Baker backing off on plan to eliminate commuter rail on weekends

Says that he is looking into alternatives to make service more efficient

File photo of MBTA commuter rail

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker is backing away from a proposal to eliminate all weekend commuter rail service.

The Republican said in a statement Monday that his administration is exploring alternatives to help make weekend commuter rail service more efficient and will not pursue proposals to eliminate weekend service altogether.

Baker said he’s worked with lawmakers, labor unions and the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board to help stabilize spending and use the funds to improve the system’s reliability.

He said he hopes the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority continues to pursue other opportunities for savings including working with private sector experts to provide more affordable bus maintenance services.

The proposal to cut weekend service had been heavily criticized. The state’s entire all-Democratic congressional delegation had called on Baker to ditch the plan.

 

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