By Matt Perkins
Gov. Deval Patrick and other state officials celebrated the grand opening of the new Yawkey Commuter Rail Station Monday morning, an effort meant to enhance the service on the Framingham-Worcester line.
The station, which will increase service from 17 to 40 stops per day on the Worcester-to-Framingham Commuter Rail line, is meant to deliver transportation improvements and contribute to the transit-oriented development of the Longwood Medical Area, Fenway Park and the Fenway/Kenmore/Audubon Circle neighborhoods.
Moreover, the station will run on solar power, making it the state's only "net-zero energy rail station," according to the Boston Herald.
"The opening of Yawkey Station is the culmination of many years of cooperation and partnership to increase access to accessible, convenient and efficient public transportation between Worcester and Fenway," Patrick said in a statement Monday. "This project shows that our growth strategy is real, not rhetorical. We must use public investment -- of time, money and ideas -- to stimulate growth and build opportunity for our residents."
As part of the new schedule, inbound departures from Worcester to Boston increase from 17 to 20 trains per day, while outbound departures from Boston to WOrcester will increase from 16 to 20 trains per day. The service will also offer three new off-peak trains, including a new departure at 11:10 p.m. for commuters leaving the area later in the evening.
The station also allows for an increase from two to three trains leaving Boston, which are scheduled to arrive in Worcester before 8:30 a.m., as well as an increase in service during peak times, with a new train departing from South Station at 6:40 p.m. that will stop at Yawkey and end in Worcester.
“By increasing service from Boston to Worcester, MassDOT continues to encourage economic growth in and around the region,” MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey said in a statement Monday. “The Framingham/Worcester Line serves 13,000 customers daily and continues to demonstrate consistent growth, and MassDOT is confident that with this expansion, we will see that number climb.”
Patrick broke ground on the $13.5-million renovation project in November 2010, and the project was originally scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2012, according to the Herald.
The new station improvements include two full-length accessible train platforms between Brookline Avenue and Beacon Street, eliminating the need for trains to switch tracks. Moreover, the station is positioned so that commuters can enter from Yawkey Way, Brookline Avenue and Beacon Street, and a waiting area includes canopies and windscreens to provide shelter during inclement weather, according to the MBTA.
More information on the station, visit FenwayCenter.com.