The MBTA announced Wednesday it will reinstate a pilot program next month lowering commuter rail fares for passengers traveling to Boston from Lynn.

For two months beginning July 1, commuter rail passengers boarding at Lynn and Riverworks stations will be charged $2.40 one-way – the same amount as a subway fare – rather than $7, which translates to a savings of more than $9 per round trip. The program was originally piloted for one week in May.

The Lynn experiment could have far reaching implications for future MBTA fare policy. As part of its regional rail plan, the MBTA is considering re-imagining the commuter rail’s fare structure to provide more affordable services. This could be especially important for the state’s “gateway cities” — Lawrence, Lowell, Haverhill and others — often home to lower-income workers who can’t afford the commuter rail’s high price tag.

If the Lynn experiment successfully entices T riders to switch from the subway to the commuter rail, officials say, the program could be replicated elsewhere, driving economic development across the region and helping the MBTA to encourage social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

“By bringing fares in line with what rapid transit fees would be,” said Lynn Mayor Tom McGee, “we would be creating the kind of service on commuter rail that really is transformative for the region."

The MBTA originally adopted the pilot in an attempt to take pressure off the Blue Line, which is the closest subway line to Lynn and has the highest ridership of any T rapid transit line. And during the coronavirus pandemic, when ridership dropped dramatically on other lines, the Blue Line didn’t follow suit. The line services Revere, East Boston and other communities where much of the population works in essential services and still needed to commute to the city.

At the same time, commuter rail ridership had dropped precipitously, especially on the Newburyport and Rockport Lines, which pass through Lynn.

MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said this confluence provided an opportunity to see if Lynn residents who usually take the T would switch to the commuter rail if it were not more expensive.

“It's going to give us the chance to collect some data and help us understand how effective this is as a tactic,” said Poftak. “One mode has capacity, one mode doesn't. Can we potentially shift people between modes?”

When the program was originally enacted as a one-week pilot, Fiscal Management Control Board Chair Joe Aiello questioned its length.

“Perhaps doing it for the week that's proposed here might be a little bit of a too narrow window to see if consumer behavior can get modified,” he said at a May 21 FMCB meeting. ”I might suggest exploring whether or not this ought to be in two- or three-week experiment to really get a sense of whether the customer base … fully understands the opportunity of the commuter rail system.”

MBTA officials listened, and they say the pilot will now last at least 2 months and may be extended.

For years, Lynn officials have pleaded with the MBTA to extend the Blue Line from Revere to their city, but it never happened. The new commuter rail pilot — if it succeeds — may be the next best thing.