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Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)
Agency overview
Formed November 1, 2009
Preceding agency
  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation, MassHighway, Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission, Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Jurisdiction Massachusetts
Headquarters 10 Park Plaza Boston, Massachusetts [1]
Employees TBD (1,850[2] formerly of MassHighway)
Agency executives
  • Frank DePaola[3], Acting Secretary of Transportation;
  • John R. Jenkins, Andrew Whittle, Elizabeth Levin, Ferdinand Alvaro, Janice Loux, Board of Directors[3]
Parent agency Independent agency, board appointed by the Governor[4]

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) oversees roads, public transit, aeronautics, and transportation licensing and registration in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It was created on November 1, 2009.


  • Organization 1
    • Highway Division 1.1
    • Registry of Motor Vehicles Division 1.2
    • Mass Transit Division 1.3
    • Aeronautics Division 1.4
    • Other groups 1.5
  • Other Massachusetts transportation agencies 2
    • Massachusetts Port Authority 2.1
    • Steamship Authority 2.2
  • History 3
  • State transportation funding 4
  • Capital planning 5
    • Accelerated Bridge Program 5.1
  • References 6
  • External links 7


As an executive department, the Governor of Massachusetts appoints the state Secretary of Transportation, who is also the "Chief Executive Officer" of the Department. The governor also appoints a five-person Board of Directors which approves major decisions. The Department directly administers some operations, while others remain semi-autonomous.[5][6]

Highway Division

Registry of Motor Vehicles Division

Formerly an independent state entity, which until 1992 even had its own uniformed police force for vehicular traffic law enforcement, the Registry of Motor Vehicles Division is now directly administered by MassDOT. It is the equivalent of the Department of Motor Vehicles in most states, and processes driver's licenses and motor vehicle registrations.

Mass Transit Division

All public transportation agencies are administered independently. However, the DOT Board of Directors is also the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the major provider of public transportation in the Greater Boston area.

The remaining 15 public transit authorities are called Regional Transit Agencies (RTAs), and they provide public bus services in the remainder of the state. The regional transit authorities are:[8][9]

The regional transit authorities shown in italics above are within MBTA's commuter rail service area, and provide connections to MBTA trains.[11]

DOT retains oversight and statewide planning authority, and also has a Rail section within the Mass Transit Division. Intercity passenger trains are operated by the federally owned Amtrak, and freight rail is privately operated.

Aeronautics Division

The Aeronautics Division, formerly the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission, administers state financing of its airports; inspects and licenses airports and landing pads; regulates airport security, safety, and navigation; and is responsible for statewide aviation planning. The Department of Transportation does not own any airports; the state-owned airports are controlled by the independent Massachusetts Port Authority (which shares its headquarters with the Aeronautics Division).[12]

Government regulation of aviation in the United States is dominated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Airline passenger and baggage screening is provided by the federal Transportation Security Administration, but airport security is provided locally.

Other groups

The 2009 reform law also created within MassDOT:

  • Office of Planning and Programming, providing centralized administrative services
  • Office of Transportation Planning
  • Office of Performance Management and Innovation
  • Internal Special Audit Unit
  • Healthy Transportation Compact, including the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Environmental Affairs, the Administrators of the Highway Division and the Transit Division, and the Commissioner of Public Health.
  • Real Estate Appraisal Review Board within the Highway Division - 3 to 5 people appointed by the governor
  • Office of Transition Management (temporary)
  • Workforce Retraining Initiative, serving employees displaced by the merger

and outside of DOT but supported by it:

  • Public-Private Partnership Infrastructure Oversight Commission – an independent commission of 7 people, with 4 appointed by the governor, and one each appointed by the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House, and State Treasurer.

Other Massachusetts transportation agencies

Massachusetts Port Authority

The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) remains independent from the Department of Transportation, but the Secretary of Transportation serves on the Massport Board of Directors.[13] Massport owns and operates the maritime Port of Boston, Boston's Logan International Airport, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport, which was transferred from the City of Worcester in 2010.

Steamship Authority

The Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority regulates all ferry services to and from the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, and also operates its own passenger, vehicle, and freight ferries. The Authority has an effective monopoly on car ferry service, but private companies operate various passenger routes.


In 2009, Governor Deval Patrick proposed merging all Massachusetts transportation agencies into a single Department of Transportation.[14] Legislation consolidating all of Massachusetts' transportation agencies into one organization was signed into law on June 26, 2009. The newly established Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MASSDOT) assumed operations from the existing conglomeration of state transportation agencies on November 1, 2009.

This change included:

State transportation funding

Transportation funding available to the state and its agencies include:

  • Multi-year federal transportation bill (most recently Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act); revenue comes from federal gas tax and general funds)
  • Massachusetts gas tax revenues
  • Dedicated MBTA revenues (sales tax, municipalities, fares, parking, advertising, real estate leases)
  • Regional Transit Authority fares and assessments from municipalities
  • Turnpike, tunnel, and bridge tolls (restricted to spending on the tolled asset)
  • Parking and airport-related fees for Massport
  • RMV registration fees
  • General funding from Commonwealth of Massachusetts taxes
  • Accelerated Bridge Program ($3 billion 2009–2016)

The statewide budget included $919 million for transportation in FY2009, not including $797M in sales tax revenue dedicated to the MBTA.[15][16][17]

Local cities and towns also receive vehicle excise tax revenues, and levy property taxes. Both state and municipal agencies can levy fines for parking and traffic violations.

Article 78 (LXXVIII) of the Massachusetts Constitution says all motor vehicle fees and taxes (except registration excise tax in lieu of property tax), including fuel taxes, must be spent on transportation, including roads, mass transit, traffic law enforcement, and administration. Transportation is thus a net recipient of general state funds.

Capital planning

Massachusetts has 10 regional

  • Official website
  • Massachusetts Association of Regional Transit Authorities

External links

  1. ^ "Contact Us - MassDOT". Retrieved 2015-06-12. 
  2. ^ "About". Retrieved 2015-06-12. 
  3. ^ a b "About Us - MassDOT". MassDOT. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Chapter 25 of the Acts of 2009 (Section 177)". The 186th General Court of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  5. ^ "Moving Massachusetts Forward : Massdot" (PDF). September 2009. Retrieved 2015-06-12. 
  6. ^ "Moving Massachusetts Forward : Massdot : BAppendix 10.2 - MassDOT Organizational Structure" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-12. 
  7. ^ Pazzanese, Christina (September 12, 2009). "A big concern on two major parkways". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  8. ^ "Regional Transit Authority Contact Information". Retrieved 2015-06-12. 
  9. ^ "Massachusetts Association of Regional Transit Authorities". Massachusetts Association of Regional Transit Authorities. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  10. ^ Vineyard Transit. "The Official Site of Vineyard Transit". Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, Regional Transit Authorities Coordination and Efficiencies Report" (PDF). Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  12. ^ [25]
  13. ^ [26]
  14. ^ "You Move Massachusettes". Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  15. ^ [27]
  16. ^ "Report as PDF - MassBudget". Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  17. ^ [28]
  18. ^ [29]
  19. ^ [30]
  20. ^ [31]
  21. ^ [32]
  22. ^ "Montachusett RPC -". Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  23. ^ [33]
  24. ^ "Northern Middlesex Council of Go". Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  25. ^ "Central Transportation Planning Staff". Retrieved 2015-06-12. 
  26. ^ [34]
  27. ^ [35]
  28. ^ "Cape Cod Commission - Home". Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  29. ^ [36]
  30. ^ "FRCOG". FRCOG. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  31. ^ [37]
  32. ^ [38]
  33. ^ [39]
  34. ^ [40]
  35. ^ The Boston MPO RTP is titled "Journey to 2030".
  36. ^ [41]
  37. ^ [42]
  38. ^ RDVO, Inc. "MBTA > About the MBTA > Financials". Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  39. ^ "東京都で比較するAGA治療専門病院 - 東京都内で賢くAGAクリニックを選ぶ!". Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  40. ^ [43]
  41. ^ [44]
  42. ^ [45]
  43. ^ [46]
  44. ^ "Rail Plan - Transit Division". Retrieved 2015-06-12. 
  45. ^ "Massachusetts Department of Transportation Rail Plan" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-12. 
  46. ^ [47]
  47. ^ [48]


  • Huntington - Route 112 over CSX Bridge - $18.6 million rehab
  • Storrow Drive Tunnel rehab $11 million
  • Lowell - Replacement of six bridges along I-495 - $34 million
  • Fall River - Braga Bridge painting - $14.8 million
  • Westminster - replacement of Route 2 over Route 140 bridges - $11 million
  • Longfellow Bridge Phase 1 rehab - $18 million
  • Chicopee-Springfield - preservation of bridges along I-91 - $17 million
  • Craigie Drawbridge replacement - $40 million

The program will repair and replace some of the biggest bridges in the commonwealth. Some of these projects include:

  • Design/Build (e.g. I-495 Lowell)
  • Prefabricated Girders
  • Prefabricated Deck Panels (e.g. I-495 Lowell)
  • Prefabricated Substructure
  • Heavy Lift of slide in bridge (e.g. Route 2 Phillipston)
  • Float in bridge (e.g. Craigie Drawbridge)
  • Modular Bridges (e.g. I-93 Medford)
  • Bridge in a Back Pack
  • Bridges constructed in a single phase with traffic detoured

The MassDOT has called the Accelerated Bridge Program the "Laboratory of Innovation". Engineers on each project are invited to investigate other options to replace the bridges faster and more efficiently to reopen the bridges to traffic faster. Some of these options for the projects are:

The Accelerated Bridge Program[47] is a bond bill signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick in August 2008, a year after the I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapse put the state's bridges in the spotlight. The $3 billion, 8-year accelerated bridge program will replace and rehabilitate around 200 bridges state-wide. 300–500 additional bridges will be preserved to prevent further deterioration. The goal of the program is to reduce the number of structurally deficient bridges from its current number of 563, using bonds in anticipation of federal grants.

Accelerated Bridge Program

The Highway Division accepts submissions for projects from its district offices and municipalities.[46]

CTPS is the Central Transportation Planning Staff, which is the staff of the Boston MPO and with which the MBTA contracts for planning assistance.

Massachusetts Transportation Capital Planning Documents
Acronym Name Responsible agency Horizon Purpose / References
STIP State Transportation Improvement Program DOT 3 years Collects all 13 regional TIPs plus statewide projects for state and federal transportation and environmental review. Required for federal funding, financially constrained. Approved by FHWA, FTA, and EPA.[33]
TIP (Regional) Transportation Improvement Program 13 regional MPOs 3 years Approve road and transit projects of regional scale for federal funding based on transportation and environmental criteria. Determine consistency with federal air quality goals. MPO approval required for federal funding; plan must be fiscally constrained. TIP projects come from RTP projects and immediate needs. Each project has an "advocate" agency to oversee planning and implementation, file for federal funding, and provide local funding match.[34]
RTP (Regional) Transportation Plan[35] 13 regional MPOs ~25 years, updated every 4 years Financially unconstrained listings and evaluation of regional road and transit projects. Required for federal funding. Projects are added to the RTP from public input, from CMS/MMS recommendations, and by government agencies. In Boston, transit projects are filtered through the MBTA PMT and two RTAs.[36]
PMT Program for Mass Transportation MBTA (by CTPS) 25 years, updated every 5 years Identify and evaluate public transit projects in the MBTA service area. Financially unconstrained. Required by state law.[37]
CIP MBTA Capital Improvement Plan MBTA 4–5 years Actually approve projects for MBTA funding. 100% state and federally funded projects are also noted, as are anticipated federal matching funds subject to outside approval. Fiscally constrained.[38]
MBP Massachusetts Bicycle Plan DOT 25 years Identify bicycle access capital improvement projects, coordinate statewide bicycle policies and programs.[39][40]
UPWP Unified Planning Work Program 13 regional MPOs 1 year A list of transportation studies to be conducted by the MPO. Required for federal funding.[41]
MMS or CMS Mobility Management System or Congestion Management System 13 regional MPOs 4 years? Identify and measure congested corridors; recommend solutions. Required for federal funding.[42][43]
SRP State Rail Plan State DOT Not specified Identify rail projects with the best return on investment, fulfill federal requirements.[44][45]

By law, all federal transportation grants must be allocated by the responsible MPO. State-wide planning and coordination of MPOs is handled by the Department of Transportation.

  • Franklin[30]
  • Martha's Vineyard Commission[31]
  • Nantucket[32]

and three non-metropolitan planning organizations covering the remainder of the state:[29]

  • Berkshire[19]
  • Pioneer Valley[20]
  • Central Massachusetts[21]
  • Montachusett[22]
  • Merrimack Valley[23]
  • Northern Middlesex[24]
  • Boston Region[25]
  • Old Colony[26]
  • Southeastern Massachusetts [27]
  • Cape Cod[28]


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