MBTA Boston Commuter Rail

MBTA commuter rails may soon be electrified

Krystle Boyajian
July 04, 2018 - 8:45 am

By 2050, Massachusetts is required by state law to have reduced its carbon emissions by 80 percent below the 1990 baseline level. With the state’s transportation making up about 39 percent of all emissions, it’s no wonder that the MBTA is looking for a more sustainable future.

One of their first steps is electrifying the commuter rail. Last May, the State Senate took the first steps toward electrification by backing a study on the electrification of the rail system set to be completed in 2019. Within the next few years, the State could begin electrifying the Providence and Fairmount lines, as is proposed in their next fiscal year’s budget.

Electrifying the rails would not only lower carbon emissions but it would also allow for faster service and more trips, perhaps with trips every 15-30 minutes. However, the electrification would require infrastructure to be built on both sides of the track, which could prove to be difficult for the MBTA. But, with more frequent trips the rails could gain more riders, taking more cars off the road and leading Massachusetts to a more sustainable future.

Entercom's 1Thing Sustainability Initiative promotes positive environmental practices and living. We know that if everyone did just 1Thing to improve the environment every day, our world would be a better place to live in for generations to come.