“I look forward to working with the Chamber as we advocate for a study of the economic benefits this could bring to our state,” said Sen. Lesser
BOSTON — In a letter to senators Tuesday, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce President James Rooney announced his support for an amendment proposed by Senator Eric P. Lesser which instructs the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to study the feasibility of a high-speed east-west rail link.
“The Chamber is working to connect regions across the state to support a statewide economic development strategy that will ensure Massachusetts remains competitive with other states and regions. Because of this, we support amendment #1020 that would create a feasibility study to examine the benefits and costs associated with creating a rail line between the state’s two largest cities Boston and Springfield,” Rooney wrote.
Amendment #1020 is an amendment to the state budget being debated this week by the state Senate. Sen. Lesser, who sponsored the amendment, expects it to come up for a vote on Wednesday or Thursday of this week.
“It is exciting to have the support of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce behind this proposal. Obviously, they see the potential economic impact of this project. More than bringing economic development to communities outside of Boston, high-speed east-west rail would go a long way toward solving Boston’s housing crisis by offering a faster commute to the city from areas with more affordable housing. I look forward to working with the Chamber as we advocate for a study of the economic benefits this could bring to our state,” said Sen. Lesser.
Sen. Lesser is a longtime champion of high-speed rail from Boston to Springfield.
In January, he reintroduced a bill in the Massachusetts State Senate to require the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to move forward with a feasibility study of Springfield-Boston high-speed rail. The same bill passed both the House and Senate last year but was vetoed by Gov. Baker.
Since then, the proposal has continued to gain support, including high-profile endorsements from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton.