SCITUATE — Town Administrator James Boudreau reports that the Town of Scituate hosted a “Students for the Greenbush” rally as part of the Town’s ongoing opposition to the MBTA’s proposed cuts to the Commuter Rail.
The rally was co-sponsored by the Towns of Cohasset, Hingham and Hull, as part of the four towns’ Save the Greenbush-Save the Boat campaign. It raised concerns over the many South Shore-based high school and college students who rely on the Greenbush Commuter Rail line to get to and from schools in the Boston area each day.
“This is the end of the line here in Scituate, but it is the beginning of the line for so many students who have to get to their high schools and colleges,” said Karen Canfield, Chair of the Scituate Board of Selectmen. “There are parents who rely on this transportation so their kids can be educated.”
One of those parents is Scituate resident Melanie Coogan, whose son is an eighth-grader at Boston College High School.
“If we didn’t have this train, my son couldn’t go to BC High,” Coogan said. “Both my husband and I work full time in the other direction from the city, so we really don’t know what we would do if service was cut. So many students — plus so many other professionals — would have no way to get to where they need to go.”
Canfield went on to explain the numerous other reasons the Greenbush Line is crucial to the local community, from environmental benefits to allowing for millions of dollars worth of transit-oriented developments to be constructed.
“A perfect example is right across the street, where we are about to break ground on a 72-unit apartment and multi-use complex,” she said. “The only reason it is going there is because the people who live there will be able to get on this train and get into Boston or get to wherever they need to go.”
Diane Kennedy, Chair of the Cohasset Select Board, said many families and commuters would be forced to drive into the city if transit services are cut, leading to even more congestion on area roads.
“I commute by car into the city, and even in this COVID world, it takes me a good hour and 15 minutes to get into downtown Boston from the South Shore,” Chairperson Kennedy said. “If we take the 9,000 people who use the Greenbush and the Ferry every day and put them onto our roads, it really will be devastating.”
Legislators from Scituate’s local delegation, including State Rep. Patrick Kearney, State Rep. Joan Meschino and State Sen. Patrick O’Connor were also on hand to support the cause.
The potential cuts to Commuter Rail service, as part of the MBTA’s Forging Ahead plan, would be in addition to the elimination of the Hingham-Hull Ferry and the elimination of the 714 bus route that runs from Station Street in Hingham to Pemberton Point in Hull.
The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board will present its final recommendation on service cuts during its Dec. 7 meeting. A livestream of the meeting can be accessed by clicking here.