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The Planning Process

Scope of Study

The NEC FUTURE program will identify and evaluate a full range of alternatives to meet the region's long term transportation needs. The study will provide sufficient information to support an FRA decision to fund and implement a major investment, or investment in a series of projects, in a passenger rail corridor. The scope of study has two major components:

  • A Service Development Plan (SDP) that articulates the overall scope and quantifies the specific benefits and costs for proposed intercity, commuter and freight rail alternatives, and
  • A Tier I Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that addresses the broad environmental effects for the entire corridor along the route of the proposed service.

Together, these components form a Passenger Rail Corridor Investment Plan (PRCIP), in accordance with the guidelines established by the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA). The PRCIP is a foundation for future project development including engineering design, Tier 2 environmental reviews, environmental permitting and construction.

Scoping Process Graphic