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MBTA Extends Commuter Rail Discount Through 2020

Commuter rail passengers will be able to travel between Lynn and Boston at the same price as a subway ride through the end of 2020 under a pilot program extension the MBTA announced Thursday.

Zone 1A fares will be accepted for trips between North Station and both the Lynn and Riverworks commuter rail stations through Dec. 31, adding four and a half more months to what was originally a one-week test run.

The T accepted Zone 1A fares for Lynn and Riverworks as a pilot program between May 22 and May 31, then revived the practice starting July 1 so the MBTA could track more data about fare changes and to relieve crowding — a new risk during the COVID-19 era — on buses.

"This temporary zone change pilot aims to manage passenger volume and promote physical distancing on buses, and we continue to encourage our North Shore riders to consider this Commuter Rail option," MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said in a Thursday press release.

A one-way ticket between those stations will continue to cost $2.40, compared to the $7 that had been charged pre-pilot when both Lynn and Riverworks were considered part of Zone 2.

Lynn community leaders and elected officials had been pushing for the change for months, arguing that the higher price disincentivizes public transit and contributes to worsening congestion.

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