- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 12, 2019

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo is challenging business leaders to come up with ideas for easing transportation gridlock.

In his annual address Tuesday to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Winthrop Democrat said the state’s booming economy and low unemployment will be difficult to maintain unless traffic congestion eases and public transit improves.

DeLeo asked employers to share with state officials any ideas they have, including more flexible work schedules so that fewer employees would have to travel during rush hour.

He also asked for advice on how the state might provide incentives that lead to “innovative transit solutions.”

The remarks came one day after the control board overseeing the MBTA approved an average 6 percent fare hike for subway and commuter rail, despite objections from many riders.

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