MBTA extends $10 weekend fare

MBTA extends $10 weekend fare

Nearly 82,000 tickets were sold over 13 weekends

THE MBTA SOLD nearly 82,000 of its $10 weekend commuter rail fares this summer and now plans to extend the deal into early December.

T officials said they were extending the experimental fare through the weekend of December 9 to better gauge its impact on revenues and ridership. The officials said service disruptions over the summer as the T installed a new system to prevent train collisions made it difficult to do apples-to-apples comparisons between this summer and last.

The T launched the $10 weekend fare on June 9 as an attempt to fill seats on trains that rend to ride at nearly empty levels on weekends. The agency hoped the lower fare would prompt suburbanites to use the train to come into Boston for events and spur Boston residents to travel by rail to the beach or other suburban destinations.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

The fare allowed riders to pay $10 and travel as many times as they want on Saturday and Sunday. On many commuter rail routes, the $10 weekend fare costs less than the price of one roundtrip. The $10 fare applies to passengers who are 12 or older; paying adults can bring along two children under 12 for free.

According to statistics complied by the T, the transit agency sold 81,862 of the $10 fares over the 13 weeks the promotion was in place. Sales started slowly in June, when the initiative first started, but picked up dramatically in July and August. The weekend of July 28-29 was the peak, with sales of 8,142. Over the entire summer, sales totaled 81,862, or $818,620.

Lisa Battiston, a spokeswoman for the T, said the transit agency believes the program overall was positive on ridership and revenue. She also said it’s attracting people who don’t normally ride commuter rail. She said 54 percent of customers paying the $10 fare in August were not using the commuter rail on weekdays.