Pawtucket pushes for MBTA station

Pawtucket has proposed building a train platform near Dexter Street.

Every morning thousands of commuters board MBTA commuter trains at one of 13 stops from Wickford Junction to Boston's South Station.

City leaders in Pawtucket and Central Falls want to make it 14 stops along the commuter line.

"We'd like to figure out a way to get them to stop here again," said Susan Mara, Pawtucket's assistant director of planning and redevelopment.

Mara has been pushing for a platform in the city since 2005.

"These are relatively low-income cities. We have a lot of population who are lower income, very diverse. If you look at the census data a lot of people who live in Pawtucket and Central Falls don't own a car," Mara said.

The city already has a significant amount of federal funding, but it would have to compete for more and endure some environmental permitting studies.

It could be five to seven years to get the new Dexter Street location approved. The city can't rebuild at the historic station it used to operate for engineering reasons.

"The track in that area is along a curve, and they have to have high level platforms now. So, there's a gap that would exist that wouldn't be safe," Mara said.

Most commuters are on board with the idea.

"I think it'd probably help the economy of that Pawtucket, probably help that area. There are a lot of businesses in that area. So, I think it would be a good idea," said Monty Fowlkes.

Others disagree.

"I'd be better off without it," said Will Gonzalez.

Gonzalez commutes to Boston every day and says he doesn't need any additional slowdowns.

"The less stops there are, the faster you get home," Gonzalez said.

If the proposal is approved, the soonest trains could be stopping in Pawtucket is five to seven years.