Adjustments intended to improve reliability, more service added to Boston
BOSTON – May 15, 2018 – Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the MBTA’s partner that operates the commuter rail, today announced that spring/summer schedules go into effect on Monday, May 21. These minor changes are designed to utilize new or improved track infrastructure, eliminate freight conflicts and minimize train traffic that can cause congestion and delays.
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 (OTP).
“Whether through investments made by the MBTA and Keolis or through minor adjustments to the schedule, we’re always seeking to improve the passenger experience and reliability on commuter rail,” said David Scorey, General Manager and CEO, Keolis. “This spring/summer schedule change seeks to achieve those goals with minor timing adjustments and to reflect the increasing demand at the new Boston Landing Station. Many passengers won’t notice this schedule change, but we encourage all riders to check schedules before May 21.”
Four additional trains will stop at Boston Landing Station on the Framingham/Worcester line, responding to increased ridership since the station opened one year ago. As part of the build-out for this new station, Keolis and MBTA teams installed a new switch and added double track to further improve service and in preparation for increased service. Similarly, Keolis and the MBTA successfully executed a program that significantly improved service on this line, turning it from one of the lowest-performing into one of the best performers, regularly above 90 percent OTP.
Other schedule changes include off-peak Train 118 on the Newburyport/Rockport line departing 10 minutes later to reduce potential train-to-train conflicts that can impact performance. On the Providence line, Train 8805 will combine with Train 801, an adjustment that continues the same service and schedule but on a different train. Passengers who previously took Train 8805 will now ride Train 801.
Kingston/Plymouth line Trains 060 and 061 will run outbound to Plymouth and then Kingston before proceeding to Boston. This change is in response to customer feedback and will reduce trip times to Boston from Kingston. Train 085 on the Greenbush Line will stop at Quincy Center to accommodate passengers affected by the Wollaston Station project.
Trains on all other lines will only see adjustments between one and two minutes, which helps in many cases to improve performance. The 10-year commuter rail OTP average is 87 percent, and for 2016, 2017 and year-to-date 2018 Keolis operations have exceeded that level by 2 percentage points.
The spring/summer MBTA Commuter Rail schedules can be viewed by browsing individual lines at https://www.mbta.com/schedules/commuter-rail. Customer service teams and Passenger Assistants will be available at major stations to answer questions leading up to May 21 to help ensure passengers are familiar with these changes. They will also have printed schedules available upon request at Boston’s major stations. As a part of Keolis’ ongoing efforts to instill environmentally-friendly policies, passengers are encouraged to “click, don’t print” and download the newly updated Keolis Commuter Rail app to plan trips.