Frequent, bi-directional service moves network closer to regional rail style system,
Schedules available to view online at mbta.com/commuterrail
BOSTON – April 1, 2021 – The MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the agency’s operating partner for Commuter Rail, are reminding customers of the upcoming schedule changes across the network that will better meet the evolving needs of passengers. The Spring 2021 schedule, which is available online at MBTA.com, takes effect on Monday, April 5 and reflects the direction for regional rail service outlined last month to the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board.
The Spring 2021 schedule provides more trains during the middle of day, offering more consistent service options, and is a significant service increase compared to the current Winter Schedule that has been in effect since December 2020.
“The MBTA and Keolis worked to create a service offering that is attractive to passengers for both its all-day frequency and ease of trip planning with trains at regular and predictable intervals,” said Steve Poftak, General Manager of the MBTA. “Adopting a regional rail style of service also helps to better position the network for a future rail transformation.”
Keolis and the MBTA designed the Spring 2021 schedule to offer train service at regular and predictable intervals. For example, trains on the Worcester Line depart Worcester Station every hour on the hour from 5 a.m. through 7 p.m. with additional options outside of those times. Similarly, the Newburyport/Rockport Lines offer train service between Beverly and North Station every 30 minutes nearly all day.
“This schedule change establishes a service pattern we believe will better match the current and future needs of our passengers,” said David Scorey, CEO and General Manager of Keolis. “The new Spring 2021 schedule provides options that our passengers have requested and can assist in a strong and equitable economic recovery with regular service across all lines and more consistent service to many gateway cities.”
The Fairmount Line pilot will continue to allow passengers to utilize CharlieCards for train service between South Station and Fairmount. Fare validator machines can be found at all Fairmount Line stations, including South Station. Inbound and outbound trains on the Fairmount Line will operate every 45 minutes except for the first inbound and outbound trains. Passengers should visit mbta.com/commuterrail to view schedules for all lines.
Responding to rider feedback, weeknight service after 9 p.m. is preserved as part of the schedule change. Bicycles will continue to be permitted on all trains across all lines as part of the Spring 2021 schedule.
Seating in all coach cars on all trains will continue to be available to allow for social distance between passengers. Passengers are reminded that face coverings are required when riding any MBTA service or when in stations, 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.
The new Fitchburg Line schedule will go into effect in May when full service is restored on the line following the work to upgrade the signal system for Positive Train Control (PTC), which is currently underway.
Due to low system-wide ridership, pilot service to Foxboro will be paused through at least fall 2021.