MassLive published an article on the latest discussions regarding East-West rail service in the Commonwealth, covering the February 6 meeting of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation East-West Rail Study Advisory Committee.
Reporter Jim Kinney includes the following comments from Berkshire representatives:
State Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, said the cost of doing nothing would be further declines in Berkshire County’s population and more congestion in Boston.
“We have a chance here to completely transform the economy of the commonwealth,” he said. “This is a generational opportunity. Once in a 100 years.”
Jonathan Butler, president and CEO of the economic development organization 1Berkshire, said the region has lost 40,000 people in the last two generations.
“That’s been the result of public policy decisions,” Butler said. “And those same public policy decisions have concentrated wealth and population in the metro Boston area. Now we can make another public policy decision.”
Another Berkshires lawmaker, state Rep. William “Smitty ” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, spoke out Thursday against any options that would rely on bus service west of Springfield.
“For this to work, it has to be Boston to Pittsfield,” he said. “A bus option is not good enough.”
Read the full article: “East-west rail backers say state underestimates potential ridership, overestimates cost,” MassLive, February 7, 2020