• About the Project

Explore the indicators and measures below.

Please note that we are in the process of evaluating the current indicators and measures.  As a result, the data on some measures is more robust than others.

Goals & Indicators:
Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Transportation that Enhances National & Global Competitiveness
  • Logan Airport Flight Traffic
  • Logan Airport Passenger Traffic
  • Logan Airport Shipping Traffic

Boston’s Logan International Airport remained the nation’s 19th busiest airport in 2010, according to the most recent data from the Federal Aviation Administration.  According to MassPort, more than 28.9 million passengers flew through Logan in 2011, the highest number since 2007.  The total number of domestic travelers flying through Logan increased by 5% from 23.6 million in 2010 to 24.8 million in 2011.  International passenger count increased by 7.6% from 3.6 million in 2010 to 3.9 million in 2011.  Air cargo and mail declined by 3% from 2010 to 2011 driven by large declines in International mail and cargo shipping.

The port of Boston ranked 33 among all North American ports in 2011 in total container traffic with 192,705 tanker containers processed, up from 168,285 in 2010.  The port of Boston ranked 6th in volume growth among all North American ports.  

Traffic Patterns and Travel Options by Large Metro Areas
  • Vehicle Miles Traveled
In 2010, Metro Boston ranked 4th among 101 metros in total vehicle miles traveled—more than 75 million miles per day--according to the Texas Transportation Institute's Urban Mobility Study.  Commuters in Metro Boston spent an excess of of 117 million hours in delayed traffic in 2010, or 47 hours per auto commuter, down from more than 142 million total and 57 per commuter in 2005.  In 2010 Metro Boston ranked 6th in annual public transit with nearly 1.8 billion passenger miles traveled.
Household Income Spent on Transportation, Metro Boston
  • Combined Housing and Transportation Costs, Metro Boston
Metro Boston had the 6th lowest overall transportation costs among the largest US metro’s, averaging $12,394 per household from 2005-2009.  However, among the 18 metro regions included in the Consumer Expenditure Survey, Boston ranked 5th in transit cost burden with transportation costs accounting for more than 14% of all expenses in 2010.  
Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Metro Boston's Transit Nodes
  • Metro Boston's Transit Routes
Greater Boston's public transit system—the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA)—provides a variety of options for getting around the region, including:

  • Three rapid transit lines, the Blue, Red and Orange Lines, with a total of 38 miles of track and 58 stations
  • The Green Line’s four light-rail streetcar lines, operating over 25 miles of track with 57 surface stops and 13 stops at subway or elevated stations;
  • The Silver Line bus rapid transit line with service from Dudley Square to downtown and from South Station to the South Boston Waterfront and Logan Airport;
  • A commuter rail network of 11 rail lines operating on 375 route-miles with 125 stations reaching into 175 communities;
  • Some 159 local and express bus routes, five streetcar routes and four trackless trolley routes, both bus routes extending to Route 128 and beyond;
  • Paratransit service such as ‘The Ride’ for seniors and people with physical disabilities; and
  • A water transportation system providing service from Hingham, Hull, and Quincy to Boston’s Inner Harbor and between several Inner Harbor docks, including Logan Airport, Charlestown Navy Yard, Rowe’s Wharf, and Long Wharf.
Distribution of Daily Trips
  • Vehicle Miles Traveled per Household, Metro Boston

There is a strong relationship between annual vehicle miles traveled per household and the availability of other transportation options.  Greater Boston cities and towns with the lowest vehicle miles traveled rates, less than 4,000 per year, are also those with access to the commuter rail.  Some of these cities and towns are in the inner core with multiple modes of travel available, but this also holds true for municipalities outside of the 495 belt.
Trends in Mass Transit Use
  • Percent of Commuters Who Use Public Transit
  • MBTA Station Boardings
  • Percent of Commuters withing 1/2 Mile of T Station
The MBTA is the nation's 5th largest transit system in ridership and as of August 2012 an more than 1.25 million trips were taken using the T on an average weekday. According to recent research by the Urban Land Institute and the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, over the last two decades MBTA ridership has risen at an annual rate of 1.2%. Stations with the largest volume of boardings are South Station with more than 22,000, Harvard Station with more than 20,000 and Park Street with more than 19,000 boardings according to 2008 data.
Road Quality
  • Mass Highway Road Quality
Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Access to Healthy Transit Options
  • Percent of Commuters Who Bike to Work
  • Percent of Commuters Who Walk to Work
  • Access to Bike Paths

Boston ranks as the number one biking and walking city in the percent who bike (1.5%) and walk (13.9%) to work and have the lowest fatality rates for cyclists (1 per 10,000 daily cyclists) and pedestrians (0.9 per 10,000 daily).  However, large portions of Roxbury, Dorchester and South Boston have fewer designated pedestrian walkways and bike paths as compared to the rest of the city.  In 2011, Boston released the New Balance Hubway bike sharing system, which logged more than 140,000 rides among 3,700 annual members and nearly 30,000 casual riders.  Expansion is planned for Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Charlestown and Dorchester.

Children Who Can Walk to School
  • Number of Children within a School Walk Zone

As of school year 2011-12, 24,907 or 44% of students enrolled in a Boston Public School lived within the designated walk zone.  Schools in East Boston had the highest concentration of students who walked to school: O'Donnell Elementary (91.5%), McKay K-8 (90%) and Otis Elementary (89.5%).  Schools with the lowest concentration of children in the walk zone were citywide high schools and 16 schools enrolled no students who lived within the walk zone including the three exam schools, the Hernandez K-8, the Timilty Middle School and a number of specialized schools.

Mode of Transit and Travel Time to Work
  • Percent of Workers with a Commute 15 to 30 Minutes Long
  • Percent of Workers with a Commute 60 to 90 Minutes Long
  • Percent of Workers with a Commute Longer Than 90 Minutes

Boston's job centers still remain difficult to access for individuals without cars. Commutes using public transit from lightly served areas remain long and frustrating, while the MBTA's efforts to upgrade its infrastructure continue to slow the system down overall.

However, the MBTA has recently completed a purchase of 284 new Red and Orange line trains to be built in Springfield, MA, and delivered beginning in 2018. In addition, track upgrades across the Red and Orange lines will assist in keeping the outdoor elements of the line free of ice and snow in colder months. These upgrades were undertaken in response to 2014's winter which shuttered the system for multiple days across January and March.

Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Car Ownership and Vehicle Miles Traveled, Boston and Metro Boston
  • Percent of Households with No Car
  • Car Ownership
  • Car Ownership per Household

Use of Low Emission Vehicles
  • Total Hybrid and Alternative Fuel Vehicles Registered
  • Hybrid and Alternative Fuel Vehicles Registered per 1,000

As of 2010 there were 71,106 alternative fuel, hybrid or electric vehicles registered in Massachusetts, with 4,855 registered within the city of Boston--the most in the state--followed by 1,739 in Newton, 1,584 in Cheshire, 1,414 in Canton and 1,027 in Worcester.    

Municipalities with the highest concentration of AFV's were Cheshire and Clarksburg--smaller communities in Western MA--with 45 per every 1,000 cars registered.  Within greater Boston, the highest concentrations were in Lincoln with 30 per 1,000, Westford with 26.7 per 1,000 and Lexington with 25.8 AFV's per 1,000 cars registered.  In Boston there were 7.9 AFV’s per 1,000 cars.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Vehicular Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Indicators Measures How Are We Doing?
Transportation Funding by Mode
  • MBTA Revenues and Expenses
  • MassDOT Revenues and Expenses

Federal Funding: MassDOT received $648 million in federal funding in FY12 with $350 million going to stat e bridge, road and highway projects and $139 million allocated for regional Metropolitan Planning organizations.  In FY12 the Boston MPO received $64 million.  Massachusetts received $292 million in federal funding for transit, with $244 million going to the MBTA. 

State Funding: Massachusetts General Appropriations Act allocated $1.14 billion in total transportation funding in FY12, a 23% inflation-adjusted decline since FY01 and a 12% decline since the last funding peak of $1.23 billion in FY10.  According to the Transportation Finance Commission report, Massachusetts faces a $15 to $19 billion transportation deficit over the next 20 years.

MassDOT: FY12 revenues from the Commonwealth Transportation Trust Fund and the Massachusetts Transportation Trust Fund were about $2 billion combined, of which about half went to debt service payments.

Commonwealth Transportation Trust Fund was nearly $1.5 billion in FY12, funded with $660 million in gas tax revenues, $500 million in Registry fees, $302 million from the sales tax and $3 million in additional revenues.  In FY12 the CTTF provided $160 million to the MBTA and $15 million to Regional Transit Authorities.

Massachusetts Transportation Trust Fund was $680 million in FY12, including $320 million from the CTTF, $350 million in Mass Turnpike and Tobin Bridge revenues and $10 million in other revenue.  The MTTF provided $360 million to the Mass Turnpike and Tobin Bridge as well as $151 for the MassDOT Operating Budget.

Unfunded Capital Projects: MassDOT has about $5.3 billion worth of capital project needs for paving, system maintenance, bridges and pedestrian infrastructure of which about $3.1 billion—57%--remains unfunded.

MBTA: As of FY13, the T faces a $161 million budget deficit, driven largely by debt-service payments.  MBTA revenues—which are largely supported by dedicated state sales tax, $777 million in FY12—have increased from $1.44 billion inFY09 to $1.65 billion in FY12 because of an increase in contract assistance.  However, revenues have not kept up with increasing expenses, driven by large debt payments.  As of FY12, MBTA expenses were $1.65 billion of which more than $362 million were debt service payments.  Since FY01, debt payments have been between one-quarter and one-third of total expenses.  MBTA total debt service now stands at $8.5 billion while the system also faces a $4.5 billion backlog in deferred maintenance and other projects.