City Councilors Ask Legislators to Prevent MBTA Service Cuts Between Haverhill and Boston

Haverhill City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill will formally oppose cuts in MBTA train service to Boston after one city councilor said service reductions would cause significant problems for residents.

Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua called for action at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. He said cuts will hit Gateway cities such as Haverhill particularly hard.

“Many of our lower income and moderate income people need the MBTA services to go back and forth to the Greater Boston area for their jobs. To have reduced MBTA service out of Haverhill to the Boston area will not only slow the economic recovery but it will also slow the ability of our Haverhill area residents to continue with their employment,” Bevilacqua said.

The MBTA said earlier this month that changes are needed to stem losses and “match service to new ridership patterns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.” Proposed rail service changes include no evening service after 9 p.m., no weekend service, decreased weekday peak service and some midday service, among other changes.

Bevalcqua pointed out it would make it difficult for some people to go into the city on weekends for recreational, medical or other reasons. Councilors unanimously agreed with his suggestion to send a letter to the city’s state legislative delegation expressing those concerns with Councilor William J. Macek calling the MBTA “an essential service” for many residents.

While some commuter rail service changes could take place as early as January 2021, most changes would take place next March.

In separate matter, the Council passed another proposal by Councilor Bevilacqua to ask the mayor to consider funding the recently approved position of diversity officer with money from a Community Development Block Grant. That proposal passed by a vote of 8-1 with Councilor Mary Ellen Daly-O’Brien as the lone dissenting vote.

Comments are closed.