RTAC Letterhead


Memorandum for the Record

Regional Transportation Advisory Council Meeting

November 4, 2020, Meeting Minutes

2:30 PM–4:15 PM, Zoom

Lenard Diggins, Chair, representing the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Ridership Oversight Committee

Meeting Agenda

1.    Introductions

Lenard Diggins called the meeting to order at 2:30 PM. Members and guests attending the meeting introduced themselves. (For attendance list, see page three.)

2.    Project Cost Determinations—Michael Bolduc, Project Delivery Specialist, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)

Michael Bolduc, MassDOT, explained that all project initiation through MassDOT now uses the Massachusetts Project Intake Tool (MaPIT); he said the tool is part of a formal three-step process that enables proponents to initiate and scope projects and facilitates internal MassDOT project scoring. M. Bolduc explained that most of the methods for scoring various aspects of projects have been modified and improved; however, the average daily travel (ADT) method used to measure cost effectiveness has not changed since the Project Selection Advisory Council was established in 2015. M. Bolduc said that MassDOT has now changed how the cost effectiveness score is weighted in the final score.

Carrie Lavallee, MassDOT Highway Division, advised project proponents and their consultants to understand weighted average bid prices and how to derive an estimated project cost. She said if municipalities need help with this, they should reach out to the Highway District 6 Office.


John McQueen, WalkBoston, asked about the accuracy of ADT data in light of the changes in travel patterns over time and due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also asked about the use of civilian flaggers versus uniformed police to reduce costs.

Daniel Amstutz, Town of Arlington, and M. Bolduc discussed whether the new method of weighting cost-effectiveness scores had resulted in any projects getting approved because the overall score had changed.

David Montgomery, Town of Needham, asked how a municipality decides whether to apply for project funding directly to MassDOT or through the MPO process. C. Lavallee said that typically municipalities would first go through the MassDOT scoring process and get approval by the Project Review Committee; then the municipality would work with the MPO through the design phase to get the design funded during a particular fiscal year.

Franny Osman, Acton Transportation Advisory Committee, L. Diggins, M. Bolduc, and C. Lavallee discussed how effectively MassDOT scoring takes into account types of benefits provided by a project for which ADT is not an adequate measure. C. Lavallee and M. Bolduc said that though the ADT-derived cost-effectiveness score is not a perfect method, MassDOT does need a cost-effectiveness score early in the process as a way to detect and rein in scope expansion and cost increases during design.

L. Diggins and C. Lavallee discussed how some projects end up costing more than originally scored and what MPOs can do to avoid unanticipated cost overruns.

L. Diggins and M. Bolduc discussed whether the cost–benefit analysis used in other states, such as Virginia, would be a useful measure of cost effectiveness in Massachusetts.

3.    Chair’s Report—Lenard Diggins, Chair

Lenard Diggins said that, at a recent MPO board meeting, MBTA staff explained that they are planning service changes to deal with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes might be permanent, but the agency is unsure what the service needs will be during the recovery.

L. Diggins also discussed guest presenters that are scheduled for the next two Regional Transportation Advisory Council meetings:

4.    Adjourn 

A motion to adjourn was made by the Acton Transportation Advisory Committee (Franny Osman) and seconded. The motion carried.


Member Municipalities

Representatives and Alternates

City of Cambridge

Andy Reker

Town of Needham

David Montgomery

City of Watertown

Laura Weiner

City of Weymouth

Owen MacDonald


Member Citizen Advocacy Groups

Representatives and Alternates

MBTA Ridership Oversight Committee

Lenard Diggins

CrossTown Connect

Scott Zadakis

American Council of Engineering Companies

Fred Moseley

Acton Transportation Advisory Committee

Franny Osman


Chris Porter


Jon Seward


John McQueen


Agencies (Non-Voting)



Michael Bolduc


Elizabeth Torres

MassDOT Highway Division

Carrie Lavallee


Other Attendees


Daniel Amstutz

Town of Arlington

Stefanie Beaver

Vanesse Hangen Brustlin

Todd Kirrane

Town of Brookline


MPO Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff

Matt Archer

Matt Genova


The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) operates its programs, services, and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and related statutes and regulations. Title VI prohibits discrimination in federally assisted programs and requires that no person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency), be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that receives federal assistance. Related federal nondiscrimination laws administered by the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, or both, prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, sex, and disability. The Boston Region MPO considers these protected populations in its Title VI Programs, consistent with federal interpretation and administration. In addition, the Boston Region MPO provides meaningful access to its programs, services, and activities to individuals with limited English proficiency, in compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation policy and guidance on federal Executive Order 13166.

The Boston Region MPO also complies with the Massachusetts Public Accommodation Law, M.G.L. c 272 sections 92a, 98, 98a, which prohibits making any distinction, discrimination, or restriction in admission to, or treatment in a place of public accommodation based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or ancestry. Likewise, the Boston Region MPO complies with the Governor's Executive Order 526, section 4, which requires that all programs, activities, and services provided, performed, licensed, chartered, funded, regulated, or contracted for by the state shall be conducted without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, veteran's status (including Vietnam-era veterans), or background.

A complaint form and additional information can be obtained by contacting the MPO or at http://www.bostonmpo.org/mpo_non_discrimination. To request this information in a different language or in an accessible format, please contact

Title VI Specialist
Boston Region MPO
10 Park Plaza, Suite 2150
Boston, MA 02116

By Telephone:
857.702.3700 (voice)

For people with hearing or speaking difficulties, connect through the state MassRelay service:

·       Relay Using TTY or Hearing Carry-over: 800.439.2370

·       Relay Using Voice Carry-over: 866.887.6619

·       Relay Using Text to Speech: 866.645.9870

For more information, including numbers for Spanish speakers, visit https://www.mass.gov/massrelay.