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Reinstate Wakefield stop on 5:15 Haverhill Express Commuter Rail train

This petition had 1,238 supporters

The MBTA recently announced changes to the Haverhill line Commuter Rail schedule effective December 14, 2015. One of the changes affects the 5:15 express outbound train to Haverhill. Right now it stops at Malden Center, then runs express to Wakefield before stopping at the remaining stations on the route. The new changed schedule will have the train running express from Malden Center to Reading, eliminating the Wakefield stop.

This is a very popular stop at a peak commuting time. I estimate that approximately 100 people disembark at this stop every week night, perhaps more. By removing this time option, these displaced riders now either have to choose to take the 4:48 pm or the 5:35 pm train departing from North Station. I'd suspect most will be taking the already overcrowded 5:35 pm, since the 4:48 is too early for most people to leave work. Most times I've taken the 5:35, it has been standing room only.

By eliminating this stop, the MBTA and Keolis has created a very negative impact and hardship to my family. Both my husband and I depend on this train to get us back to Wakefield in enough time to pick our children up from daycare and preschool before 6pm. The 4:48 is not an option due to our work hours and the 5:35 arrives at 6:03pm, which is too late for us to get to the schools. This decision will most likely force us back into our car at a time when our Government leadership is imploring commuters to get out of cars and take public transportation. The MBTA should be increasing public transportation options, not eliminating them. At a minimum, they should leave in the stops that hundreds of people rely on.

We know many others who have commented that this change creates a hardship for working parents. It is the only option for those who work in Boston during normal business hours to get home in time to pick up their children from child care.

I am curious to know what the impetus was for this decision. Were any riders consulted? What metrics were used to determine the removal of this stop? Have you counted the numbers of riders at this stop?

MBTA and Keolis, I strongly ask you to reconsider this decision and reinstate the Wakefield stop on the Haverhill line weekday outbound 5:15 pm train.

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