SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Candidate for Massachusetts Governor Ben Downing came to Springfield on Thursday to share his transportation plans for the state.
Pittsfield native Ben Downing is focused on climate change, economic fairness, and racial justice, and he said transportation is the key to improving all those areas. 22News was there on Thursday as Downing checked out the Valley Bike program at Court Square.
He wanted to get a sense of how it worked, as well as what it felt like riding one of their electric bikes, and he did just that. This program fits into his transportation vision for the state, getting more people out of their cars, and onto bikes, buses, and other public transit options.
He believes all bus fares in the state should be free, and tax dollars should fund it.
“It makes a lot more sense to fund transit through our taxes so we have more reliable service, more regular service, so people can get on their cars, hop on the bus, and not get stuck in the first in the nation congestion that we have in Massachusetts,” said Downing.
Downing also said transportation is why many haven’t been able to get vaccinated and get tested in areas of high risk of transmission like Springfield. He also thinks it’s keeping people from going to the doctor’s office and is a barrier to getting a job.
Downing is also pushing for the East-West rail for Massachusetts and will continue to spend more time in gateway cities like Springfield areas he said the Baker Administration has left behind.