Boston Commuter Rail May Lose Night and Weekend Services

According to an article by the Boston Business Journal, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) may have to make serious cuts to their commuter rail service in the upcoming two years.  Like many other commuter rails in the East Coast, Boston’s commuter rail is having financial difficulties and without additional funding, the only solution is to cut services.  The first services to go in Boston’s case will most likely be reducing late night and weekend services.  MBTA fears that eventually all night and weekend services may be completely eliminated.  The cuts in service would heavily effect those wanting to travel into the city during the weekends and for commuters with late-night hours. Passengers are prepared for the inconveniences that come with MBTA’s economic troubles and expect schedule reductions, fare hikes and more budget cuts to plague the commuter line in the years to come.  As of June, MBTA’s total debt is around $5.5 billion.

This story reflects a common trend for commuter trains in today’ economy.  Commuter trains are depended on by workers in major cities across the country, but these same trains are loosing money and are in massive debt.  Weekend services and night services are always the first things to go in situations like this, but hopefully MBTA’s financial situation does not become so dire that they need to cut rush hour services.

As more commuter rail services get cut, an interesting paradox in the nation’s passenger rail system emerges.  Billions of dollars are currently being invested in high speed rail projects, in hopes that Americans can soon enjoy in the luxuries of modern rail travel.  At the same time however; commuters are loosing the ability to use the trains that they need on a daily basis.  The high speed rail initiative is very exciting and very promising, but for commuters in Boston and other similar cities, the prospect of keeping a train schedule without dramatic cuts probably sounds just as exciting.


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