TransitMatters: South Station expansion unnecessary

Bruce Mohl | Commonwealth Magazine

THE ADVOCACY GROUP TransitMatters says a number of relatively simple changes in commuter rail operations could increase the number of trains moving in and out of South Station and make a planned $2.5 billion expansion of the facility unnecessary.

South Station has 13 tracks that currently serve 20 trains per hour in and out. By increasing the speed of trains coming in and out of the station, dedicating specific tracks for specific train lines, and changing crews more swiftly, TransitMatters said in a report that train throughput could increase to at least 26 to 30 trains per hour in and out.

“South Station expansion is completely unnecessary. The billions of dollars [saved] can pay for an electric fleet,” said Josh Fairchild, the president of TransitMatters, which is known for its pro-transit advocacy and the willingness to dig into the nitty gritty of transportation.