Fall Commuter Rail Schedule Changes Provide New Transit Options for Riders

Effective November 2, changes will offer levels of service that provide new trains throughout the day across most lines so passengers can effectively distance

BOSTON – October 9, 2020 – The MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the agency’s operating partner for Commuter Rail, today announced upcoming schedule changes across Commuter Rail to better meet the evolving needs of passengers. These changes will take effect on Monday, November 2. The new schedules will provide new inbound and outbound train options, evenly distributed throughout the day, to enable passengers to travel in and out of Boston during off-peak hours.

“These upcoming schedule changes for the Commuter Rail aim to more evenly distribute service, and are being made in response to changing ridership patterns, including when and how commuter riders travel as many work locations in downtown Boston continue to be closed,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “We continue to prioritize the safety of our riders and workforce through enhanced safety and disinfecting protocols, and requiring face coverings within the system. I want to also note my continued appreciation to our essential frontline workforce, who come to work every day through the pandemic in order to provide transit services to those who need it most.”

“The changes announced today incorporate a range of options that our passengers have requested, and demonstrate the importance of adjusting our offering to meet the needs of the riding public,” said Keolis CEO and General Manager David Scorey.”They also establish a service pattern that we believe will address near-term realities of moving forward together during COVID reopening.”

Beginning on Nov. 2, trains will run more frequently across the network, particularly on routes with large gaps in service throughout the day. Many lines will have trains operating with headways of between 30 and 60 minutes. Passengers on the Middleborough/Lakeville, Newburyport/Rockport lines will see better service options to match ridership demands and promote distancing with more frequent service and easy connections to other modes of transit from cities such as Brockton and Lynn. Express trains have also been added to the Framingham/Worcester Line. These include the Heart to Hub express train with one added stop at Framingham leaving Worcester at 6:30 a.m. and leaving Boston at 4:35 p.m.

Service options will increase on the Fairmount Line with two new trips. These new train options are in addition to eight new trains as part of the Fairmount Enhanced Service Pilot that began on June 22. As part of this pilot, Charlie Cards are now accepted at all Fairmount Line stations with use of special fare validator machines. This enables Fairmount Line passengers to make free transfers to other MBTA bus and subway services.

Fall Commuter Rail Service Schedules are available now at mbta.com/schedules/commuter-rail and will be available for contactless pickup at major stations, such as North Station, Back Bay Station and South Station. Passengers are encouraged to plan trips with the MBTA Commuter Rail app and make purchases using the mTicket app.

Consistent with best practices initiated during COVID-19, seating in all coach cars on all trains will continue to be available to allow for proper social distance between passengers. Passengers are reminded that face coverings are required when riding Commuter Rail, to stay home if they are feeling unwell and to wash their hands frequently. In addition to regular cleaning, trains are sanitized every 24 hours and many as frequently as every 12 hours. For additional information, please visit mbta.com/coronavirus or mass.gov/COVID19.

Service updates are available to passengers via Twitter at @MBTA_CR, MBTA.com, T-Alerts, station signage and onboard announcements.