New Bedford needs to prepare for South Coast Rail while we still have Governor Deval Patrick in office. That's the word from former New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang, who urged legislators and business leaders in the city this morning to lobby for funding to reconstruct hazardous freight lines throughout the area.

Lang says the $154-million initiative would set the stage, ensuring New Bedford is a frontrunner for South Coast Rail in the near future.

Lang says any move forward is a good one, considering how far behind schedule the project already is.

Lang says Governor Patrick is only in office for two more years, and South Coast Rail can become a reality under his leadership.

Lawmakers say the cost is coming close to $2-billion to bring commuter rail to the Southcoast.