Do you care about passenger rail service in Western Mass? If so, we need you to step up—and speak up!
This is our 1Chance!
Please attend one of the LAST two meetings that the legislature’s Western Massachusetts Passenger Rail Commission will host in our region.
Both public meetings take place next Tuesday, on March 21st—one in Northampton, one in Springfield.
This is our 1Chance to tell the Commission what we think individually and what we want collectively for the future of passenger rail in western Massachusetts.
If this meeting is not well attended, our regional conviction will be perceived as too weak to influence the decisions of the Commission and the outcome of our regional service. And this would make us very sad indeed.
Here’s Our Sincere Ask:
- If you can show up in person at one of the two meetings in Northampton or Springfield on March 21, please do! This is our 1Chance.
- If you can’t attend in person, please join the meeting via Zoom and/or submit your written testimony. This is our 1Chance.
- If you can’t attend at all, please ask someone else you know, who takes or wants to take the train, to attend a meeting. This is our 1Chance.
- If you care about passenger rail in our region (East-West Rail, the Hartford Line, the Lake Shore Limited, Northern Tier Rail, the Vermonter, and the Valley Flyer), NOW is the time to speak up.
The Commission is hosting these public meetings to discuss HOW passenger rail service should be managed in our region — both now and in the future — and this is our 1Chance to get it right!
Tues. March 21st at 1 p.m.
Northampton Senior Center
67 Conz Street, Northampton
Tues. March 21st at 6 p.m.
Top of Our City Conference Center in Scibelli Hall
Springfield Technical Community College (STCC)
1 Armory Square, Springfield
Parking at STCC Scibelli Hall | Enter through the main gate on Federal Street and drive straight. Scibelli Hall (Building 2) is the last building in the row. There is parking on three sides of the building.
What’s at stake
The Amtrak operated rail service in Western Mass is being overseen by the MassDOT Rail & Transit Division from their offices in Boston.
There are pros and cons to having MassDOT oversee the service as they are doing now.
Some consideration is now being given to creating a new entity, the Western Massachusetts Passenger Rail Authority, that would manage all of the passenger rail service in Western Mass.
There are pros and cons to creating a new, standalone passenger rail authority to manage the service in our region. (The Western Mass Rail Coalition’s testimony, linked below, provides further details.)
- Do you think there should be local input into the decisions being made about passenger rail service in our region? This is our 1Chance.
- Do you want there to be local input into how passenger fares are set? This is our 1Chance.
- Do you believe there needs to be local input into what the schedule looks like? This is our 1Chance.
What about fare equity? Should the fares on the Valley Flyer north of Springfield be THREE TIMES HIGHER than they are south of Springfield on the Hartford Line? (NO!) This is our 1Chance!
If you believe our local voices and interests need to be considered and valued by the Commission, PLEASE attend one of the Commission’s meetings on Tuesday, March 21—and speak up!
If you’d like help preparing testimony, please drop us a note or give us a call. Here are our contact details.
Examples of what others have submitted
NEW | Testimony | Western Mass Rail Coalition (revised version)
March 19, 2023
Testimony | Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts
January 27, 2023
How to submit testimony to the Commission
Written testimony can be submitted to the Commission by sending an email to Siobhan.Morrissey@mahouse.gov
Post last updated: March 19, 2023