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MBTA Plan Would Replace Red Line Cars, Shorten Wait Times

BOSTON (CBS) -- The MBTA has a plan to replace all of the cars on the Red Line and eventually increase the number of passengers they can carry every hour.

Right now, the Red Line has a maximum capacity of 13 trains per hour--or about 20,000 passengers.

A proposal pitched to the agency's Control Board sharply increases that to 20 trains per hour, or about 30,000 passengers.

"We would actually be able to potentially increase our trains per hour to 20 trains per hour," Jeff Gonneville, the MBTA's Chief Operating Officer, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker. "That equates to about a 50 percent increase in passengers carried per hour.

Gonneville said they would need to replace all of the cars on the Red Line to so-called "Number 4"-type cars. Right now, 132 of them are being replaced.

The changes would also shorten wait times to about three minutes between trains.

"It moves us from a 4-and-a-half-minute headway to about a three-minute headway," said Gonneville.

Passengers who ride the Red Line would be happy to see more trains--and potentially, a faster ride to town.

"I'd probably get in to school faster, so I'd have more time to get ready in the morning," Fiona, a college student who rides the T, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker.

Some passengers said they wouldn't even mind a fare increase to help facilitate improvements.

"I wouldn't wish for it, but of course I'd be willing to do it if it meant better service," said Margo, a passenger who rides the train to Downtown Crossing.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker reports

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