The commuter rail has many advantages over driving but it isn’t as cost effective as it could be if it were not for the years of neglect in favor of expansion and if the MBTA really took the time to look at what is wrong with the Commuter rail system.
- The MBTA with regards to capital improvements for the commuter rail should look at the companies that run along the rail beds of the different lines to see if they need to expand and if the expansion could be done at the existing location with being able not to just abut the rail bed but lease the air rights over and abut on both sides of the rail bed to help them expand. Do this in an attempt to divert money from capital improvements to commuter rail expansion while looking to see if the companies that will abut the new rail bed would consider expanding over and onto both sides of the rail bed to make it more cost effective for both the MBTA and the companies looking to expand . Along with attracting businesses to locate close enough to the station being built for it to beneficial to both the companies and the MBTA in an attempt to split the cost of the expansion.
- The commuter rail has an aging fleet of engines and rail cars that are slowly becoming unusable due to the age and the equipment being rebuilt repeatedly to the point that some equipment cannot be rebuilt any more along with toughening environmental laws. The MBTA should think about adapting an advertising idea that they have been using on the local bus lines. Where the commuter rail can be seen from the skyscrapers and runs along the various highways and through cities and towns, with the trains being visible for a good stretch, make them mobile billboards like what the MBTA did with the buses by wrapping them in the advertisements. In this case wrap each rail car in an advertisement whether each car has its own ad or the whole train being used for a single ad. If this is actually able to make money then put that money directly into the commuter rail system to buy new equipment to replace the aging equipment.