While every Democratic candidate for governor supports SouthCoast Rail, every Republican or independent candidate is dragging his heels or outright opposed, as Auditi Guha reports for the New Bedford Standard Times:
Opposed to the rail project in 2010, the campaign of Republican candidate Charlie Baker was vague about his position this time.
“Charlie is committed to taking the idea of a link between the South Coast and Boston from a theory to a reality. The South Coast Rail project is still several years and $2 billion away from providing commuter rail service to the South Coast. If there are ways to achieve the objectives of South Coast Rail sooner and more efficiently, he will aggressively pursue them,” said Jim Conroy, campaign manager in an email.
Charlie Baker is finally getting smart about his opposition to giving people in the economically-neglected Fall River and New Bedford areas another way to get to & from Boston besides traffic-choked Route 24 and I-93. You see, even when the governor is pulling hard for public transportation, projects are hard to get through highway-minded legislatures (just ask Gov. Patrick). If the governor’s indifferent, it’s done for.
Baker knows that as governor, he wouldn’t have to actively kill SouthCoast Rail – in fact, his opposition would only serve as rallying point for its supporters. It’s far easier for Baker to assure reporters he wants nothing but the best for SouthCoast, then should a large meteor strike a Democratic primary debate site and Baker be elected, he could simply study it to death.