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State leaders want tax revenue to fix T

Transportation groups seek long-term funding solutions.

Transportation advocates flocked to Beacon Hill Monday to urge state legislators to create a long-term, statewide transportation funding solution for the Bay State that would meet the needs of drivers and public transit riders alike.

“This is not just the T’s problem, it’s a statewide problem and there needs to be a statewide, long-term solution,” said Sen. Pat Jehlen.

A bill that went before the Joint Committee on Transportation yesterday asked state leaders to support the idea to build a safer, more modern transit system across the entire commonwealth “that enhances public transportation ridership, and spurs job creation and economic development.”

The bill suggests launching a Vehicle Miles Traveled pilot study, examining the feasibility of supplementing the gas tax with a mileage-based fee for drivers, and exploring a UPass program for university students to help fund the ailing transit system.

The legislation also sought to establish a special transportation finance commission to develop a comprehensive plan for the state.

Kristina Egan, director of Transportation for Massachusetts, said from the Berkshires to Cape Cod, residents want increased investments in roads and railways.

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear

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