Invites residents to share their transportation stories
Bill to study east-west rail to have hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 24
SPRINGFIELD — On Tuesday, State Senator Eric P. Lesser unveiled a new page on his website sharing constituents’ stories — in their own words — describing why east-west rail is important to them.
In one story, Marcy, an occupational therapist in Longmeadow, explains that many of her patients have to travel to Boston for specialized treatments and frequently miss appointments because of traffic on the Mass Pike.
In another, Alexandra from Montgomery explains that her student debt bills prevent her from moving to greater Boston, where housing is expensive, even though she works in the city. Her commute to work is two hours or more every day.
The website, “Rail Matters,” can be found at www.SenatorLesser.com/RailMatters. Visitors are invited to share the stories they read there — and even submit their own stories about why rail service between Boston and Springfield matters to them.
“It’s time to refocus the conversation about Springfield-Boston rail where it belongs: you and your family,” said Senator Lesser.
“Other elected officials in the state might think differently on this issue if they hear the stories I hear every day in my district: how the lack of fast, reliable rail service is preventing young people from seizing opportunities, preventing family members from visiting each other, even preventing cancer patients from getting to their appointments on time,” he added.
Legislators on the Transportation Committee are holding a hearing on Sen. Lesser’s bill proposing a study of east-west rail from Boston to Springfield on Tuesday, Oct. 24. Citizens are welcome to attend the public hearing, in Hearing Room A-1 at the State House, and present their own testimony.
Sen. Lesser has advocated for a study since he took office, and this is the third time he has introduced this proposal.
In May, Sen. Lesser reintroduced his proposal to require the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to move forward with a feasibility study of Springfield-to-Boston high-speed rail as a budget amendment. However, it was stripped from the compromise budget in closed-door negotiations between the House and Senate.
The same amendment passed both the House and Senate last year with broad bipartisan support. But Gov. Baker vetoed the proposal after Peter Pan bus company owner Peter Picknelly sent an email to Baker personally lobbying against it.