On Jan. 15, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a multi-year $16.5 billion transportation bond bill that had gone through several iterations as it passed from the governor to the Legislature and back to the governor.

The governor had 10 days to review the bill after it passed both the House and Senate in the early morning hours of Jan. 6. He signed most of the spending provisions, but vetoed several high-profile policy initiatives.

The law includes funding for a number of municipal grant programs administered by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation:
• $100 million for a new Municipal Pavement Partnership Program
• $100 million to be used in part for work on state-numbered, locally owned roads
• $70 million for the Municipal Small Bridge Program
• $50 million for the Complete Streets program
• $25 million for a new Local Bottleneck Reduction Program

Gov. Baker vetoed a fee increase for app-based ride-hailing services; a requirement that the MBTA implement a low-income fare option and that the state’s 15 regional transit authorities study means-tested fare programs for possible future adoption; and a mandate to direct all proceeds from the in-progress regional Transportation and Climate Initiative to the Commonwealth Transportation fund. The governor explained his rationale behind the vetoes in a letter to the Legislature.

The transportation bond package does not include funding for the Chapter 90 local road and bridge program. Gov. Baker filed a $200 million fiscal 2022 Chapter 90 bond bill on Jan. 25. The MMA, meanwhile, has drafted a two-year Chapter 90 bond bill that would provide $300 million per year, and is seeking a legislative sponsor to file it by the Feb. 19 deadline.

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