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MBTA Celebrates Permanent Frequent Fairmount Line Service

Posted on May 10, 2022

Eight additional weekday trips between Readville and South Station operating every 45 minutes will become permanent along with the use of CharlieCards and increased free transfers at Fairmount Line Zone 1A stations.

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak were today joined by Keolis Commuter Services President Gerald Francis, City of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Fairmount Indigo Transit Coalition President Marilyn Forman, and others at Talbot Avenue Station to celebrate permanent additional weekday service on the Fairmount Line.

“The Baker-Polito Administration has demonstrated its commitment to providing safe and equitable transportation options with the new Chelsea Commuter Rail Station, the Green Line Extension, a record amount of spending on capital projects in Fiscal Year 2021, and now with making the Fairmount Line’s more frequent schedules permanent,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler. “We are grateful to the partnerships which have helped us make many customer-service improvements system-wide, and look forward to continuing to take steps with transportation which support the Commonwealth’s transit, economic, climate and public health goals.”

“We’re excited to be able to make these improvements to the Fairmount Line. These permanent schedule additions mean Fairmount Line riders will continue to have better access to recreational, economic, and educational opportunities through increased access to more frequent transit service,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “I want to express my gratitude to the City of Boston for their collaboration on the pilot and these services, and to the community advocates for their strong support for improved service to the line.”  

“We have seen how improvements to frequency of service on the Fairmount Line have created more opportunities for riders in this community. Making these improvements permanent demonstrates the shared and ongoing commitment from Keolis, the MBTA, the City of Boston, and community leaders to provide more equitable access to transit,” stated Keolis Commuter Services President Gerald Francis. “We are grateful to be a part of today’s celebration and for the continuing partnership of all who helped get us to today.”

“Creating permanent frequent service for the Fairmount Line will better connect our communities, improve service, and expand economic mobility for residents in Boston and across the state,” said City of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. “I'm thrilled that the MBTA is making these crucial improvements permanent that help build a transportation system that truly serves our residents, and region.”

“Boston’s black and brown neighborhoods have not had quality access to much-needed transit options for too long,” said Fairmount Indigo Transit Coalition Co-President Marilyn Forman. “That’s finally beginning to change with the new Fairmount Line schedule that becomes permanent today. But let’s not stop there.”

Aiming to create a positive impact on transit equity and to improve riders’ access to opportunities, additional Fairmount Line weekday service began as a pilot in June 2020. Eight additional weekday trips between Readville and South Station operating every 45 minutes were added to the Fairmount Line schedule. 

These additional trips, as well as the use of CharlieCards to pay fares on the Fairmount Line, and the free transfer to Red Line, Silver Line, and local bus service will now become permanent. 

During fall 2021, the MBTA and the City of Boston collaborated on the creation and distribution of a survey for riders of the Fairmount Line with over 150 responses collected. Through data collected during the pilot and survey responses, it was found that the additional trips operating on the Fairmount Line increased ridership by about 25% with most increases coming from riders switching from parallel bus and rapid transit service and a substantial increase from car-based modes. Riders switching from parallel bus and rapid transit service reported that taking the Fairmount Line made their trips substantially faster. Frequency of train service was also the most important aspect of service to Fairmount Line riders.

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