BOSTON (MA) – State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) secured $10 million in a $3.87 billion bond bill to study the environmental impact of the underground North-South Rail Link that would connect North Station and South Station in downtown Boston, and create an unbroken rail route from Maine to Washington, D.C.
Connecting Boston’s main MBTA hubs would allow for easier movement across the region’s 138 stations and link lines north of Boston to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, the busiest passenger rail line in the country, with the potential to reduce the amount of cars driving into Boston by as much as 55,000 vehicles a day.
“If we’re serious about dramatically improving Massachusetts’s crippled transportation system, and improving the quality of life for all Massachusetts workers, then we must be bold in our 21st century vision of public transit in the Commonwealth,” said Senator Eldridge, the Senate Chair of the Legislature’s MBTA Caucus. “The North-South Rail Link will reduce traffic and congestion in metropolitan Boston, increase the ability for residents to get to work conveniently, combat climate change, and boost the state’s economy. The $10 million earmark in the bond bill also sends a strong message to Governor Baker, of the growing support the North-South Rail Link has in the Legislature, and amongst the public at large.”
“The $10 million earmark in the bond bill is a positive step towards undertaking a more complete study of the North-South Rail Link, a project essential to the development of Regional Rail and the alleviation of congestion in the Commonwealth,” said Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA). “This will enable work on a Federal Environmental Impact Statement, which will help officials make an informed decision on moving forward with the project based on a more rigorous cost-benefit analysis. We welcome the legislature’s commitment to advancing Regional Rail, and look forward to analyzing this critical project beyond the limited scope of the state DOT’s feasibility reassessment.”
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation began studying the feasibility of the NSRL last year after Eldridge helped secure $2 million for a feasibility study. This additional funding is dedicated to studying the environmental impact of the North South Rail Link, a key step in all transportation projects.
“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts must begin to transform our 20th century transportation system into a world class rail system,” said State Representative Sean Garballey (D-Arlington), the House Chair of the Legislature’s MBTA Caucus. “The North South Rail Link will increase economic opportunity across Massachusetts, will reduce highway congestion to allow for an easier commute for our workforce, and will create a seamless transportation system across Greater Boston and for the first time between Virginia to Maine.”
The Massachusetts House of Representatives enacted the bill on Wednesday, June 6th, and the Senate is expected to enact the bill today before sending it to Governor Baker’s desk.