He’s brought the conversation to the governor’s office and amassed a legion of political supporters. Now Michael Dukakis is bringing his campaign to build a North-South rail link pub-side.
The former Massachusetts governor is scheduled to be the honored guest Wednesday night at the latest installment of Beer + Transit, a monthly meetup for the transportation-and-hops inclined.
Dukakis, 81, had been pushing the decades-old idea of creating an underground tunnel connection between Boston’s North and South stations. In September, former Gov. William Weld and he met with Gov. Charlie Baker to press him on the issue.
To Dukakis, the project makes perfect sense, and he said a chat over beers was another way to get transit thinkers — like those at the meetups, which attract older audience members but skew young — to share his vision.
“We’ve got to rebuild confidence, it seems to me, especially in the young people who will be assuming responsibility for the city,” he said. “All they read about is massive overruns and a screwed up winter.”
Estimates put the project’s cost at $2 to $4 billion.
Nonprofit TransitMatters, which has run the monthly meetups since December, is “definitely behind” the rail link, said Marc Ebuna, co-founder and director of projects and communications.
He couldn’t speak for everyone else who might be there Wednesday night, but said he hopes this and other suds-tinged talks would lead to action. Past speakers include former Transportation Secretary James Aloisi and Chris Dempsey of No Boston Olympics.
“Hopefully we can gain some traction, some momentum, and maybe we can hammer out a vision for transit that is actually visionary,” said Ebuna, 28.
The meet-up, co-sponsored by Young Professionals in Transportation, starts at 5 p.m. at The Merchant in Downtown Crossing.
By Tuesday, 70 had registered online to be there, which Ebuna said was close to capacity. He said tickets would be available at the door, and that he would be streaming the meetup on Periscope.