MBTA considering commuter rail upgrades

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is currently reviewing a variety of options around upgrading their commuter rail system. Specifically, the Authority is considering six options, with price tags of $1.7 billion to more than $28.9 billion.

According to the Gloucester Times, these options do not call for a fare increase. The Authority had a fare increase of 6% in July, and MBTA fare increases are restricted to 7% every two years by state law. Funding options for the expanded system are yet to be determined, but many support a private-public partnership or raising the gas tax.

The basic option calls for additional diesel-powered trains, like the ones that are running now, to allow more frequent service. The ultimate, and sixth, option calls for building an infrastructure that will allow electric-powered trains with departures every 15 minutes.

The electrified system seems to be getting the most support from politicians, as many believe that if a change is going to be made, it should be a resolute one.

Officials were scheduled to meet today to discuss the proposals, and RT&S will continue to report on developments around these expansion proposals.

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Categories: Commuter/Regional, Passenger, Railroad News
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