T debuts new Yawkey Station, expanded service
Opening comes as new Worcester/Framingham commuter rail schedule premieres
More than three years after Governor Deval Patrick broke ground on the Fenway’s Yawkey Station overhaul, Patrick and other politicians, accompanied by local business leaders, returned Monday for the debut of the revamped commuter rail stop and the launch of a new, expanded schedule on the Worcester-Framingham line.
Three inbound trains and four outbound trains have been added to the weekday schedule on the Worcester-Framingham line. The last outbound train of the day will now leave South Station at 11:10 p.m., a move that transportation officials hope will encourage ridership.
But some commuters said Monday they were disappointed to already experience delays on the schedule’s inaugural run.
At Monday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, Patrick said the project required years of cooperation and partnership between city and state agencies.
“This project shows that our growth strategy is real, not rhetorical,” Patrick said. “We must use public investment — of time, money and ideas — to stimulate growth and build opportunity for our residents.’’
The project, financed entirely by the state, was originally budgeted at $14.9 million, but eventually cost $15.7 million, because of delays in construction work, said MBTA spokeswoman Kelly Smith . The project was originally slated to be completed in spring 2012.
Once construction was completed, the Yawkey Station reopening was scheduled for January, but the date was pushed back by two months because new accessibility requirements meant that additional elevators on each platform had to be installed. Concerns raised by passengers and local officials about service gaps also delayed the new schedule.
Larry Lucchino, president and chief executive officer of the Boston Red Sox, said he expects that the reopened commuter rail station will make it easier for Sox fans living west of Boston to attend games at Fenway Park.
“The renovated Yawkey Way commuter rail station and the expanded Worcester-Framingham rail schedule will have a profound impact on many of our fans who use public transportation,” Lucchino said.
But regular commuter Lisa Brown, a Southborough resident who has taken the Worcester train every weekday for 10 years, said her Monday morning train was late and short one double-decker car.
That meant that all the passengers picked up after Framingham had to stand in the aisles.
And the ride was “extremely slow,” she said, reaching Back Bay Station 20 minutes behind schedule.
An MBTA spokeswoman said that the delay was caused by a signal issue and not anticipated to be a regular occurrence.
“It is ironic that on a day of celebration with most of the media in greater Boston focusing on this wonderful new station, we couldn’t get the trains to run on time,” Brown said.
“It’s great to have another station open on the Worcester line,” she continued, “but I think we need to address issues of chronic lateness and mechanical issues before building new stations.”