Selectman Fisher Urges Hingham Residents to Oppose Proposed Major Ferry and Commuter Rail Service Cuts

Photo courtesy of MBTA
October 14, 2020 by Carol Britton Meyer

Facing the potential elimination of ferry service and major cuts to the Greenbush commuter rail line, State Rep. Joan Meschino (D-Hull) and State Sen. Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) are leading the charge to oppose what they call proposed "draconian" service cuts.

Both legislators are working closely with the towns of Hingham, Hull, and Cohasset to rally citizens to join the effort. See related link:

"The MBTA has been looking at possible service reductions or terminations with respect to the ferry out of Hingham and with respect to Greenbush commuter rail service," Selectman Joseph Fisher said at last night's board meeting. "And this is more than just a rumor."

Fisher plans to work with Meschino, O'Connor, Town Administrator Tom Mayo, residents such as ferry advocate Martha Bewick, and Hingham's MBTA Advisory Board representative to focus on actions that can be taken to try to stop the proposed cuts.

"What Joan Meschino is looking to have us do is to participate in a write-in campaign, sending messages saying how important Greenbush and ferry services are to our residents, businesses, and neighboring communities," Fisher said.

He went on to say that Hingham officials have been working to attract more Smart Development -- which refers to building close to transit centers -- to town. "They did that at the Hingham Shipyard [which is located near the Hingham commuter ferry terminal], and now the MBTA is threatening to remove that service. This is a real problem. Once any service is halted, it will be gone -- at least for years," Fisher said.

The Selectmen plan to send a letter to the Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation and the MBTA to make their voices heard on behalf of the town.

A remote MBTA board meeting with the transit authority's finance committee is planned for next Monday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m. Information about the meeting will be posted on the town website,  including how residents can attend virtually. The MBTA is not expected to accept public comments at the meeting, but it is open to public attendance.

Concerned residents may call the Massachusetts Dept. of Transportation at (857) 368-1655, leaving a phone message by no later than 11 a.m. on Oct. 19 -- to be shared with MBTA board members at the meeting that evening.

The situation is serious, Fisher said, because the MBTA is "likely to act before the end of this calendar year, and these proposed cuts and termination of service could be implemented soon thereafter. We need to mobilize, and we need to act now."

Fisher noted that the MBTA's criteria for proposed service cuts is not based on how public transportation helps to save the environment or how many cars are taken off the road when their owners take public transportation. Those and other factors should be considered, he said.

It was noted that statistics show that about 18 percent of ferry riders from Hingham to Long Wharf  are older citizens. "These proposed cuts would affect many of us -- some cuts may be necessary, but I want to ensure that the interests of our community are respected," Fisher said.

Selectmen Chair Mary Power emphasized that the next several weeks will be crucial to the effort to stop the proposed cuts and asked that a ferry-related item be placed on every board agenda during that time and that Meschino, O'Connor, and other individuals be asked to speak.


7 thoughts on “Selectman Fisher Urges Hingham Residents to Oppose Proposed Major Ferry and Commuter Rail Service Cuts”

  1. Please do not do away with the Hingham Ferry.
    I live in Hewitts Landing and have always used the ferry to go into Boston.
    The Ferry was one of the reasons I moved here as it brought easy access to Boston without the use of a car.
    I am sure that any issues with the Ferry are due to the virus. Hopefully with a new administration, science will bring about a vaccine and we can all get back to enjoying life as it should be.

  2. I second Rosalyn’s comment about one of the reason’s I moved to Hewitt’s Landing at the Shipyard was because of the MBTA ferry to Boston. I use the ferry to go to Boston and to Logan airport. It’s an enjoyable and easy way to get into the city and airport without the use of a car. It’s efficient, saves time, and a beautiful way to commute to access the city for recreational purposes.

  3. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater! So many transit-centered businesses have been developed in the area. If the MBTA cuts the reason that these businesses were developed, it will send a very, very pointed and detrimental message to future sustainable planning. This will devastate the South Shore for the very reasons that most of its population moved here in the first place. From a planning and community development standpoint, starving a such a large investment makes zero fiscal sense.

  4. This is outrageous!… a shortsighted and ill-considered assault on the viability of the South Shore’s convenient commute, and a long term degradation of the environment as more cars are forced onto the roads.

  5. In a time where businesses are struggling and roads are already overcrowded, I find it disgusting that some people are looking to offer fewer ways into Boston to support businesses & restaurants, while making commute times throughout the day far worse than they currently stand. The roads in this state are already overly congested. This would just worsen that tenfold. This is not a move that the state can afford to make.


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