WBUR

Mass Transportation Sec.: More Train Service Is Possible

WORCESTER — The riders featured in our Route 9 story on Worcester commuters were unanimous in wanting more rail service to Worcester’s Union Station.

But with the state’s gloomy budget picture -at least $2 million in budgets cuts is expected during the next fiscal year- there’s a question of whether the state can afford to add train service.

Massachusetts State Secretary Jeffrey Mullan seems to think the state can make it happen.

“Well I ask another question;  how can we afford not to?” Mullan says.

“We found money in the MBTA capital budget to make this important service improvement.”

But Worcester isn’t the only city asking for better public transportation service–Fall River and New Bedford have long wanted more rail service too. Are each of these cities fighting for a piece of the transportation budget?

“No, I think the Worcester situation is different from the Fall River [or] New Bedford [issue], where we’re bringing new service to replace service that was suspended in the 1950s. In Worcester, what we’re doing is leveraging our relationship and our transactions with [railroad company] CSX to bring more and better rail service to an area that’s already served,” Mullan says.

WBUR’s Bob Oakes speaks  with Mullan to discuss how these areas will get more train service under a limited state budget.

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