Brockton: Mayor says MBTA cuts threaten downtown development project and residents’ livelihood

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According to Brockton Mayor Linda Balzotti, the city has focused their downtown economic development project around commuter rail service which creates easy access to Boston.

Tuesday night at a MBTA hearing in Brockton, Balzotti explained that by eliminating weekend commuter trains and stopping service at 10PM on weekdays, new businesses will not be enticed to open downtown, “Transit oriented projects like these will be the key to Brockton’s revival but we will not be able to market these developments in that manner as transit oriented if there is no transit.”

The city’s efforts include an $11 million expansion of the Neighborhood Health Center and proposals to develop 252 new units of housing and office space. There are three commuter rail stops in Brockton with one downtown.

Also at the MBTA public hearing,  residents explained that by eliminating the 230 bus and reducing other service, access to Boston will be cut off and jobs will be lost.

Noelle Foye from Brockton stated college students will also be directly affected, “I was one of those students who two nights a week went to the Campello station got on that train and rode it to Boston. By eliminating that late night service, you cut that option for many, many people that are looking to attend night school in Boston.”

Whitman Selectman and MBTA Advisory Board member Dan Salvucci asked officials to consider an alternate proposal.

According to Salvucci, the Advisory Board voted last Wednesday in favor of a scenario that increases fare but doesn’t cut service, “We do agree that the fare increase has to go up but not by 40%, that’s ridiculous; 25% is probably easier, not for everybody but at least they can handle it in their pocketbook.”

The alternate proposal to tackle the MBTA’s $161 million budget gap would also shift ferry operating costs to Mass Port Authority. The MBTA Board of Directors will be voting on changes in April.

There will be another public hearing Wednesday night (March 7th) in Hull at 7PM.

About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.