Published in the November 18, 2015 edition

WAKEFIELD — Effective Monday, Dec. 14, the 5:15 p.m. train from North Station will bypass Wakefield completely.
And riders aren’t happy about it.
According to a new schedule put out by the MBTA yesterday for the Haverhill Line and others, the 5:15 train — a popular afternoon commuting one — will stop in Malden Center and then express its way to Reading, going past stops in Melrose and Wakefield along the way. It always used to stop in Wakefield after Malden Center but proved useless to those who needed to get off in Melrose.
The train that leaves Boston at 5:35 p.m. will stop at each station along the line.
A petition is being circulated to present to the MBTA to try to reinstate the Wakefield stop on the 5:15 p.m. train. Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio is drafting a letter to be signed by selectmen Chairman Ann McGonigle Santos that will be sent to the MBTA as well as state Rep. Paul Brodeur and state Sen. Jason Lewis.
On Facebook’s Wakefield Community Discussion Group, Brodeur pledged to help get the Wakefield stop reinstated.
One citizen wrote, “This ride is very popular because it is an express from Malden to Wakefield. I rode this for several years and it was always filled with riders from Wakefield. Do not understand why it would be eliminated. Could be that it was often late and would run into other departures and cause delays. was great when it would be on time.”
Another citizen wrote, “The MBTA and Keolis are eliminating the Wakefield stop on the 5:15 express train from Boston, displacing over 100 riders and causing other post-work trains to be overcrowded. Like many families living in Wakefield, I depend on this train to pick up my son from daycare before 6 p.m. There is no logic behind the decision, yet there is huge impact.”
Another wrote, “I know a lot of people utilize that stop & it creates a hardship for my family personally. I’m looking for others that take the 5:15 p.m. train to petition/contact the MBTA/Keolis to put the Wakefield stop back in the schedule. I’m guessing we are not the only ones this impacts and will create a hardship for.”
One Wakefield resident said she will sign the petition. “ I’ve taken the 5:15 p.m. train from Boston for years. It’s full of people going to Wakefield. I can’t imagine why the MBTA would drop our stop!”
Another: “I don’t understand this? So many people from here take Wakefield train! This is making me mad.”
One woman: “They aren’t cutting this train, just the one stop. And it’s hard to imagine that the few minutes that would be saved by not stopping at Wakefield would make any real difference in the train schedule.”
A petition backer: “Hi folks! We got more than 150 supporters on the petition in less than 12 hours! Let’s keep the momentum going! Does anyone have any ideas for getting our petition more eyes in the media? Mark Sardella — perhaps you could write a piece for the Item? I’m thinking the angle ‘MBTA doesn’t support working parents in Wakefield’ might be worth pursuing. The comments in the survey are very compelling. Please help spread the word. Thank you! “
Another: “I agree! A lot of people get off there. It makes no sense.”
Paul Brodeur: “Senator Lewis, Rep Wong and I are working on this. Thanks to all the folks who contacted our offices about this, including Steve Maio.”
The MBTA released new commuter rail schedules that will go into effect on the Newburyport/Rockport, Haverhill, Lowell and Fitchburg Lines in December.
“With a goal of creating reliable and resilient Commuter Rail schedules, the MBTA launched a thorough analysis of the schedules on every line. The revised schedules are designed to improve the passenger experience through consistent arrival and departure times and additional express services.
“No major changes have been made to the MBTA Commuter Rail schedules for decades, despite ridership changes and infrastructure improvements. Through this initiative, the MBTA developed schedules using computer-based rail simulations, field testing and improved operations policies.
“Service reliability is of paramount importance to customers and is a critical factor in the MBTA’s effort to attract more riders to the Commuter Rail System. By effectively managing existing train sets to benefit the greatest number of customers, the MBTA has developed better and more realistic schedules upon which daily commuters can rely,” T representatives wrote in a release that accompanied the new schedules.