Mayors in Massachusetts urge state to add rail options

October 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Just as they did more than two years ago, the mayors of Northampton, Greenfield and Holyoke are calling on state officials to help establish increased rail service for commuters in the Pioneer Valley.Website Insert Passenger Trains Very Well copy

In a joint letter to Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack, Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz — along with Holyoke Mayor Alex B. Morse and Greenfield Mayor William F. Martin — cited increased ridership on Amtrak’s Vermonter line since the service was rerouted earlier this year to its original path along the Connecticut River as evidence the Valley is yearning for more service.

The service now stops in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield. Estimates put the number of passengers served in Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield this year at 20,000 — nearly 25 percent of the Vermonter’s total 2014 ridership of 84,000, the letter states.

Under the Vermonter’s current schedule, there is one northbound and one southbound train each day. The three mayors are exploring options to connect their cities to Springfield with more regular service.

“We’re hearing from our constituents that people want to have more options in terms of time of day they can utilize the train,” Narkewicz said.

Reporter Katherine Hazen has the full story in The Recorder by clicking here.

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