The Massachusetts transportation reform legislation passed in 2009 restructured state transportation operations and funding to create more efficiencies by merging the Executive Office of Transportation, Mass Turnpike Authority, the Registry of Motor Vehicles and other departments into MassDOT which also oversees the MBTA and MassPort.
The Massachusetts transportation system is funded by the state in two ways: the Commonwealth Transportation Fund (CTF) and the Massachusetts Transportation Trust Fund (MTTF). Subject to legislative appropriation, the CTF receives funding from the 21 cent-per-gallon gas tax, a percentage of the 6.25% sales tax, registry fees and other revenues which is then used to support MBTA operating costs, MassDOT debt service, Regional Transit Authorities and the Massachusetts Transportation Trust Fund. The MTTF, in turn, provides the direct funding to the Mass Pike and Tobin Bridge as well as the MassDOT operating budget.
More than half of the MBTA operating budget comes from dedicated and appropriated sales tax allocations with the rest derived from fares and local assessments.
Federal funds for transportation are generally used for capital investment programs. About 40% of MassDOT’s capital funding for general maintenance and infrastructure investment comes from the federal government and nearly 50% of the MBTA capital investment program is funded by federal transit dollars. The remaining funding to maintain a state of good repair and to support infrastructure improvements comes from debt in the form of state and MBTA bond funding.