HINGHAM — Dozens of concerned South Shore residents made their voices heard this week at the Hingham Shipyard dock, sending a unified message that the MBTA’s proposed cuts to public transit are unacceptable.
In response to the MBTA’s Forging Ahead plan that would drastically cut Commuter Rail service and eliminate the Hingham-Hull Ferry, residents chanted “Hey hey, ho ho, the Ferry Can’t Go!” and held signs urging the T to rethink the cuts. Riders also harshly criticized the proposed elimination of the 714 bus route, which runs from Station Street in Hingham to Pemberton Point in Hull.
Hull Town Manager Phil Lemnios spoke on what the reduction of the Greenbush line and elimination of the Ferry would mean not only to commuters, but to the South Shore region as a whole. He described the reduction plan as “outrageous” and is asking the MBTA to be more transparent with their data analysis as it relates to the cut.
Town Manager Lemnios was also vocal about the housing and business developments that have been built in recent years around the stations, and that slashing transit services could force homeowners, renters and business owners to leave the area.
“It’s basically taking the ‘transit’ out of ‘transit-oriented development,’” Town Manager Lemnios said. “It would be devastating.”
Weymouth resident Nancy Ryan was one of the commuters present for the demonstration. She said she has been riding the Ferry since the 1990s.
“The Ferry is the best, safest, most reliable way to travel,” she said. “It takes cars off the road and is good for the environment, and you can’t beat the beautiful views. If anything, it’s under-supported.”
Ryan called the Ferry a “true treasure” and said she has made many friends on her rides over the years.
“I know so many people who are just like me and rely on the Ferry, and I have developed close relationships with some of them,” she said. “One day I even forgot my wallet and people were offering to buy me lunch and said I could pay them back whenever. It’s like we’re all family.”
Call to Action
A comprehensive public engagement process has begun and will run through Dec. 4. Officials from Cohasset, Hingham, Hull and Scituate encourage residents to reach out to the MBTA to voice concerns over the proposed cuts and reductions. Click here to view a list of virtual public hearings and to access a feedback form to leave specific commentary. A South Shore-specific meeting is scheduled for Nov. 23.