Mass. Senate Approves Transportation Bond Bill

The Massachusetts Senate has approved a bill authorizing $13 billion in capital spending over the next five years to pay for upgrades to the state’s transportation system.

The bill includes $1.5 billion in spending over the next five years to fund local road and bridge projects.

The bill also hikes the penalties for MBTA fare evasion by raising fines to $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $600 for a third or subsequent offense.

The bill lets the state transportation department spend an additional $50 million in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 on snow and ice removal and dedicates $2.3 billion for South Coast rail improvements.

The legislation also includes $325 million for improvements to South Station and renames it the Gov. Michael S. Dukakis Transportation Center at South Station.