The final route will largely determine if and when it gets built. Murray and Governor Deval Patrick promised during their campaign to extend rail service to the South Coast, but the administration has released few details about the timing or financing. On April 4, the state is scheduled to release its plan for the project, which is estimated to cost more than $800 million.
Is this going to become another Greenbush fiasco?
800 million is a lot of money for a system that says it is broke. Certainly it would be nice to have rail service to New Bedford and Fall River and for that matter Cape Cod as well but the reality is the South Coast has bus service now that seems to meet the demand from those cities. That 800 million could be put to far better use on the existing system.
Maybe it is time for the Commonwealth to consider running the Commuter Rail as a separate entity from the MBTA. To this observer it seems as though Commuter Rail gets far more attention than the core subway and bus in the city when you consider the number of passengers served. Keep in mind the reason the MBTA was created in the first place in 1964 was to help save the existing Commuter Rail service into Boston. That is no longer an issue but the reality is T service inside 128 is the worst it has been in decades.