June 22, 2020 (BOSTON, MA) – Starting today, the MBTA will pilot a program to increase service on the Fairmount Commuter Rail line which runs through Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan and Hyde Park. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Fairmount Indigo Transit Coalition released the following statements in response.
“For too long, Boston’s black and brown neighborhoods have not had quality access to much-needed transit options,” said Staci Rubin, Senior Attorney at CLF. “This pilot is a great start, but these communities deserve the same level of transit as affluent areas like Back Bay or Beacon Hill. We’ll continue to advocate for the Fairmount Line to run as frequently as the T’s subway lines and to be electrified to improve air quality and fight the climate crisis.”
The Fairmount Line has seen a significant increase in passengers since CLF succeeded in getting stations built in Dorchester and Mattapan. Boston is also offering free student passes, which has further increased ridership. The pilot will result in eight additional weekday trips on the line, allow riders to pay using their CharlieCard, and transfer at no additional cost to the Red Line and Silver Line at South Station.
“Patience and persistence are good ingredients in the recipe for success,” said Marilyn Forman, Fairmount Indigo Transit Coalition Co-Chair and Lead Organizer, Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation. The Codman Square Neighborhood Development has been a partner for years in seeking the idea of a public transit commuter rail system that travels along the inner city, in our neighborhoods of color. It’s been a long time coming, and now it is a reality. We want to thank the MBTA for hearing the voice of the people and working with us to eliminate barriers that still made the line inadequate.”
CLF and the Fairmount Indigo Transit Coalition are calling on officials to eventually electrify the line and transition it to subway-like service.
Experts are available for further comment.