Schedule includes minor changes to further improve reliability of service
BOSTON – May 13, 2019 – Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the MBTA’s partner that operates the commuter rail, today announced that the spring/summer commuter rail schedule goes into effect on Monday, May 20.
The spring/summer schedule includes minor changes to utilize improved track infrastructure, eliminate freight conflicts and minimize train traffic that can cause congestion and delays.
“Keolis and the MBTA make bi-annual schedule adjustments that are meant to optimize investments made in the commuter rail network and ensure predictability for our passengers,” said David Scorey, General Manager and CEO, Keolis. “Most passengers’ schedules will remain unchanged but all passengers are encouraged to check the new timetables which are now available online.”
Schedules are adjusted twice a year in close coordination with the MBTA to meet changing passenger needs, reflect investments and upgrades to the system and further improve on-time performance. Recent improvements to commuter rail infrastructure include the new Ash Street interlocking in Reading that allows trains to pass at faster speeds and increases operational flexibility. Currently, Keolis and MBTA teams are replacing 40,000 rail ties on the Fitchburg Line and installing four miles of double track on the Franklin Line. Both projects are important upgrades to commuter rail’s capacity and infrastructure.
On the Haverhill line, trains 297 and 298 will no longer operate because both included limited stops and experienced light ridership. This change helps to further improve reliability for other Haverhill line train traffic during peak times. Similarly, train 744 on the Franklin line will no longer operate.
The 10-year commuter rail on-time performance average is 87 percent, while 2016, 2017 and 2018 each improved to 89 percent. Currently, the year-to-date average on-time performance is 91 percent, and these changes will help to further improve this trend.
Most schedule changes are adjustments of between one and two minutes. Some off-peak trains on the Haverhill and Lowell lines will see adjusted departure times of between 5 and 20 minutes. Many trip durations will remain unchanged. Passengers are reminded that posted times are trains’ departure times.
The spring/summer commuter rail schedules can be viewed by browsing individual lines at https://www.mbta.com/schedules/commuter-rail and via the Keolis Commuter Rail App. As a part of Keolis’ ongoing efforts to instill environmentally-friendly policies, passengers are encouraged to “click, don’t print” and use these online resources to plan trips.
Customer service teams and Passenger Assistants will be at major stations to answer questions leading up to May 20, and to help ensure passengers are familiar with these changes. Passengers can turn in old schedules to be recycled at these stations.