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

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

Feb 6, 2020

The first cost estimates to construct new rail service connecting Boston, Springfield, and Pittsfield range from $2 billion to $25 billion depending on which service options are included. Estimated ridership ranges from 820 passengers a day to 36, again, depending on what service is offered.
Credit wikipedia.org

    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.