As the T continues to buckle beneath the snowy winter of 2015, everybody wants the trains to get better…fast!

But they won’t, because–believe it or not–it takes longer for the T to put a new passenger coach on the tracks than it did for the United States to put a man on the moon.   

That may be hard to believe, but it’s true.

President John F. Kennedy launched America’s race to the moon in 1961:

“I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth,” said President Kennedy.

Eight years later, in 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong was walking on the moon’s surface.  

Now take a look at the T’s timetable:

According to this contract,  technical specifications for the t’s 284 new cars on the orange and red lines began in 2008.

But the first one of those cars won’t arrive until 2018–ten years after the T decided it needed replacements.

So, it took eight years to get a man on the moon, and ten years to get a car for the T.

And that’s just the first car.   All the T’s new coaches won’t be delivered at once.  Instead, they’ll go into service at a rate of four cars per month, meaning it will take several years after the first car arrives until all 284 on order are running here.

Under the current schedule, the last car planned in 2008 won’t be carrying passengers until 2021, a wait of 13 years.

For years, we’ve been told the T’s biggest problem is money, but it may be time.  Because you could give the T a billion dollars tomorrow, and it would still take years to get any new trains.

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