The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) released a commuter study to better plan infrastructure, future technology and future service needs to serve communities now and in the years to come. This is part of the transit agency’s Commuter Rail vision which is underway for bus, subway and ferry. Current commuter rail service limits the potential to grow ridership during off-peak times with the overwhelming majority of trips made during peak commuting hours and in peak directions. Additionally, it also limits the potential to encourage reverse commuting and to provide frequent connections between gateway cities and Boston.
"The study's results will identify the most cost-effective strategy for leveraging the MBTA's rail network to meet new trends in travel..."
"Now is the appropriate time to think about the future needs of people in terms of our Commuter Rail system," said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack ( @MBTA ) "Commuter Rail is going to play a more important role than ever before in the years ahead as people seek to reduce their carbon footprint, look for more efficient travel options, and strive for more life-work balance by putting the time spent commuting to good use in either relaxing or finishing up with office responsibilities. The FMCB and MBTA management team hope to look at housing, real estate, and other factors that will have an impact on the demand for Commuter Rail."
In launching a Commuter Rail Vision study, the MBTA and MassDOT seek to understand the likely demand for changes to service in order to strategise the best ways to utilise current resources, plan for infrastructure needs, understand potential customer demand, and think about the impact of new technology on transit options. The study's results will identify the most cost-effective strategy for leveraging the MBTA's rail network to meet new trends in travel and address the economic growth needs of the Greater Boston region.
The Commuter Rail Vision study is planned to examine a wide variety of topics, such as the type of fleet needed to optimise the existing network and deliver new service; the system upgrades needed to accommodate various service expansions; if some sections of the network should be electrified, and where potential new stations should be located. Commuter Rail network planning and design efforts (including the possible South Station Expansion project, the South Coast Rail project, and the North South Rail Link Feasibility Re-assessment), and various plans to consider new stations on the network.
This study, led by the Office of Transportation Planning and supported by MBTA Railroad Operations, is proposed to take place between two to two and a half years with a $3 million funding budget This schedule positions the MBTA to have identified a service model that can inform and be incorporated into a new operating contract.
Read more about the report here.
If you are interested in putting the passenger at the forefront of transit planning, then you'll like SmartTransit taking place in Baltimore, MD - October 24th & 25th 2017
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