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Fairmount commuter rail line to see service boost, some cheaper fares

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  June 24, 2013 03:30 PM

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The MBTA’s Fairmount commuter rail line next month will see service increased, new schedules, and cheaper fares from one station, officials from the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company announced.

Six new daily round trips will be added and other schedule changes made after the recent opening of two new stations on the line, Newmarket and Four Corners / Geneva Ave., the announcement emailed to riders Monday said.

Fares from one station, Fairmount, will be lowered from Zone 1 rates, which cost $5.50 per trip, to Zone 1A rates, which cost $2 per trip, according to the announcement.

The fare adjustment means that trips between all stations on line cost $2, with one exception: traveling the entire line from Readville to South Station or from South Station to Readville will cost $6.

The changes take effect July 1, the announcement said.

In recent months, the MBTA has opened three new stations along the 9.2-mile Fairmount Line, bringing the total number of stations to eight including South Station.

The Talbot Avenue station opened last fall. Newmarket and Four Corners / Geneva Ave. stations opened this spring and summer. One more station, the Blue Hill Avenue Station is planned to be added.

The new stations are part of the Fairmount Commuter Rail Rehabilitation Project, which launched in 2005, included other rehabilitation work and improvements and is expected to cost $135 million altogether, state officials have said. The project aims to boost ridership along the line by providing an alternative for commuters who live and work around the corridor.

Among the MBTA’s dozen commuter rail lines, the Fairmount is the shortest distance-wise, has the lowest ridership and is the only one that exclusively serves Boston.

The railway runs from South Station through Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan and Hyde Park, where it ends at the Readville Station.

The Boston and New York Central Railroad opened the Fairmount Line, then called the “Midland Railroad,” in 1855 as one of Boston's first passenger railroads. In 1944, passenger service was shut down due to competing railways that caused ridership to dip. Freight service continued on the line. The MBTA reopened it for passenger service in 1979.

For more information on the line, fares and its new schedule, click here.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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