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Commonwealth of Massachusetts

OFFICE OF SENATOR ERIC P. LESSER


STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, 02133-1053

January 25, 2017


President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
It was recently reported in Massachusetts that an expansion of Bostons mass transit system,
commonly called the T, is on your list of priority infrastructure projects. While I would
welcome this federal investment in my state, I am disappointed that the infrastructure needs of
Western Massachusetts have once again been ignored.
While an expansion of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Green Line would no
doubt be helpful to the residents of greater Boston, I would respectfully urge you to include a
project that would have a transformational impact on Massachusetts and indeed, much of
Western New England: a high-speed rail line between Springfield and Boston.
Upgrading our existing tracks to accommodate high-speed rail, and building the trains to travel
them, would create thousands of high-paying manufacturing jobs across Massachusetts the
very jobs you promised on the campaign trail you would bring back to the United States. Once
they are built, high-speed trains would cut travel time across the state in half, encouraging
thousands more tourists to travel to attractions in Springfield and Boston and boosting revenues
in the respective metro areas. The shorter commute time would also create vast new job and
development opportunities for residents of both ends of the state and everywhere in-between.
You became President after promising to bring jobs specifically manufacturing jobs to the
communities that have been left behind. Western Massachusetts is a region which has a lot in
common with the regions of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin that delivered your
victory. Like them, this region has a rich manufacturing history: Springfield made some of the
worlds most important and innovative products, from Rolls Royce cars to the rifles that won
World War II; Holyoke was nicknamed the Paper City because, for generations, it was the
worlds greatest paper producer; Chicopee and Springfield were home to production of the first
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gasoline-powered automobile made in the U.S.A. You saw this regions manufacturing tradition
first-hand when you visited the former Milton Bradley plant in East Longmeadow in 1989.
But, like the Midwest, Western Massachusetts fell victim to the combined forces of globalization
and technological advancements that forced too many of these jobs to leave our region.
Mr. President, prove to the people of Western Massachusetts that you meant what you said on
the campaign trail. I urge you to add high-speed rail projects, including a line connecting
Springfield to Boston, to your list of priority infrastructure projects. Not only would you deliver
on your campaign promises, but you would leave a legacy of expanding Americas transportation
infrastructure into the future, on the scale of President Eisenhowers investment in our national
highways.
That would be no small feat.

Sincerely,

Eric P. Lesser

CC: Hon. Elaine L. Chao, Transportation Secretary-Designate


Enc: President Donald Trump wants to spend $3 billion to extend Boston's Green Line, by Alban
Murtishi in Masslive, 1/25/17

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