The economic potential of commuter rail
To the editor:
With New Hampshire looking to restore a rail link between its largest cities and the thriving Boston area, a few voices have been raised casting doubt on the potential for passenger rail. I invite those folks to hop in a car and drive to Boston at 8 a.m. and see exactly why rail is a smart investment.
After the New Hampshire Department of Transportation piled 14 years and more than $811.7 million into widening Interstate 93, it still dumps into a crowded and slow-moving Massachusetts — meanwhile, the MBTA line to Boston is just a few miles from Nashua.
As we struggle to attract workers and new businesses to the Granite State, a rail link to the hub of the New England economy would be a smart investment. The Downeaster has been a boon to the now-thriving Portland economy and helped lift Exeter, Durham and Dover along the way. And we know that tourists and millennials follow rail lines, making weekend escape more feasible (ever hit the tolls on 93 on a Friday?).
Senate Bill 241 only looks to provide funding for the completion of the project development phase of the Capital Corridor Passenger Rail Project, which is the 2019-2028 Ten Year Transportation Improvement Plan. And it uses federal funds with matching funds. So take a better look and see the potential of rail for the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and the employee-strapped cities of Manchester and Nashua.
Jayme G. Simoes, President
Louis Karno & Company Communications LLC