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Senate, House Take Up Transit Reform

This article is more than 10 years old.

A major transportation reform bill is expected to win approval from the House and Senate Thursday.

The legislature's transportation reform bill abolishes the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority by merging it and the Highway Department into a new super-agency called the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, or MassDOT.

Under the plan, 300 Turnpike employees could lose their jobs, but legislative leaders said MassDOT could save the state $6 billion over the next 20 years. But other transportation experts put the savings at about a third of that figure.

The bill also moves all Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority workers into the state's largest insurance plan, the Group Insurance Commission, which could save up to $35 million a year.

But while drivers may soon say goodbye to the Turnpike Authority, lawmakers said they would not be saying goodbye to tolls. Massachusetts still faces an annual $1 billion gap for transportation funding across the state.

This program aired on June 18, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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