Activists push for a regional approach to rail

Regional rail has changed drastically over the last year, but its fares have not. Transit Matters, a Boston-based public transit advocacy group, introduced a Regional Rail Transformation Vision in 2019 that creates an opportunity for lower fares.

As reported by the national group TransitCenter, regional rail isn’t a priority for upgrades, but has seen some improvements. TransitMatters Executive Director Jarred Johnson told TransitCenter that there is a longstanding resistance to fare reduction on the MBTA because though the commuter rail generates a small portion of MBTA ridership, it has traditionally served higher-income riders than rapid transit lines.

Since 2019, the schedules have gradually started to prioritize more day trips, redistributing schedules throughout the day to be less heavily skewed toward the morning and evening commute times of 9-5 workers.

“The pandemic has given us the nudge to actually rethink what we’re doing with commuter rail, and move to this


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