Published in the June 19, 2015 edition
BOSTON – Continuing on the success of his “Community Conversations” issue discussions, state Senator Jason Lewis announces the third forum in the series, which will focus on challenges faced and opportunities ahead in our public transportation system. “Community Conversations” are issue discussions that are being held in each community of the district over the year. Each forum features a different topic, with ample opportunity for residents to share feedback and have their questions answered by experts on the given topic.
This upcoming event – Community Conversations: Challenges and Opportunities for Our Public Transportation System – will take place on Thursday, June 25, at 6:30 p.m. It will take place in the auditorium of the Galvin Middle School, 525 Main St., Wakefield, which for those using public transportation is best serviced by MBTA bus lines 136 and 137 and is just a short walk from the Wakefield commuter rail stop on the Haverhill line. The forum is sponsored by Senator Lewis in coordination with Wakefield Town Administrator Stephen Maio and State Representatives Paul Brodeur and Donald Wong.
This forum will offer an opportunity to hear directly from experts on the current state and future of our public transportation, a particularly salient topic following the challenges our public transportation system encountered during the historically severe winter weather earlier this year. The panel will include: Frank DePaola, MBTA Interim General Manager; Gerald Francis, Keolis Commuter Services General Manager, and Rafael Mares, who serves on the Executive Committee of Transportation for Massachusetts. There will be ample opportunity for Q&A from audience members.
“Reliable, affordable public transportation is vital to the quality of life and economic strength of our district and region, so I’m very pleased that our next Community Conversation will focus on this important issue,” said Senator Lewis. “The conversations I have directly with constituents across the district are the best source of information and guidance to help me do my job in the legislature. I’m excited about the ‘Community Conversations’ series as each forum provides us with a good opportunity to engage in a substantive dialogue on a timely and important topic.”
“As the trials of this winter demonstrated, reliable public transportation is a very important issue to the residents of Wakefield and our entire region, particularly smoothly-operating bus and commuter rail services,” said Town Administrator Maio. “I appreciate Senator Lewis providing members of our community with the opportunity to hear directly about and ask questions on this topic.”
“Community Conversations” forums held earlier this year included a lively discussion in Malden in April on what would be involved in a Boston-hosted Olympic Games and what impact it would have on communities north of Boston, as well as an informative presentation in Melrose in May on demystifying our state budget. Additional “Community Conversations” in Reading, Stoneham and Winchester will be announced in the months ahead.