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Governor Patrick, Fairmount Line Upgrades, October 16, 2014Governor 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.

“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.”

MBTA Fairmount Line Blue Hill Avenue StationConstruction 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.

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