In response to efforts by Representative David Rogers, the MBTA Commuter Rail has scheduled an additional morning stop in Belmont Center.
Please see the communication below from the MBTA to Representative Rogers.
Dear, Representative Rogers:
I am writing you in response to your recent inquiry regarding the flagstop you have requested be added to the Fitchburg Line schedule in Belmont.
I am pleased to report that the 8:07am flagstop service at Belmont Station is included in the new 18-month schedule that went in effect on Monday, August 4th. Also encouraging is that a the new schedule on the line is working well and early reports are that the new 8:07am Belmont flagstop is already being utilized by a good number of your constituents. Observations on August 19th showed some 15 riders catching this train, encouraging for a “soft” summer opening.
As you are aware, the new schedule currently in effect was implemented in large part to support the $200,000,000 Fitchburg Line Improvement project underway to improve service on the line. The addition of the flagstop, and the one hour earlier “reverse commute” service are early benefits of this project.
. . .
We appreciate your continued partnership, support, and patience as we work to improve the infrastructure and service on the Fitchburg Line. Please let me know if I can provide you further assistance as we continue the project.
Assistant General Manager
Dear Sen Brownsberger,
I’m happy to see the addition of the flagged stop in Belmont Center. Is there any advocating for a flagged stop in Waverley. The morning commute times leave a gaping hole at prime rush hour time for this neighborhood. Between 7:15 and 8:30 there are no stops at Waverley. Ideally, riders should be able to request getting off the train there too. This is a particularly bad issue in our neighborhood because the alternative public transportation at that time of day is the bus. The bus leaving that same square takes at a minimum 45 minutes to arrive at Harvard Station. It is hard to advocate for people to use public transportation without reasonable availability. When can we see a change for this underserved community?
Totally fair question, Kate.
I was surprised that Dave got this one for Belmont Center done. The T pushes back hard on additional stops, because if there are too many, the through commuters have substantially lengthened trips.
I’m going share this request with him and we’ll see what we can do together.
Kate – I appreciate the challenge for commuters in Waverley. In advocating for greater commuter rail access for Belmont, I did highlight that both Belmont Center and Waverley were underserved by the existing commuter rail schedule. While I pushed hard and was hoping to get more stops in Belmont, the challenge is that commuters to the west push in exactly the opposite direction. They want fewer stops so that their commute is shorter. Several people knowledgeable about state transportation issues did not think that I would be able to get any more stops in Belmont. I pushed the issue for at least 6 straight months to get one additional flag stop in Belmont. The commuter rail planners have discretion to make the determination as to where to add that stop. In other words, I did not advocate for one location over the other. Going forward, I hope that working together with you, others in the community and Sen. Brownsberger, we can improve the morning commute for those in Waverley. Thanks. – Dave
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