Ugh, MBTA commuter rail service. The Reimagined Commuter Rail: Electric Cars, Shorter Wait Times, and Better Accessibility It's an ambitious plan, but it's not totally clear how the whole thing will get funded. Distance charges or zone pricing may be used.. The first piece that needs to be mentioned (I have a blog post sitting in a half-finished state about this somewhere) is that MBTA commuter rail grew four-fold between 1980 and 2000, a much faster rate than any other commuter rail system.
Contrast that with Commuter Rail systems deployed by peer agencies, such as New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Long Island Railroad, which has long used swift, self-propelled electric commuter train sets on the majority of its vast network.

Commuter trains are either powered by diesel-electric or electric locomotives, or else use self-propelled cars (some systems use both). Commuter rail, or suburban rail, is a passenger rail transport service that primarily operates within a metropolitan area, connecting commuters to a central city from adjacent suburbs or commuter towns. The transit agency’s Fiscal and Management Control … And today the MBTA Commuter Rail system still exclusively uses a locomotive that pulls or pushes passenger rail cars. The MBTA’s oversight board wants the commuter rail to run more like an urban subway system — eventually. Generally commuter rail systems are considered heavy rail, using electrified or diesel trains.

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