Page 2 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2022 COMMUTER RAIL | FROM PAGE 1 “Electric trains are up to 25 times more reliable than our current diesel fleet, which translates to dependable, reliable service and lower maintenance costs,” the resolution noted. “Whereas: Electrifi cation of the Newburyport-Rockport line would allow the state of Massachusetts to meet emissions reduction goals as outlined in the Next Generation Roadmap legislation signed into law in March 2021,” the resolution continued. “And Whereas: The Town of Saugus has long missed out on rapid transit and is in dire need of aff ordable, reliable public transportation to alleviate traffi c and congestion; and Whereas: The way to solve the Commuter Rail’s existential crisis is to embrace the vision of a 21st century regional rail system that will make it more relevant for residents and riders to utilize while making their trips.” The resolution passed by Saugus selectmen requests the MBTA Board of Directors to include funding for the following projects in its Fiscal Year 2023—2027 CIP: Electrifi cation of the of the Newburyport-Rockport Line The design and construction of high train platforms for step-free access onto commuter rail trains The construction of infill stations in Everett, Revere, and Salem Bus rapid transit from downtown Peabody to Salem Depot to integrate commuter rail ridership With passage of the resolution, Saugus joins the City of Lynn, which already passed an electrifi cation resolution. Similar resolutions are pending before the Revere City Council and Chelsea City Council. Selectmen considered the resolution after receiving correspondence from state Rep. Jessica A. Giannino (D-Revere), whose district includes Precincts 3 and 10 in Saugus. Board of Selectmen Vice Chair Debra Panetta said that Rep. Giannino reached out to her for support, and that state Lawrence A. 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Spicy Salmon Tartar $9.95 Salmon, Avo, Tobiko, Tempura flakes. Spicy mayo mix topped with taro chip. Sea Spoon (4 spoon) $18.95 Uni, Ikura, quail eggs, scallion and Panzu sauce. Everett; and even with no capacity problems, that eff ectively eliminates the commuter rail as a practical transportation option. Equally important, if it were aff ordable, a regional rail system with transit frequency and transit fares would link both Boston and the North Shore to residential and job opportunities in each of the communities on the line. That in turn would support economic development, workforce development and aff ordable housing strategies in Revere certainly, but also in Chelsea, Everett, Lynn and beyond, where such opportunities are increasingly viable especially with a supportive transportation network.” In her letter, Giannino also Rep. Donald Wong (R-Saugus) also supports the resolution. “If electrifi ed, the price drops drastically to take the commuter rail which would increase the number of people who ride, decreasing our traffic and congestion,” Panetta wrote in an email to The Saugus Advocate on Wednesday. “As you know, Saugus is a cut through from the North Shore to Boston. The current line runs from Gloucester to Boston. The federal government (Rep. Clark and Sen. Markey) just got funding to add a stop in Revere at Wonderland (existing stop),” Panetta said. “The electrifi cation in addition to the new stop (2 separate projects) will be transformative for Revere but will impact traffi c in Saugus by taking cars off the road. This is also a big environmental impact because it would convert from fossil fuels to electric,” she said. Giannino seeks “a priority investment” in EJC Rep. Giannino provided selectmen with a copy of a letter she wrote last month to the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board. That letter informed the control board that she was writing to testify in favor of “a priority investment in the Environmental Justice Corridor (EJC) of our regional rail system.” “This specifi cally includes the electrifi cation of this element of the regional rail system and the introduction of Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) vehicles between Boston and Beverly, which would allow for transit frequency and transit fares on this segment of the Boston to Newburyport Line,” Giannino said. “This project would prove n to be both economically and environmentally beneficial for the residents of the Sixteenth Suff olk District as well as the surrounding districts. Firstly, upgrading the now obsolete train equipment to a cleaner and more reliable structure would signifi cantly minimize equipment breakdowns, toxic emissions, and noise pollution; all of which are factors in the quality of life for the residents and frontline workers from the Greater Boston Area,” she said. “In addition, as climate change continues, it is common for fl ooding to occur on the tracks, under train bridges, and on land along the EJC. As changes to the Newburyport/Rockport Line begin to take place, resilient infrastructure planning along the line will help to alleviate the consequences of changing climate,” she said. “As for the economic factors, current commuter rail fares are unaffordable for the residents of working-class communities like Revere, Lynn, Chelsea and called connections to Wonderland and Encore Boston Harbor “invaluable aspects of the EJC proposal that will reinforce and multiply access to opportunity.” “The casino has already proven to be a major driver of economic development in the region. This will be enhanced by increasing access to the communities of the EJC,” she said. She continued, “Creating a transfer station for the Blue Line and the Newburyport/ Rockport Line will open the door to numerous new economic and commuting opportunities for residents of the EJC. Lastly, in the case of Revere in particular, my community has none of the benefi ts of a regional rail since we do not have a regional rail station. More frequent rail service will also add capacity on a rail line that is frequently unavailable to inner belt communities at peak-periods since trains often arrive in Lynn already fully occupied. To a large extent, this investment would also serve the transportation purposes that would have been provided by the proposed extension of the Blue Line to Lynn at far less cost and for a far greater distance. “In conclusion, the investment in electrifi cation of the Boston to Newburyport rail line will both reduce the burdens and increase the benefi ts of the rail system for the urban communities through which it passes. That is the essence of the environmental justice that has long been denied to Revere and other urban communities, which are among the most economically challenged communities in the Boston Metropolitan Area. These are cities and towns that are still aff ordable and are remarkably diverse.”

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