Governor Deval Patrick today joined Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard Davey and MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott to officially open the Four Corners Commuter Rail Station and celebrate the recent improvements made along the entire Fairmount Commuter Rail Line. The new stations and other improvements along the line are the culmination of years of work between city, state and federal agencies, community activists and development organizations that will improve public transportation in the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan.
“We all know that reliable public transportation translates into jobs, economic opportunity and a higher quality of life,” said Governor Patrick. “I am proud of the tremendous progress we have made in improving the Fairmount Line, but there is more to do to give our residents the 21st century transportation system they deserve. We will continue the fight for reliable roads and bridges, and an efficient and affordable public transportation system.”
MassDOT and the MBTA today also celebrated the openings of the new Talbot Avenue Commuter Rail Station, which opened to customers in November, and the Newmarket Commuter Rail Station, which opened for service July 1, 2013 with Four Corners. Work on the fourth new station of the Fairmount Line Improvements Project, Blue Hill Ave, is expected to begin construction later this summer.
“The significant investments made in the Fairmount Line represent our belief in the transformative power of transportation,” said Secretary Davey. “The improvement of service and addition of stations along the Commuter Rail’s only line exclusively serving the City of Boston will bring opportunities for economic development for the residents and neighborhoods of this great city.”
The station locations were chosen to support improved bus service by reducing overcrowding on existing buses, to relieve traffic congestion on main thoroughfares and to provide an alternative mode of transportation in creating “walk-to” stations for neighborhood residents along the corridor.
The opening of these new stations is accompanied by the return of pre-construction service levels to the line bringing 20 inbound and 20 outbound trips per day down the line and reducing the wait time between trains. Also in an effort to increase ridership, the MBTA is launching a pilot program that will move Fairmount Station into Zone 1A for at least the next 18 months.
The Fairmount Line represents yet another significant investment in public transit by the Patrick Administration. After years of neglect, the MBTA’s existing infrastructure is getting the maintenance and upgrades necessary to keep the system operating in a safe and reliable manner. “State-of-good-repair” spending is approaching nearly $600 million per year. In 2011 and 2012, the MBTA experienced unprecedented ridership growth while introducing subway countdown clocks, smartphone apps for tracking the arrival of buses and trains, mobile ticketing for commuter rail and improved accessibility with new elevators and escalators at various stations.