© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Costs High, Ridership Low For East-West Rail Estimates MassDOT

This is a picture of an Amtrak train

    Constructing a passenger rail link between western and eastern Massachusetts would cost billions of dollars while attracting relatively few riders, according to a report issued Thursday by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

    The capital costs for an east-west rail line range from $2 billion up to $25 billion depending on which service alternatives are pursued from Boston to Springfield to Pittsfield.

    The estimated ridership on a high speed east-west rail line is just 820 passengers a day.

     Democratic State Senator Eric Lesser of Longmeadow said the MassDOT rail study is incomplete.

    "There is not a good explanation of the benefits," said Lesser.  " I believe the ridership numbers are dramatically underestimated."

   MassDOT expects to issue a final report with recommendations for east-west rail by the end of May.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.