Local leaders discuss increasing transit services to Springfield residents

The program is scheduled to launch in May of 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Two western Massachusetts congressmen hosted a forum at Springfield’s Union Station Wednesday morning.

“I think transportation is everything,” Congressman James McGovern told 22News.

Stressing just how vital mass transit is to local commuters, is exactly what area elected officials discussed at the conference.

Recent renovations of Union Station to increased transit service offerings were some of the many topics officials spoke to attendees about.

The environmental and economic impact of the New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield rail program was also a major topic of discussion at this conference.

The program is scheduled to launch in May of 2018 and will create roughly 13,000 jobs as well as connect regional travelers with local businesses.

“By next spring, you’re going to have 12 more commuter trains coming from New York,” Congressman Richard Neal told 22News. “To new Haven to Hartford into Springfield’s Union Station and then north as well. You will be able to get to New Haven from Springfield in just about 80 minutes.”

Congressman McGovern told 22News this rail development to create more accessibility shouldn’t stop there and that people need to see the bigger picture.

“We need to increase our rail operations all throughout the region,” said Congressman McGovern. “That means not just in the knowledge corridor but it means that we need not just north south, we need east to west.”

Leveraging transportation investments, the importance of interstate mobility and building first class transportation systems was also discussed.