Linking Commuter Rail to Jobs, Housing, and Opportunity in Eastern Massachusetts
An In-Depth Look
Research Director Ben Forman offers an in-depth look at the rich potential of New England small cities’ transit infrastructure in “Linking Commuter Rail to Jobs, Housing, and Opportunity in Eastern Massachusetts,” published this week in the American Prospect.
Forman champions the virtue of these cities’ land—expansive, close to transit, and ripe for new development—but laments the ongoing struggle of convincing developers of their merit. In part due to the costly compliance measures that come with rebuilding the cities’ antiquated structures, these small cities seldom receive the investment that Boston often does. Consequently, employment growth has increased in newly revitalized areas of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville at the expense of the suburbs.As a solution, Forman outlines a plan to drive investment near existing commuter rail stations—breathing new life into the old mill towns that the railways were originally built to serve.