The Walsh administration is proposing a pilot program for the Fairmount Line that would increase the frequency of trains, effectively a scaled-back version of the proposal state Rep. Evandro Carvalho pitched earlier this year.
As presented to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, the mayor said the pilot would improve service along the line, corresponding with goals laid out in the transit and city master plans Go Boston 2030 and Imagine Boston 2030.
“One fifth of Boston’s population lives along this nine-mile stretch. And 83 percent of those folks are black and Latino. They deserve better service and from an economic perspective, they’re an underutilized workforce in our city that we need to activate,” Walsh told reporters at the business breakfast.
Carvalho’s bill, H.2723, which had a hearing on Monday, aims to boost ridership and access along the 9.2-mile line during a two-year pilot in which the trains would run every 15 minutes at peak times.
A source within the Walsh administration with knowledge of the mayor’s plan said the idea will also focus on the frequency principle, but within the constraints of a more standard MBTA pilot. This would be an 11-month window and using trains already available.
“Today, residents in Dorchester, Mattapan & Hyde Park – the residents on the Fairmount Line – have some of the longest commutes and the highest transportation costs of any neighborhoods in Boston,” the mayor’s office said in a release. “By increasing the frequency of train service on the line, the City aims to increase access to good employment and cultural and recreational opportunities for thousands of residents in this corridor.”
The MBTA’s Fiscal Management and Control Board would need to review any pilot proposal.
Information from the State House News Service was used in this report.