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Lynch: Commuter Rail Operator Will Hold Off On Furloughs

Dozens of commuter rail conductors will stay on the job after being told they'd be furloughed, according to U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch.

The South Boston Democrat told WBUR's Radio Boston that Keolis, the company that runs the commuter rail for the MBTA, has had a change of heart.

"They have reconsidered their decision to furlough the 40 workers, so those 40 conductors, I am happy to say, will not be laid off," Lynch said.

A spokesperson for Keolis confirmed the decision.

Lynch also said leaders at the MBTA have promised to take another look at its recent cuts to service.

"We just gave the state another billion dollars on top of the billion-plus that we gave them in the CARES Act," Lynch said. "And while we are trying to help the governor open up the economy, they were cutting service to the very taxpayers who paid for the pay for the bailout of the MBTA."

The MBTA released a statement saying it will spend federal stimulus funding responsibly and will "make adjustments' to service as necessary.

The T says it's responding to a large drop in ridership and a huge budget deficit.

Speaking Monday during a press conference with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Lynch said the Massachusetts congressional delegation was "furious" At the T's decision to push forward with service cuts after receiving federal aid through the recently passed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 federal relief package.

"It is incongruous with our intent, speaking for the delegation, that an agency would take federal support from the taxpayer, and then cut services to those same taxpayers. That doesn't work for us," Lynch said.

This article was originally published on March 18, 2021.

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