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Leverett meeting will explain Transportation and Climate Initiative

  • State Rep. Natalie Blais, D-Sunderland, will be in Leverett on Thursday, joined by two state officials to discuss the multistate Transportation and Climate Initiative.

Gazette staff
Published: 1/14/2020 4:05:36 PM
Modified: 1/14/2020 4:04:48 PM

LEVERETT — A multistate compact that aims to improve transportation while reducing carbon emissions and developing the clean energy economy, but which also may increase the gas tax statewide, will be the focus of an information session Thursday.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall, state Rep. Natalie M. Blais, D-Sunderland, will be joined by Chris Dempsey, director of transportation for Massachusetts, and Stephanie Cooper, deputy commissioner for policy and planning for the state Department of Environmental Protection, for the presentation on the Transportation and Climate Initiative, or TCI, a concept being developed by leaders in 11 states in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic, as well as the District of Columbia.

The meeting will provide an overview of what enacting TCI would mean and the existing transportation challenges in rural communities with limited access to bus and rail. There will also be an interactive discussion on the types of programs and projects that should be prioritized with funding generated through the collaboration.

Although Gov. Charlie Baker has expressed support for what he has called a “cap and invest” program, critics are describing TCI as a way to raise the gas tax.

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