Monday, January 28, 2013

Gov. Patrick highlights commitment to South Coast Rail

Governor Patrick joins local officials, business and community leaders to discuss the importance of investments in transportation and education for the South Coast at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Governor Patrick joins local officials, business and community leaders to discuss the importance of investments in transportation and education for the South Coast at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Eric Haynes / Governor’s Office

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick joined state and local leaders in New Bedford, Mass., to highlight the administration's commitment to South Coast Rail as a key component of an investment plan to grow jobs and expand economic opportunity.

The governor's plan includes the completion of the South Coast Rail Line with diesel-fueled commuter trains to connect Boston to Fall River and New Bedford. The $1.8-billion investment is expected to create 3,800 jobs and generate $500 million in new economic activity statewide annually. The plan includes a $1-billion annual investment in the commonwealth's transportation system to maintain the current transportation assets and launch a number of high-impact transportation projects across Massachusetts that, if built, will create thousands of jobs and spur economic development across the commonwealth.

"Opportunity is too important to leave to chance, but opportunity requires growth and growth requires investment. We have made a commitment to bring commuter rail to the South Coast because we know this will unlock new economic development opportunities while delivering a reliable transit choice for commuters, with huge environmental benefits," said Gov. Patrick. "Working with our partners in the legislature, business community and cities and towns, we will invest in education, innovation and infrastructure to create a stronger commonwealth for this generation and the next."

Investments supporting South Coast Rail to date include the completed rebuilding of three New Bedford rail bridges funded by a $20-million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant, along with the completion of a historic agreement with CSX Transportation to purchase 30 miles of track from Taunton to Fall River and New Bedford necessary for South Coast Rail.

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