After reliability, the next priority has to be supporting mode-shift. We need to get people out of cars into commuter trains, capturing trips that people are already making.
The public is crying out for congestion reduction at rush hour and public transportation can respond to that call. It is time for the deliberations about rail service expansion to zero-in on the one challenge that rail is most likely to be able to meet.
Over the next few months, the board will need to make some more definitive decisions about where, when and how to roll out improvements.
In my view, we need to send the team back to define higher yield options than those currently on the table. The options on the table are actually not efficient from an environmental or economic perspective.
If we could electrify most vehicles and then make all power sources on the grid carbon neutral, we would make the transportation sector (airplanes aside) carbon neutral and much cleaner. How soon could that happen?
MassDOT’s study of how to use our rail assets to provide better service is fully underway with completion targeted for the end of 2019.