The Transportation Dividend

Transit Investments & the Massachusetts Economy

Report cover shadow Download the report

Each year, the MBTA returns regional economic benefits worth more than five times what we, as a region and commonwealth, spend to operate it. We are benefiting now from investments in public transit begun a century ago, but the levels of growth expected in this region over the next quarter-century cannot be accommodated without bolstering that investment in a strategic and deliberate way.

A new report by AECOM and A Better City, sponsored by the Boston Foundation and the Barr Foundation, finds that investments in Greater Boston’s legacy public transit system remain the best option for the continued growth of the Greater Boston economy. The report, The Transportation Dividend: Transit Investments and the Massachusetts Economy, takes a look at the economic benefits and value of the current Greater Boston transit system, and lays out a three-part proposal for investments in the 20 “inner core” communities and regional transit spokes that can further enhance the Massachusetts economy. After the report presentation, a panel discussion explored some of the key areas of opportunity and biggest challenges to bring the MBTA to a higher standard of service and consistency.


ABC Presentation cover Download the Transportation Dividend slide presentation

Download a fact sheet containing the highlights of the report.

Read the press release.


Paul S. Grogan, President & CEO, The Boston Foundation 

Opening Remarks

Luis Manuel Ramirez, General Manager & CEO, MBTA 

Presentation of Report Findings

Toni Horst, PhD, National Practice Leader, Transportation Economics, AECOM 
Alden S. Raine, PhD, National Practice Leader, Transit-Oriented Development, AECOM  

Panel Moderator

Jim Canales, President & Trustee, Barr Foundation

Panel Discussion

Chris Dempsey, Director, Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA)
Rick Dimino, President & CEO, A Better City 
Jarred Johnson, Real Estate Project Manager, Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation & Board Member, TransitMatters
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Arbuckle Professor, Harvard Business School;  
Author of Move: Putting America's Infrastructure Back in the Lead
Michelle Wu, City Councilor At-Large, City of Boston

Photos from the Forum

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UNDERSTANDING BOSTON is a series of forums, educational events and research sponsored by the Boston Foundation to provide information and insight into issues affecting Boston, its neighborhoods and the region. By working in collaboration with a wide range of partners, the Boston Foundation provides opportunities for people to come together to explore challenges facing our constantly changing community and to develop an informed civic agenda. All of the Boston Foundation's civic leadership activities are supported by the Civic Leadership Fund at the Boston Foundation. Visit to learn more about this important fund. Visit to learn more about the Boston Foundation and its activities.
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