MAYORS AND CITY MANAGERS across eastern Massachusetts are forming a coalition to advocate for the MBTA’s commuter rail system.Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, who is active in forming the coalition, said the commuter rail system often gets overlooked in discussions about transportation even though its impact is enormous in many communities.
“It’s the lifeblood of our community in many respects,” Driscoll said. “There needs to be a voice for commuter rail and its riders.”
Marc Draisen, the executive director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, said the original idea for the coalition grew out of meetings he and his organization had with municipal officials around the region. He said he would go into the meetings to discuss one subject but the conversation would inevitably come around to concerns about the commuter rail system. He said he began to realize that municipalities that rely on commuter rail share a lot of the same concerns but have no one to advocate on their behalf. (read more)
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