By John Lynds
With a major international airport, highway, toll plaza and the MBTA Blue Line in his district, it made sense for Senate President Harriette Chandler to appoint Sen. Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop), who represents East Boston, Revere, Winthrop, the North End and part of Cambridge, as the new Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation. Former Senator Tom McGee previously held the post until he resigned his seat upon winning the election as the mayor of the City of Lynn.
Boncore has served as the vice chair of the Committee on Transportation and has taken lead on issues related to MBTA privatization and transit-oriented housing development. Senator Eric Lesser (D – Longmeadow) was appointed to as the committee’s vice chair.
“The need for effective and efficient transportation intersects with the need for affordable housing, economic opportunity, and social justice,” said Senate President Chandler. “Our transit systems are the central arteries connecting our Commonwealth’s cities and towns to each other. Senator Boncore and Senator Lesser will bring strong leadership to the challenges we face at a time when transportation is a paramount issue on Beacon Hill and in the minds of everyday commuters.”
Boncore’s work on transportation is rooted in a commitment to the priorities of the Commonwealth, including his transit-heavy First Suffolk and Middlesex district, which encompasses stretches of both Interstate 90 and 93, all five MBTA subway lines, Logan Airport, South Station and portions of the Boston Harbor.
Since being elected senator here Boncore has advocated for a ferry in Eastie, improvements to the Sumner Tunnel toll plaza project, increase in Massport mitigation to surrounding communities, late night MBTA service as well as addressing other transportation needs and improvements in the district.
“I want to thank President Chandler and my colleagues for entrusting me with one of the state’s top fiscal and policy priorities,” said Boncore. “The Commonwealth’s transportation system is the driver that ensures our economic success. Whether by road, rail or water, our infrastructure connects us to jobs, homes, schools and goods; ensuring continued growth. Still, Massachusetts requires a new revenue mechanism to make necessary investments in our infrastructure to secure a statewide vision for a modern transportation system.”
Boncore currently serves as the Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Housing and as the vice chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. In addition, he is also a member of the Joint Committees on Revenue and Financial service and the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change.
Prior to joining the senate Boncore, an attorney in Eastie , served as the chair of the Winthrop Housing Authority.
Senator Lesser has served on the Joint Committee on Transportation since joining the Senate in 2015 and has been a leading voice in advocating for the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure.
“I am grateful to President Chandler and my colleagues for putting their trust in me, and I look forward to working alongside Chairman Boncore on an issue that I know is a top priority for his constituents, as well as for mine, and for the entire Commonwealth,” said Lesser in a statement. “Having a high-quality, reliable transportation network is about more than making sure the trains run on time. Our transit system should serve the public’s needs, and this ultimately means ensuring equal access to opportunities and connecting our communities across the Commonwealth.”