Sen. Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop) was recently reappointed by Senate President Karen Spilka to once again chair the Joint Committee on Transportation. Boncore, who represents East Boston, Winthrop, Revere, the North End and part of Cambridge, was first appointed chair of the committee by former Senate President Harriette Chandler in 2018 after Tom McGee left the state senate to become mayor of Lynn.
“I want to thank Senate President Karen Spilka for reappointing me Chair of the Transportation Committee,” said Boncore. “I look forward to continuing our work to make transportation equitable, reliable and safe.”
With a major international airport, highway, and MBTA line in his district, it made sense for Spilka to reappoint Boncore chair of Transportation.
Over the years Boncore’s work on transportation has been 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 Boncore has advocated for increased ferry service in the Harbor, improvements to the Sumner Tunnel toll plaza, an increase in Massport mitigation to surrounding communities, late night MBTA service as well as addressing other transportation needs and improvements in his district.
In the last legislative session Boncore led efforts to pass the transportation bond bill; a $16.5 billion investment to modernize the Commonwealth’s transportation system. In addition to the wide variety of infrastructure projects, the bond bill addresses equity in public transit by requiring a low-income fare program, modernizes the transportation network fee structure, and decriminalizes fare evasion on MBTA service.
Boncore emerged as a staunch opponent of the MBTA’s proposed service cuts late last year due to a decrease in ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boncore argued that those who continue to utilize public transit throughout this public health crisis are the families, individuals, and essential workers who rely on it most.
Of the proposed cuts, Boncore said, “We must treat public transportation as a public good, similar to our roads and bridges. Expecting riders to face the consequences of less frequent service, delays, and crowding is unacceptable. Especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we must prioritize public health and safety.”
Additionally, Boncore was selected to serve as a member on the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, the Senate Committee on Ethics, and the Senate Committee on Financial Services.
“I look forward to working with Senate leadership through my additional committee assignments to ensure health and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. Prior to joining the Senate, Boncore was an attorney in Eastie and served as the chair of the Winthrop Housing Authority.