MassDOT Secretary/CEO Richard A. Davey announced the restoration of weekend commuter rail service on three lines beginning this winter.
“Our customers have consistently asked for more transportation options, not fewer,” said Davey. “Today, we are happy to announce that three Commuter Rail lines will once again offer service on the weekends, opening up more transportation options and opportunity for the communities they serve.”
The announcement signals a return to the services previously provided to these three lines: Saturday and Sunday service to the Kingston/Plymouth and Greenbush lines and Saturday service to the Needham line. The schedules serving the area will mirror those previously offered.
“Increased access and availability of public transit can only mean greater opportunity for those we serve,” said Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) GM Dr. Beverly Scott. “While we often must make difficult decisions in balancing the system we want and the system we can afford, I’m pleased that today we can once again provide weekend service to these communities.”
Facing a deficit for the FY13 budget, weekend service on these three lines was eliminated in 2012. MassDOT and the MBTA heard from many commuter rail customers, and their representatives in the legislature, requesting reinstatement of service to these areas. The restoration of service on these lines was made possible by the inclusion of funding in the FY15 state budget.
The restored weekend commuter rail schedules will serve to once again connect communities on the South Shore to South Station by providing sustainable transportation options that will reduce both traffic congestion and pollution at an affordable price.
In 2009, MassDOT was created to unify the state’s various transportation agencies. MassDOT now includes the Highway Division, the MBTA and Rail Transit Division, the Aeronautics Division, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles.