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MassDOT Says It Will Revisit Estimated Riders For East-West Rail Service

After facing sharp criticism for low ridership estimates for east-west rail, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation says it will take a second look.

The MassDOT had said that based on its analysis, expanded train service would attract between 40 and 820 riders a day.

At a meeting of an east-west rail advisory committee held in Springfield, Ethan Britland, project manager of the study, said the state will revisit the numbers.

"As we heard loud and clear from the advisory committee meeting and the public meeting, we need to look at ridership and forecasting and sensitivity more closely," he said.

Britland said the state will expand the areas the train might draw riders from and look at ridership of additional train lines already in operation for comparison.

Also at the meeting, a group of western Massachusetts local governments and agencies offered their own study on ridership. It estimates more than 2,000 commuters could take advantage of a new train each day.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.
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