantaged, rural, densely populated, and low- and moderate-income communities, as well as fund educational and community engagement programs to support the use of zero-emission transportation. These policies and aims were included in Senator Markey’s Community Vehicle Charging Act of 2021.
  • Reducing Carbon Emissions -- The final surface transportation reauthorization also includes language that mirrors the goals of Senator Markey’s GREEN STREETS Act, requiring states to prioritize and develop strategies to reduce carbon emissions from transportation sources, and to provide funding to achieve those goals.
Earlier today, Senator Markey led his colleagues in writing a letter to Senate leadership, urging Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to immediately move to a budget reconciliation process and the American Jobs Plan in order to best address the ongoing climate crisis, rebuild the economy, protect public health, create good-paying jobs, and confront longstanding inequities.