BOSTON (WWLP) – Support on Beacon Hill for East West rail is growing.
East-West rail has been a conversation for years at the State House, but momentum has been growing and recently lawmakers affirmed their commitment to the project.
On Tuesday morning, Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ron Mariano released a joint press release committing to advancing discussions on East-West rail. In the release, they said that they expect to increase the amount of funding in the future so more “detailed work on the project can occur”.
The House and Senate leaders also stated that East-West rail is necessary to meet climate priorities, compete in the economy, and to make public transportation equitable across the state.
Senator Eric Lesser of Longmeadow said, “This is an essential project from the standpoint of job creation, fighting inflation and keeping housing prices down and also helping fight climate change and cleaning our air by taking thousands of cars off the road.”
Also on Tuesday, a $10.4 billion dollar transportation and climate bond bill emerged from House Ways and Means with $250 million dollars allocated to East-West rail.
The bill falls short on creating a regional transit authority, which Secretary of Transportation Jamey Tesler believes would put Massachusetts in the best position to outcompete others for federal grants. The bond bill is set to be debated tomorrow in the House.