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