Monday, February 27, 2012

An Urgent Message from the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce...

We are taking a break from our usual arts-related posts to draw your attention to a very serious local matter. Losing weekend commuter rail service would be a step backward for Cape Ann in so many ways. Please take a moment to review the following information, sent courtesy of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce:
Hate driving into Boston?  
You may have to start if commuter rail weekend service is cancelled.  
Help make the voice of Cape Ann businesses heard in Boston!

Make sure that decision-makers in state government know how you feel about the impacts of proposed cuts in rail service and increases in fares here on Cape Ann. The MBTA has proposed the elimination of all weekend rail service and all weekday service after 10 pm, effective July 1, 2012.  MBTA officials have also recommended fare increases for rail and other public transit services, ranging from 35% to 45% for rail passengers.

Your Chamber's Board of Directors is especially concerned that the proposed weekend rail service cuts would heavily impact Boston to Cape Ann day trips, especially during the prime visitor period from Memorial Day through Labor Day. During this same time frame, there would be a corresponding increase in automobile traffic, further straining Cape Ann's limited parking capacity, particularly at beaches and in downtown retail districts, and significantly worsening traffic congestion during peak travel periods.

A final recommendation on fare increases and service reductions is expected to be made to the MBTA's Board of Directors this spring and any changes are to be implemented on July 1, 2012.

The MBTA will continue to accept public comment through March 12, 2012.

By mail to:                    MBTA  
Attention: Fare Proposal Committee
                      Ten Park Plaza
Boston, MA  02116

Written comments directed to MBTA leadership should be addressed to:

Richard A. Davey, Secretary and C.E.O.               Jonathan R. Davis, acting General Manager
Massachusetts Department of Transportation       MBTA
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160                                      10 Park Plaza, Suite 3910
Boston, MA 02116                                                   Boston, MA 02116