Rail Bills | Mass. Legislature

Bills filed in the Massachusetts General Court (the legislature) that affect passenger and/or freight rail service in our region of the state.

A check mark indicates that Trains in the Valley has a favorable opinion of the proposed bill.


Springfield-Boston High-Speed Rail Study


Bill S.1935 — “An Act to study the feasibility of high-speed rail access between Springfield and Boston”


Presenter | Senator Eric P. Lesser (First Hampden and Hampshire)

Summary | This bill instructs the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to conduct a feasibility study of high-speed passenger rail service between Springfield and Boston.

The study would examine the projected capital costs, operating costs and revenue estimates, ridership levels, operational issues, as well as the environmental and community impact estimates, and availability of federal, state, local and private sector funding sources.

Commentary | This feasibility study, which would build upon the Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative study, would provide a meaningful and thorough review of the potential economic benefits of high-speed passenger rail service between Boston and Springfield.


Regional Transportation Ballot Initiatives


Bill S.1551 — “An Act relative to regional transportation ballot initiatives”


Presenter | Senator Eric P. Lesser (First Hampden and Hampshire)

Summary | This bill would enable one or more municipalities in the commonwealth to raise funds for local and regional transportation investments through voter-approved ballot initiatives.

Commentary | Regional ballot initiatives are used to finance transportation investments in states all across the country (including California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington.)

More than 300 transportation ballot measures appeared on the November 2016 ballot, including over forty ballot measures that focused on public transit investments totaling over $200 billion. The majority of the measures were approved. (A listing of recent transportation ballot measures can be found on this link: 2016 Transportation Ballot Measures.)

Further reading

“Want Transit? Get It on the Ballot!”
By Gabrielle Gurley | The American Prospect | October 28, 2016

Moving Forward with Funding
New strategies to support transportation and balanced regional economic growth
MassInc | October 2011


Page last updated: February 24, 2017
Page last reviewed: February 7, 2017