COHASSET — The town of Cohasset sent a letter to the governor and the Department of Transportation secretary, imploring them to reconsider cuts proposed by the MBTA to the ferry and train that service the town and surrounding areas.
The MBTA is considering cuts to service to close a budget gap of $308 to $577 million for fiscal year 2022, and targeting areas where residents have other forms of transportation available to them.
Want news like this sent straight to your inbox? Head over to PatriotLedger.com to sign up for alerts and make sure you never miss a thing. You pick the news you want, we deliver.Cohasset Select Board Chairwoman Diane Kennedy said in the Oct. 27 letter that cuts to or the elimination of the ferry to Boston and the Greenbush commuter rail line could damage the town.
A third of Cohasset residents work in Boston and a "large portion" of them rely on the train or boat service into the city, Kennedy said in the letter.
"While Cohasset is only 20 miles from downtown Boston, a typical commute can last 90-120 minutes by car," she said.
Many Cohasset residents work in the "Route 128 belt" and putting more cars on the road in the metro-Boston area will have a "devastating economic, environmental, and quality-of-life impact well beyond Boston and the South Shore," she said.
Cohasset has planned around the Greenbush line, including rezoning land to build a commercial and residential district that includes affordable housing units, Kennedy said.
"Eliminating or reducing service to the Greenbush Line and the Hingham/Hull ferry risks disconnecting our community from Boston and the metro area and directly threatens the economic future of our residents and community," she said.
Town officials want to assist in "creative conversation" about how to move forward with the public transportation lines, she said.
State Sen. Patrick O'Connor, R-Weymouth, said during a meeting with the Hingham Board of Selectmen last week that residents should call or email the MBTA to complain about the proposed reduction or elimination of service.
O'Connor said before the pandemic the Greenbush line was usually at 98 to 104 percent capacity during peak ridership times. Last week, Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack told him the line is now at about 10 or 12 percent of typical ridership. O'Connor said many riders will surely return as the pandemic eases.
Patriot Ledger reporter Joe Difazio and Wicked Local reporter Audrey Cooney contributed to this report.
Reporter Wheeler Cowperthwaite can be reached at [email protected]
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