Lawmakers Consider Dissolving State's Unfunded Rail Transit Authority

Jan 25, 2017

Credit Photo by Tim Cummins via Flickr Creative Commons

Should lawmakers dissolve the unfunded, volunteer-run New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority? That was the question at a House Transportation Committee public hearing Wednesday. 

Last spring, lawmakers voted not to pursue preliminary steps to connect rail line from Boston to southern NH. Now, Republican House member Neal Kurk of Weare told the House Transportation Committee  he wants to eradicate the unfunded group of volunteers tasked by lawmakers with overseeing rail development in New Hampshire.

"As we get autonomous cars and whatever else might be coming along," Kurk said, "this agency really is redundant, this is the 21st century, we don’t need to return to the 19th."

Dozens showed up to testify against Kurk’s bill, saying commuter rail would be a boon to New Hampshire’s economic future, by attracting young families, workers, and tourists to the state.

Although one 2015 poll had three quarters of NH residents supporting the expansion of commuter rail, Governor Chris Sununu made clear during his campaign that he does not support it.