Lawmakers hope East-West rail will connect residents to Hartford, promote jobs

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – Massachusetts lawmakers have been working to connect Springfield to Boston by high-speed rail for years now.

Now that many companies are ditching their remote work plans the state is seeing major traffic backups once again. Which further solidifies the point that we need better public transportation not just in Boston but in the western part of the state as well.

A study released by the engineering firm AECOM shows that 20,000 to 40,000 jobs are “missing” from the Metro Hartford and Springfield area due to a lack of regional connectivity. Lawmakers want to fix that by establishing a high-speed rail service from Boston to Springfield so that people can then hop on the train right at union station and get to Hartford in about 30 minutes.

“Well, when you actually include Hartford in the analysis of people who are going to use the north-south link from Hartford to get to Boston the ridership estimates increase by 54 percent,” Sen. Eric Lesser said.

The high-speed rail proposal hasn’t passed yet because there are a lot of challenges associated with it. Including the high cost of the project and the logistics around train crossings in communities across the Commonwealth.

Now supporters of this proposal point to the economic growth it could provide not just in Massachusetts but across the region. Opponents however say it isn’t worth it and ask that people continue to just travel along the Pike.

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