By Emily Goddard

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority was forced to shut the Boston-area subways and rail service due to massive snowstorms ©Getty ImagesOpposition is growing to Boston's bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, according to a recent poll in the United States city.

The survey conducted by local radio station WBUR, which questioned 505 of Boston's some 645,966-strong population between February 12 and 15, showed 46 per cent of residents do not support the Olympic bid, while 44 per cent do.

The results highlight a growth in opposition of 13 points since its last poll in January this year, when 51 per cent of respondents said they were for the bid and 33 per cent were against.

Steve Koczela, President of MassINC who conducted the survey for WBUR, said the decline in support for the Olympic and Paralympic bid is linked to the collapse of the regional transit system, which the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) shut down this week due largely to massive snowstorms over the past two weeks.

"It has to do with voters now having a new appreciation of how bad the MBTA actually is and seeing the impacts of the storm and thinking there are other priorities in which money would be better spent," he told WBUR.

Respondents of the survey also pinpointed worries over crowds and traffic as reasons behind their disapproval.

Larry Probst, chairman of the United States Olympic Committee, revealed Boston as the US applicant city to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games last month ©Getty ImagesLarry Probst, chairman of the United States Olympic Committee, revealed Boston as the US applicant city to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games last month ©Getty Images

However, those in favour of the Games bid, such as Bostonian Karanjah Gordon, said the Olympics and Paralympics could provide a much-needed boost for the city.

"Definitely the payoffs would be worth it," he told WBUR.

"The revenue is going to be out of this world just by having the Olympics here.

"And the hotels, motels, anything that can be rented, will be rented, and that's a great amount of revenue."

The intensified opposition comes as Boston 2024 announced it will hold 20 community meetings in Massachusetts over the next 20 weeks to answer questions and lobby for the Games bid.

Some are proposed to take place in Boston itself, as well as in Cambridge, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, the South Coast, Springfield and Worcester, with the first scheduled for Monday (February 23) at 6pm EST at the Yawkey Club of Roxbury in Boston.

Details on times and locations of further meetings are expected to be released shortly.

"The purpose of these meetings is quite simple - to listen to the people of Massachusetts and use those conversations to help shape the bid to bring the Games to the United States," Richard Davey, the chief executive of Boston 2024, said.

Rome is the only other city to have already confirmed a bid for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, while other potential campaigns could also come from Germany, South Africa, Budapest, Hungary, Doha, Paris and Baku.

The International Olympic Committee is due to choose the host city at its 2017 Session in Lima, Peru.

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