There is a free event this Wednesday, October 4th in Franklin, MA to promote the North South Station Rail Link in Boston. The attachment gives you more details.
RIARP has been in favor of construction of this project for a number of good reasons:
- It would allow direct service or at least better connections to the Downeaster from points in Rhode Island. When we did a survey among RIARP Members quite a few years ago, we found that a high percentage of respondents would like a one seat ride to Maine.
- It would reduce the cost of operating the MBTA by allowing consolidation of maintenance facilities. Any reduction of costs improves the financial situation of service to Rhode Island.
- By allowing through service at South Station, it promotes better utilization of equipment and frees up additional cars. This also reduces the cost of operating the service.
- By allowing through service at South Station, it frees up slots at South Station creating more space for trains. Not only would it be possible to increase frequencies between Wickford Jct./Providence and Boston, it would also allow Amtrak to increase its frequencies into Boston. In addition it would remove an impediment to restoration of service to Fall River and New Bedford which would be of benefit to residents of Newport and Bristol Counties who work in Boston.
Of course, the NSRL is more than the benefits to our state, and the bulk of the benefits would be to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Construction of the link would allow Massachusetts to avoid the costly construction of additional surface tracks at South Station. The costs savings mentioned above would also help the MBTA financially at a time when transit dollars are scarce.
It also helps the nation. With better connections in Boston, the Downeaster gains considerably and with it, Amtrak overall. Amtrak also gets more revenue from the Northeast Corridor which will help it with its capital projects. With increased ridership both at the intercity and commuter level, gasoline consumption is reduced, air quality improved, and even greenhouse gases are reduced.