Special to the Journal
Lynn Mayor Jared Nicholson met on Friday, April 22 with Senator Warren and his fellow municipal and state leaders to discuss the electrification of commuter rail. The meeting was held in the McGee Building on the North Shore Community College Campus in Lynn.
Nicholson was joined at the meeting by Mayor Carlo DeMaria of Everett; Mayor Cahill of Beverly; Mayor Driscoll of Salem; former Mayor McGee of Lynn; and representatives from Mayor Brian Arrigo’s office from Revere. Senator Brendan Crighton moderated the meeting. He was joined by his legislative colleagues Representative Paul Tucker, Representative Jessica Giannino and Representative Sally Kerans. Also in attendance were staff from Senator Markey’s office and Congressman Moulton’s office.
The purpose of the meeting was to identify ways in which leaders at the federal, state and local level can collaborate to increase the availability of commuter rail options along Eastern Massachusetts and the Northeast corridor of the Commonwealth.
All of the elected officials were in agreement with the benefits that could be realized across the region with the expansion of commuter rail and the addition of infill stations along the corridor. Senator Warren noted the potential to create additional housing opportunities with the expansion of rail options. DeMaria reminded those in attendance that trains pass through the City Everett, but its residents don’t get the benefit of that transportation option. DeMaria also shared with the group the important environmental benefits that come from reducing reliance on motor vehicle travel by giving residents an option for cleaner, electric rail options.
The group has been meeting over the past several months to collectively advocate for MassDOT and the MBTA to develop a strategic plan for the expansion of these transit options. The group agreed to continue with these advocacy efforts to take advantage of the historical level of federal funds available to the Commonwealth. Both Senator Warren and Senator Markey’s staff agreed to continue to advocate for federal funds to support these types of transit initiatives.