Few elected officials have been as dedicated to public transit as the 65th governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Michael S. Dukakis. Governor Dukakis famously took the MBTA to the State House from his Brookline home on a regular basis and he has served on the Amtrak Board of Directors as a passionate advocate for federal investment in high speed rail. Even at the age of 84, Dukakis remains a steadfast public transportation supporter and his latest advocacy mission involves some unfinished business from his own time in the Governor’s office–The North-South Rail Link. This Wednesday at the invitation of Mayor William Samaras, Governor Dukakis returns to his parents’ hometown to discuss this important project and its potential impact on the City of Lowell and the region as a whole.
The North-South Rail Link (NSRL) is a proposed 1.5-mile long tunnel connecting North and South Stations in Boston that advocates say would allow for more efficient commuter rail service through a truly regional system throughout the Northeast. The link would also alleviate highway congestion, decrease vehicle carbon emissions, and boost economic development in both the Boston urban core and the surrounding communities. Governor Dukakis serves as the chairman of the NSRL Working Group. Former Mayor Edward Kennedy was a member of the NSRL Working Group during his term as mayor and Mayor Samaras has signed on to be a member as well.
On Wednesday, May 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in the Mayor’s Reception Room, Mayor William Samaras will host a Lowell Town Hall presented by Citizens for a North-South Rail Link to discuss what this project would mean for the Greater Lowell area and the Commonwealth as a whole. Governor Dukakis will serve as the moderator for a panel discussion that includes transportation experts from both the local and state levels. Panelists include former Lowell Planning Board member, Joseph Boyle, UMass Lowell Campus Planning & Development Director, Adam Baacke, a co-founder of TransiMatters, Marc Ebuña, and John Kyper the co-chair of the transportation subcommittee for the Sierra Club of Massachusetts.
This is the seventh in a series of NSRL Town Hall events over recent months where communities have gathered to learn more about the proposed project and share personal experiences with the current public transportation system. Previous meetings have been held in Salem, Framingham, Franklin, Quincy, Everett, and Cambridge.