New commuter-rail station to open on Fairmount Line in Mattapan tomorrow

State officials say a final round of inspections today cleared the Blue Hill Avenue stop on the Fairmount Line to open to passengers tomorrow.

The station, about a quarter mile north of Mattapan Square, will have Zone 1A fares, which means riders can get into town for $2.25 one way or $84.50 for a monthly pass.

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That's awesome! Zone 1A

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That's awesome! Zone 1A should definitely rate a free transfer to local bus and subway service, and vise versa, just sayin!

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Voting closed 13

The Monthly Pass is a "free transfer" (sometimes)

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The Zone 1A monthly pass is the same price as the "Link" (subway-bus) pass and is therefore valid on all subway and local bus lines. Plus it's valid on the Charlestown Ferry.

The big drawback is that you can't load a commuter rail pass onto a Charlie Card. If you buy a Zone 1A pass at one of the T's vending machines, you get one of those paper tickets. And often, halfway through the month, the ticket's magnetic stripe gets damaged and it's no longer readable. So you have to convince every bus driver and subway "ambassador" to let you ride with the ticket that's legible to the human eye but not to their machines. I once had that happen for several months in a row.

If you go to North Station, South Station, or Back Bay Station, you can buy a commuter rail pass onto a plastic magnetic-stripe ticket, which tends to last longer. And supposedly there's a way to get a one-time Charlie Card every month with the commuter rail pass printed on it in ink, but they don't advertise how to do that.

Oh yes, you can also use the T's app to load a commuter rail pass onto your smart phone. But the buses and subway stations don't have anything to read the pass off of your phone.

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Voting closed 8

This is why the new fare AFC

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This is why the new fare AFC system needs to roll out ASAP. It should be addressing all of these issues.

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I buy a monthly Zone 1A pass online each month

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from the MBTA website to commute between Back Bay and South Station (it's free inbound and they only check occasionally outbound on my early-morning train, but good to have).

You have to order it by the 22nd of the month, and the T will mail it to you. But the upside is that it is a plastic card, which is why I put up with the inconvenience of ordering it online each month (I don't trust the paper tickets to last 30 days). You can opt for the T to send you a reminder e-mail to order each month.

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Voting closed 6

If you get a weekly printed

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If you get a weekly printed Link pass or a zone 1A monthly pass, you get a free transfer. Still will be faster to take the 31 north to Forest Hills for most people than take a bus south to transfer to commuter line.

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Is this the last one?

Is this opening the end of the Fairmount Line expansion project, or are there still other stations either planned or under construction?

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Voting closed 2

No more stations

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Is the expansion project finished? One might say that the DMUs haven't been ordered yet, which were key to increasing frequency. Regardless of how they do it, increased frequency was the other aspect of the program.

But all the proposed stations have been opened.

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DMUs

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Have been scrapped by Charlie last I heard.

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However

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Since they were originally a part of the project, they are worth noting.

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DMUs came up afterwards

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The four new Fairmount Stations: now currently shoot-up spaces and homeless shelters: are failures on their own. They're faulty CLF Big Dig mitigation proposals that didn't consider service: long haul locomotives that start and stop every few miles. The DMU concept was brought in to fix the Fairmount service issue.

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Voting closed 2

The Fairmont Line

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Is not a success do to low ridership. The stations are often vandalized and attract drug abusers seeking refuge from the police. The MBTA has to make sure the stations are safe and secure before they can attract more riders.

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Voting closed 17

Low ridership?

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Low ridership?
Attract more riders?

Increase service. Increase frequency.

THAT will be more attractive, and having more people/activity more often will help the environment of the stations.

I don't ride the line much these days. My hours and especially after-work needs generally don't work well with it. I'd love to be able to reduce car expenses (and avoid the havoc of bus/subway transfers) and take the train at least once a week. The SERVICE just isn't up to it, though. Look at the rush hour timetable - 45 to 50 minute headway. That just doesn't cut it.

I'd love it to be an actual rapid transit line where service was so frequent (peak 5-10 minutes, off-peak 20 minutes) and reliable that I'd almost never take my car to work, but that's not gonna happen. Not in the 15-20 years I have left before retirement, anyway.

This crappy service - this is AFTER they rebuilt the whole line 15-16 years ago. Yes, they've added stations, made things ADA-compliant, and added weekend service - and yes, safer/better lit. Those are all improvements. That doesn't excuse reducing peak service. Yes, reducing. In 2002, rush hour service was 30 minute headway.

I know we're not going to turn that into a real rapid-transit line, but still running regular-size train consists (locomotive & and at least five coaches (three of them locked)) on this line is ridiculous. They should do the signal work and get the DMUs or whatever else is needed to run more frequent, smaller consists.

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Voting closed 27

Part of the problem is that

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Part of the problem is that the line goes through a comparative backwater.

Compare Fairmount: https://goo.gl/maps/jyVHRivVaMs
and Hyde Park: https://goo.gl/maps/i2RSiPyfmX32

Why does Fairmount get so much more service?

The transit demand is on corridors like Blue Hill Ave, Hyde Park Ave, and Washington St, not along this rail line.

Of course, if we had DMUs, we could have commuter rail service that was frequent *and* scaled to ridership (i.e. cost-effective).

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Voting closed 5

Huh?

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You do know that those two stations are a quarter mile apart. Walking distance.

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A quarter mile makes a big

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A quarter mile makes a big difference (and I measure it as more like .4 miles). Would you rent a parking space a quarter mile from your house, if one was available across the street?

I chose those examples because so much about them is similar -- distance from downtown, etc. But other stations along the Fairmount line are farther from the dense corridors, and might have made better examples.

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A few more things

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First, your measurements are probably better.

But you do realize that Hyde Park station sees more trains (4) between 7 and 9 AM than Fairmount station does (3,) which would seem to indicate a more frequent service.

I cannot deny that the T would be better served by putting resources along the Hyde Park Avenue and Blue Hill Avenue corridors, but if they actually upped the frequency, if only to a train every 15 minutes peak, the Fairmount line could see a lot in new housing along the line, which would feed the success of the service.

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"backwater"?

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"backwater"?

...smh...

One of the great things about this new station finally being completed - a one-seat ride between Mattapan and part of downtown (financial district/Fort Point, anyway). Also, the better chance of actually getting a seat.

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Cool.

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It would be a lot cooler if it went all the way to Woburn. #Regionalrail.net

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I'm really confused

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Was there ever a plan to go to Woburn? That's pretty much in the opposite direction.

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Patrick proposed a DMU Woburn Line. The CLF went ballistic

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The Patrick administration proposed a DMU line running from Woburn-Anderson (I-93, I-95 P&R) to Boston's North Station. The line would run in the Somerville GLX corridor. The Conservation Law Foundation went on an anti-DMU tear. A Woburn DMU line costing $500 million with no bridge closures. The Medford GLX costing $2 billion with several bridge closures. Patrick wanted both. CLF thought it was us vs. them.

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Voting closed 10

Funny

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I like to think I follow local transit well, growing up reading the Southwest Corridor News as a pre-teen, but I’ve never seen anything about DMUs to Woburn. Fairmount, yes. I even remember reading about DMUs going out to Allston. Would you be able to link to any articles about this proposal, or are you pulling that out of your GLX hating behind?

Also, how would the DMUs get from Readville to Woburn, anyways?

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Once again

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Where might I learn more about this train line that was going to go from Hyde Park to Woburn, via 2 unconnected lines?

Fairmount DMU? Read about it. Allston DMU? Same. Track 61 DMU? It was linked to the other two, mainly because, well, one can get from A to B.

Woburn DMU? Still looking for a link to something other than a post you made here a year or 2 ago claiming the GLX will ruin commuter rail service.

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DMUs should actually run on all lines within the 128 belt

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ending in such exotic locations as 128/University Park, Readville, West Natick, Waltham (or South Acton or even Littleton/495 with added parking garages), Anderson/Woburn and Salem/Beverly. This would allow the legacy locomotives and cars to be used for the longer hauls.

Getting the inner belt stations down to a 30-minute headway should be the ultimate goal (15 min. during rush hour?) Whether or not there are enough slots (especially on the Northeast Corridor) to handle the increased train traffic remains to be seen. In a perfect world, the Orange Line would be extended to replace the Needham Line (and Blue to at least Lynn).

The only way to connect the Fairmount Line to Woburn would, of course, be the North-South Rail Link, and electrification and high platforms are most logical for the inner belt, but baby steps...

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We need good (i.e. frequent)

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We need good (i.e. frequent) service from Dorchester to downtown. Not bad service from Dorchester to Woburn.

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Everyone wishes for home to office, door to door service.

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With zero concern of what the cost and ridership would be. People babble about trains from Lawrence to Brockton (those drugs don’t mule themselves), but how would that work? What if you want to go from Lawrence to Providence? Do you have one train from every northern line do one trip down a southern line? Now you have frequency problems much larger than those above and everyone is still unhappy. I recommend working closer to home or moving.

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