Mass. Study Find Higher Ridership Projections

A study of expanded rail service between Boston and Springfield, Massachusetts, has concluded that the service would attract more passengers than previous estimates.

However, the study said there still would not be enough riders for the service to qualify for federal funding.

The latest study projects ridership could be as high as 1,200 per day. Earlier studies had projected ridership ranging from 36 to 800 per day depending on the route chosen, speed of service and how often trains ran.

Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said her agency still believes the service would could cost $2 billion to $25 billion to build, depending on the scope of the project.

At the higher ridership estimate levels the project would fall short of federal requirements balancing costs and benefits.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is reviewing six options for the service and plans to narrow those to three.

It will issue a final report on the project in the fall.

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