Marshfield: Officials asked to support restoration of weekend/holiday MBTA commuter rail service

Duxbury resident and former train engineer Richard Prone appeared before the Marshfield board of selectmen Monday night, requesting that they join in with eight other south shore towns to support the restoration of Greenbush, Kingston and Plymouth commuter rail service for weekends and holidays, which has been discontinued since July 2012 due to budget cuts.

Prone says he believes the MBTA should offer financial incentives, rather the raising rates and cutting service, to alleviate the T’s massive debt.

“The T is going about it all wrong in my opinion, about trying to increase their revenue. Instead of raising fares, adding parking fees and discontinuing family fares, they should give the people a bargain they can’t refuse. All those trains that are running all weekend on other commuter rail lines – they got about 100 people or 50 people on them – and they have 800 seats. So every empty seat is lost revenue. So, if you restore the family fares and made the parking free and give the people a bargain, then the train would be packed. I think the math works both for the MBTA and the consumer.”

Prone said state legislators are on board to advocate for restoring weekend and holiday service on the South Shore.

“We have local legislators that are working with us – Tom Calter, Josh Cutler and Jim Cantwell. They will most likely get a meeting with the MBTA and Mass. DOT Board of Directors and try to work something out.”

Marshfield selectmen are taking the matter under advisement.

About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.