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MBTA New Locomotive, North Station, April 16, 2014Fare revenue on the MBTA Commuter Rail system has grown 5.8 percent in Fiscal Year 2016 to date when compared to Fiscal Year 2015.

Commuter Rail is on track for record revenue in Fiscal Year 2016, currently forecast at $215 million. The nation’s sixth busiest commuter rail system has lines going as far south as Rhode Island, as far north as Newburyport, and as far west as Worcester and Fitchburg.

“We are committed to continuing to drive strong revenue growth on the Commuter Rail through enhanced fare collection efforts and use of the latest technology,” said MBTA Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve.

Revenue for the month of May reached $17.8 million. Over the past 16 months, monthly Commuter Rail revenue has averaged $17.4 million.

Last year, 64 new conductors were hired to bolster fare collection efforts and reduce fare evasion. Plans to boost staffing and on-time performance were part of a service improvement agreement between the MBTA and Keolis, which was approved last year by the MBTA’s Fiscal Management and Control Board.

At the April 25th meeting of the FMCB, Keolis presented a new proposal for fare collection that it said would reduce fare evasion on the system while increasing revenue by up to $24 million annually. Under the Keolis proposal, the MBTA fare collection system would be updated to make it easier to buy tickets, but more difficult to evade fares.

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