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MBTA Rules Out Commuter Rail Takeover

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BOSTON (AP) — MBTA management has ruled out the possibility of taking over direct operation of the state’s commuter rail network. Instead, officials say they may seek a longer-term contract with a private operator.

The T’s current contract with Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail expires in June 2013.

Future options include a new short-term contract of 5-10 years with a private operator; a longer-term contract of 10-30 years; or having the T run the commuter rail system itself.

The possibility of in-house operations was raised after last winter’s delays and breakdowns last winter, largely blamed on antiquated equipment.

But acting general manager Jonathan Davis has told the T’s board the so-called “public option” is too risky.

Advocates for a longer-term contract say it would give a private operator time to leverage capital for modernization.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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