MBTA revives $10 all-you-can-ride weekend fare on commuter rail

MassDOT reports that a $10 weekend fare good for unlimited rides on commuter rail resumes this Saturday.

The T and Keolis launched the fare last summer to see if it would boost weekend ridership on trains that were running anyway, but often with relatively few riders.

During the six-month period these fares were available, 180,000 tickets were sold. This represents 23 percent of weekend sales and a 4.6 percent increase in weekend revenues compared to the same time period in 2017. While weekend construction impacted direct year-over-year analysis, passenger feedback throughout the summer pilot was very positive.

The resumed fare is for riders 12 and up. Adults can take up to two kids apiece with them for free.

The resumed fare does not apply to CapeFlyer trains or event-specific trains to and from Gillette Stadium.

As if it were the Dread Pirate Roberts, MassDOT did not say when it would kill the new fare.

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Comments

Of course they did

Last weekend was my first full weekend off in four months and would have been a good time to take advantage of this, but nooooooo.....

Smart thinking

It cost the state the same regardless of how many ride the train. Might as well get more people on board.

The next thing they should do is drop the fare for reverse rush hour commuters.

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That's a great start.

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That's a great start.

Then they can look into how to reduce the cost of operating the trains, and run them more frequently.

Yes and no

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A lot of weekend trains run with just one conductor and only a few cars open. At a certain point you may need to open more cars and add more conductors, which adds costs (possibly at overtime rates). Also, I suspect a full train takes more diesel to run than an empty one, but I presume that difference is modest.

Hopefully revenue > costs but who knows with the MBTA.

I'd be thrilled if that

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I'd be thrilled if that happened -- more passengers leading to an expansion of capacity.

Even better would be modern trains and stations that only require one employee per train. If the Red Line can do it with 6 cars, why not the Commuter Rail?

One won’t find commuter rail with one employee

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To say the least, you need a driver and someone in the cars. There are safety reasons why there are conductors in with the riders. Just feel grateful you’ve never been in a situation where you needed a conductor.

It's more than that

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To say the least, you need a driver and someone in the cars. There are safety reasons why there are conductors in with the riders

The conductor is in charge and runs the train and is more or less akin to a captain on a ship or airliner. Nothing on the train happens without the conductor's okay and the rest of the crew operates under the conductor's authority. For example, the engineer can't move the train without getting the go-ahead from the conductor (though they can make executive decisions in the event of emergencies, and of course must follow signals, etc. when out on the road).

Simple. Get either legislation or an executive

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order that exempts any commuter rail modernization efforts- such as installing high level platforms and electrifying the system - from the mostly pointless public involvement process and the even more pointless and wasteful environmental study ptocess. Besides funding, these two processes are the biggest impediments to repairing and improving existing infrastructure.

Give it time.

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The T has a skeleton crew right now. Deploying that $8 bil for maintenance is numero uno

Schedule Problems

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My friends and I always think about taking advantage of the commuter rail deals on weekends, but sadly the schedules never align with plans. We can always get somewhere... but then realize return trains are so infrequent or nonexistent for return trips that we always pick other methods.

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17

Sadly this rings true to me

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Sadly this rings true to me as well. Commuter service is too infrequent and outlying trains end up in stations far from most destinations so it's hard to plan a great trip. More frequent service and wayfinding to points of interest that are accessible by foot or local transit connection would go a long way.