Advocacy groups urge T not to extend rail deal

cb9464748b27b1ae79268431ea272bb6
NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

A band of advocacy groups is asking the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail and the MBTA not to renew contracts with an international transit stakeholder because of the stakeholder’s alleged involvement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

According to speakers at Wednesday’s MassDOT/MBTA board meeting, Veolia Transport, the largest private sector operator of transit in North America and Europe, is involved in illegal and immoral activities.

A letter sent to MassDOT officials claims Veolia “engaged in criminal activity and human rights violations,” with operations in the West Bank in Palestine, territory under Israeli military occupation and colonial settlement.

The groups accuse Boston’s MBCR of supporting these activities.

Advocates asked Hub officials to end contracts with Veolia in 2012, when the current deal expires.
A joint letter from the groups claims Veolia is running services that allow “segregated, Jewish-only bus lines” and “facilitating … Israel’s illegal settlement activity.”

Veolia is the majority partner of the MBCR, under contract to the MBTA. 

MBCR spokesman Scott Farmelant said the commuter rail operator “absolutely” plans on bidding in the public process for a contract renewal in 2012, despite claims.

According to the T, public bidding will go on accordingly, whether MBCR bids or not.

“The T is in the business of delivering safe transit services to … Greater Boston,” said a spokesman. “It doesn’t take positions on foreign political matters.”

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…