Regional transit approach should embrace the whole Commonwealth

It’s heartening to learn from Dante Ramos of a burgeoning coalition of leaders from Boston to Worcester taking a regional approach to transportation (“We’ll decode your DNA, but transit is hopeless?” Ideas, June 10). This type of we’re-all-in-this-together thinking is exactly what we need to unlock the economic opportunity that exists in Allston-Brighton and that is so tied to the issue of transit.

Here’s a question, or perhaps more of a challenge: Can we grow this model, and do it sooner rather than later? Untapped economic potential exists well beyond the Boston-Worcester corridor. Can cross-regional elected officials find common ground around the value of high speed rail to Springfield? Around investing in water transit, or South Coast rail? Around supporting regional transit authorities, or bus rapid transit for underserved areas within Greater Boston? Massachusetts is, after all, a Commonwealth. The fates of our residents are intertwined, and few challenges of civic life demonstrate this as clearly as transportation does. As Ramos notes, “we can’t let trumped-up rivalries between different parts of the state hold back investments in our common future.” True for Allston-Brighton, and true across the state. Why wait to work together?

Jesse Mermell


Ths writer is president of the Alliance for Business Leadership.