T notes: Fairmount pilot likely to make cut
Four demonstration bus projects proposed
THE MBTA IS WINNOWING down the number of pilot projects it plans to launch next year, and a proposal for the Fairmount commuter rail line appears to have made the cut.
The proposal from the city of Boston would add four additional inbound and outbound trips at a total cost of $1.2 million. Officials estimate the new service would increase daily ridership on the line by 430 trips, with most, if not all, of the riders switching from existing bus service. The estimated per passenger subsidy is $21 during peak periods and $27 off-peak.
The Fairmount pilot would also test the use of fare validators at stations between Boston and Readville, allowing passengers with CharlieCards to tap the validator for a proof of payment slip that could be shown to the conductor on board.
A host of other pilot proposals involving ferry, commuter rail, and bus service may not make it across the finish line, but T officials said some of initiatives are likely to be considered as part of other programs.
Another proposal still being developed would expand service during the evening and on weekends on bus routes that are crowded. The cost of the bus pilot would be $2 million.
Demonstration bus projects
After culling more than 1,000 proposals, the MBTA Better Bus team on Monday outlined four demonstration projects that it wants to pursue.
One would provide new service between Mattapan and Kenmore Square via the Longwood Medical Area. A second would offer more frequent service on dedicated bus lanes on Broadway in Everett and Somerville. A third would offer more frequent service on the 112 bus running from East Boston through Chelsea to Everett. A fourth would run from North Station to South Station and then on through the Seaport District to City Point in South Boston. Officials said this north-south connection would operate only if dedicated bus lanes were provided by the city of Boston.
Officials said the combined cost of all four projects would be $12 million, split between operations ($8.5 million) and capital spending ($3.5 million).
Members of the control board made no commitment to push ahead with any of the projects.
Additional hybrid buses purchased
The addition of the new buses is expected to boost peak bus service by about 5 percent.