Hello everyone interested in the North-South Commuter Rail! Since the last update we have continued to develop the project, focusing our efforts on the cost estimates and ridership projections.
Over the past month we have refined the capital and operating cost estimates. Capital costs include anything to be completed prior to starting the service. A few examples include building stations, installing crossing signals, and improving the track. Part of the capital cost has included complying with Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations for initiation of new commuter service. These regulations are important for safety, and impact cost by requiring the installation and/or upgrading of rail equipment and infrastructure. In addition to capital costs, the team is developing an estimate for the operating cost of the service. Operating costs include the expenses associated with running a safe and reliable service. Some of the costs the user sees directly (i.e. crew member salaries, train car lease, maintaining stations) and others happen “behind the scene” but are essential to running a safe and reliable service (i.e. train car maintenance, administrative coordination, track inspections).
As stated in the last update, the ridership estimates are being generated by modeling programs provided by AECOM and SEMCOG. Currently we are refining the AECOM model and coordinating with SEMCOG to help generate an estimate. We anticipate sharing our results at a future public meeting.
Please let us know your questions and/or ideas, we appreciate your input. In the meantime, watch this page for the October update!