Right now the Commonwealth is working to develop a long-term funding mechanism to finance transit needs in Boston. The MBTA presently gets 20% of the funds generated by the state sales tax but it needs more. The Governor and the legislature are working to find a new long-term funding source for the MBTA. One way to expedite rail development here is to get a small portion of that long-term funding dedicated to Berkshire County’s transportation needs. To do that we need our legislative delegation to secure the funds and we need Governor Baker to support it. You can help by contacting Senator Hinds and our state Representatives, and particularly by contacting Governor Baker, and urging their immediate support. Once a commitment is secured the loans can be secured and construction can begin.
Finally, to get rail service in Massachusetts work must also be completed in Connecticut. The railroad has proposed a very quick and possibly self-funding approach to extend rail service now from Danbury to New Milford. Housatonic is waiting for the Commissioner of Transportation to support the proposal. Once completed the remaining work between New Milford and Canaan will all take place on state-owned rail lines. The same funding approach as proposed in Massachusetts is being proposed in Connecticut. Support for the service is very strong in Connecticut, but it will be very helpful for constituents and friends to contact Governor Lamont!