BOSTON (WWLP) – East West Rail has been a conversation for years at the State House, and although the Governor has shared his support, his latest infrastructure bill did not include the project.
Expanding rail into Western Massachusetts would be one of the largest transportation projects the State has taken on. In April, Governor Baker, alongside Congressman Richard Neal announced a path forward to extend rail past Worcester. They also shared plans for lawmakers to create a new rail authority by taking advantage of recently granted federal funds.
However, Governor Baker’s almost $10 billion dollar infrastructure bond bill cleared the transportation committee without East West rail being included. Although this may be seen as a set-back, there are still multiple opportunities for East/West rail to move forward in the coming months.
Senator Eric Lesser of Longmeadow said, “MassDOT recently shared language with us about setting up an authority, so we’re reviewing that language, and we’re going to work as a delegation, we’re going to work with our colleagues in both the house and the senate to come to some consensus on that language.”
Language for East/West rail could be added during the bill’s journey through the House and Senate, so it’s far from over for this legislative cycle. Senator Lesser also added that East/West Rail would be transformative for the entire state by increasing access to housing and decreasing the number of cars on the road, helping the environment.