Rail

MBTA, Keolis revive $10 weekend commuter rail pilot

Posted on January 3, 2019

First piloted during the summer of 2018, the promotional fares were launched with the goal of increasing commuter rail ridership and revenue on the weekends when trains have additional capacity.
Keolis
First piloted during the summer of 2018, the promotional fares were launched with the goal of increasing commuter rail ridership and revenue on the weekends when trains have additional capacity.Keolis

The MBTA and its operating partner for commuter rail, Keolis Commuter Services, announced the special $10 Commuter Rail weekend fare pilot will resume on Saturday, Jan. 5. The special weekend fare is available from the first train on Saturday to the last train on Sunday and may be used across all zones and all lines.

"Resuming this pilot allows our customers to continue taking advantage of commuter rail as a travel option on weekends, while we study the potential for making this program permanent," said MBTA GM Steve Poftak. "I want to thank our partners at the FTA for working with us to resume this pilot and also acknowledge the enthusiastic response we received from our customers to this initiative."

Customers can visit MBTA.com/MassByTrain to explore destinations around the greater Boston area accessible by commuter rail and for listings of fun weekend excursions.

First piloted during the summer of 2018, the promotional fares were launched with the goal of increasing commuter rail ridership and revenue on the weekends when trains have additional capacity. During the six-month period these fares were available, 180,000 tickets were sold. This represents 23% of weekend sales and a 4.6% 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.

During their first six months being offered to passengers, the special fares were marketed digitally, on radio, and in direct mailers to new homeowners as part of a broad, comprehensive marketing program. This marketing program is the result of a ridership and revenue growth partnership between the MBTA and Keolis, a first-of-its-kind contract in the U.S., and marketing $10 fares will continue.

With the exception of the CapeFlyer, operated through a partnership with the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, and special event trains for destinations such as Gillette Stadium, this pilot applies to all MBTA Commuter Rail services on Saturdays and Sundays.

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