To allow for more convenient travel of commuters going in and out of Boston, two express line trains were added to the Worcester-Boston commuter rail schedule Monday.
The trains were purchased by the Commonwealth from CSX Transportation and are placed to run express from Worcester leaving at 6:20 a.m., and stopping only at Framingham, Back Bay and South Station. The line will departat the end of the day at 5:35 p.m., according to a press release from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation April 25.
“After the state finalized its historic agreement with CSX Transportation, new opportunities are beginning to emerge for commuters and businesses in Worcester and surrounding communities,” said Mass. Lt. Gov. Tim Murray in the release. “With the launch of this special express train, commuters traveling from Central and MetroWest communities to and from Boston during rush hour traffic will have a more efficient transportation option. I encourage commuters to take advantage of this new service.”
Murray and Worcester May Joseph Petty rode the first train to travel along the express line, which departed from Worcester Monday, according to the release.
“The announcement of additional express service between Worcester and Boston will not only help to improve the daily commute for so many, but will also demonstrate the great need for improved transportation access throughout the Commonwealth,” said MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey in the release.
Tom Fordman, 70, a ticket salesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority who lives in Marshfield, said the express trains make traveling from Worcester to Boston particularly easy, especially considering the $10 ticket cost.
“The schedule now is as good as it gets,” he said. “Remember that it costs a lot of money to run a train from Boston all the way to Worcester, so you have to have a pretty good ridership in order to pay for the gasoline — which is expensive — and the conductors’, engineers’ and cleaners’ time, so it’s a pretty expensive run and it’s a lot of work.”
Fordman said the length of the trip could yield a number of circumstances that could result in the train arriving late.
“Worcester is quite far away … so you can imagine there’s a lot of things that can go wrong,” he said. “It’s almost always late by two or three minutes coming in, but sometimes it can be quite late. During times of great heat, sometimes the engines don’t work up to par, so there’s delays, and then you hear it from people.”
Some commuter riders said the new trains would allow people to avoid other travel delays and get to work on time.
“I don’t have a problem waiting, but maybe if they could make the time shorter, it would be better,” said Isaac Carpio, 21, a commuter from Marlborough traveling to Framingham. “I wouldn’t want to be late if I were to go to work and had to be there at [a specific time].”
Other commuters using the commuter rail lines had complaints about other locations that do not receive as much attention from public transportation companies.
Deborah Sharpe, 58, a resident of Canton and real estate agent, said she is lucky she does not have to travel too far, but would like to see more weekend trains.
“I know they cut out some weekend lines completely and those folks are really stuck,” she said. “They [also] need to take some of the old trains out because they need to be upgraded, especially the Providence line.”
Rebecca Jackson, 35, a daily commuter from Stoughton to Boston, said she experienced difficulties with her trains arriving late on more than one occasion.
“I really wish there was less time between trains,” she said. “I’m a social worker [and] in a way it sometimes forces me to work later than I normally would because I schedule things around the train schedule, as opposed to just being able to when I’m finished with my day.”
Jackson said she uses the commuter rail because it would be more expensive and time consuming to find a parking spot in the city.
“I would like for the commuter train to run more frequently, like there’s no weekend trains from the station near my house,” she said. “I would like to see trains about every half hour as opposed to every hour, because if you miss the train, you are stuck for quite a while.”