The report finds that by 2030, losses in highway system performance alone are expected to cost the Massachusetts economy between $11.1 and $14.9 billion (in discounted 2008 dollars) in lost travel time alone. Another $6.6 to $11.1 billion would be spent in vehicle operating costs and safety benefits, which would reduce household budgets for other types of spending, such as education and health-related purchases, and recreational spending.
That diversion of funds to transportation-related expenses, the report finds, would also reduce productivity and force the elimination of between 12,300 and 15,600 jobs by 2030, the equivalent of losing a major employer each year. The report also illustrates the areas in each region of the state that might be most vulnerable to transportation deficiencies, underscoring the need for a statewide plan to address the state's long-term transportation needs. It notes that of the state's major regions, only Greater Boston employs less than 30% of its workforce in "freight dependent" jobs.
Researchers also highlight the power of investing in transportation -- citing a return of $2.04 for each dollar of investment in transportation, and noting that capital expenditures by MassDOT and the MBTA over the past five years have created or supported nearly 25,000 jobs and over $1.2 billion in worker earnings.