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GOV. PATRICK ANNOUNCES FAIRMOUNT LINE SERVICE UPGRADES

BOSTON – Governor Deval Patrick today joined MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey, MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott and state and local officials to announce a package of service upgrades to the MBTA's Fairmount Commuter Rail Line to improve the Line’s reliability, frequency and to increase access to public transit options for area residents.

Governor Patrick announced four improvements being made to the Line, including the implementation of hourly weekend service along the Fairmount line starting this fall, the permanent continuation of the successful pilot fare program introduced last year to align fares on the Line with fares on the MBTA’s rapid transit lines, the MBTA’s issuing of a Request for Proposals (RFP) in December to acquire 30 Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs), the majority of which will be used on the Fairmount line to improve trip frequency and reliability and that construction of Blue Hill Avenue station will resume, with 100 percent design expected in spring 2015.

"We invest in infrastructure to revitalize urban neighborhoods and bolster growth and opportunity across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Patrick. “With this project we are paving the way for future opportunities that will advance economic development in Boston and help build a brighter future for Massachusetts."

The implementation of hourly Saturday and Sunday service will mark the first time weekend service has been offered on the Line. Service will begin November 29, in time for the holiday shopping season.  Fares along the line will cost $2.10 one way, with the exception of Readville, making trips in and out of South Station on the Commuter Rail as affordable as a subway ride.

“The addition of regular weekend service on the Fairmount Line is great news, improving access  to public transportation for area residents,” said Congressman Michael Capuano. “The state’s commitment to purchasing DMUs and using most of them on the Fairmount Line will increase the frequency of service as well as reduce the environmental impact of the trains.”

“MassDOT and the MBTA have worked closely with the Fairmount Line community to find the best ways to improve reliability, frequency and affordability,” said Richard A. Davey, MassDOT Secretary and CEO.  “Today’s announcement delivers on those goals and will lead to broadened opportunity and increased economic growth along the Fairmount Line.”

The procurement for the first 30 Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) will allow for greater train frequency without the expense or time of changing infrastructure. DMUs are self-propelled rail cars that operate along commuter rail tracks and can run either as single cars, or in consists of two and three cars. The MBTA will procure an initial DMU fleet of 30 cars at an estimated cost of $240 million. The RFP is scheduled for release in December 2014, with pilot car delivery in 2018, and complete delivery in 2020. DMUs are planned to operate first on the Fairmount Line.

“The introduction of DMUs on the Fairmount line will reduce travel times and offer more options for travelling in and out of downtown Boston ,” said MBTA General Manager, Dr. Beverly Scott. “Combined with the now permanent reduced fare structure and weekend service, transportation options for residents living in the urban core are growing and improving all around.”

"The MBTA's Fairmount Commuter Rail Line provides access to people in Dorchester and all connected neighborhoods, ensuring reliable transportation to employment opportunities and Boston's shopping centers and restaurants," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "Because of the hard work and dedication of Governor Patrick, Secretary Davey, and Dr. Scott, strong partnerships are unlocking a neighborhood’s full potential and envisioning the future of mobility in Boston."

"The Blue Hill Avenue Station will connect our community with downtown and to the rest of the city, increasing greater access to jobs, services and opportunities," said Senator Linda Dorcena Forry.  "I want to thank the community for their hard work throughout this process. This project will allow Mattapan residents to compete for quality jobs. I want to also thank Governor Patrick, Secretary Davey, General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott and my colleagues in government for their collaborative efforts to make this station a reality.” 

Construction of Blue Hill Avenue Station, close to Mattapan Square, will address a major gap along the Fairmont corridor. This station will provide intermodal links to four bus routes and is only a quarter-mile from Mattapan Square, a major retail hub and also the terminus of the Mattapan High Speed Line offering connections to Milton, Dorchester and the Red Line. The MBTA has worked closely with neighbors and abutters toward a design that will feature a center-island platform between the Fairmount Line tracks. The total project budget is expected to be $25.2 million, funded by an Intergovernmental Service Agreement as an obligation from the Central Artery Project. The project is expected to reach 100 percent design in May 2015 and go out to bid in September 2015. Construction is expected to begin in November 2015 and take approximately two years, with the station opening expected in December 2017.

In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was created to unify the state’s various transportation agencies. MassDOT now includes the Highway Division, the MBTA and Rail Transit Division, the Aeronautics Division, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles.  MassDOT is committed to providing a safe and reliable transportation system to all those who travel in the Commonwealth and works to deliver excellent customer service. MassDOT has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach to transportation, including the Accelerated Bridge Program, the “Where’s My Bus and Train?” apps and “Fast 14” work.  For more information, visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot  blog: http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/, or follow MassDOT on twitter at https://twitter.com/MassDOT and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo.

Contact: Cyndi Roy Gonzalez (MassDOT)
Cyndi.roy-gonzalez@state.ma.us
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