Fairmount Line Enhanced Service Pilot goes into effect June 22
Face-coverings required on all MBTA Commuter Rail trains
BOSTON – June 9, 2020 – The MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the agency’s operating partner for Commuter Rail, announced today service increases on all Commuter Rail lines will take effect on Monday, June 22. An Enhanced Service Pilot on the Fairmount Line will also begin on Monday, June 22.
As part of the Commonwealth’s Phase 2 reopening plan, the increase in Commuter Rail service represents approximately 85 percent of normal schedules with regular midday trains operating and increases to the number of trains during morning and evening peak periods. These extra trains throughout the day are intended to provide more evenly distributed train options so passengers can plan their trips and appropriately socially-distance. All coach cars on all trains will continue to be opened so passengers may spread throughout trains to maintain distance.
“As the Commonwealth begins to reopen, these updated schedules will help meet an expected increase in ridership while maintaining the healthy environment provided to essential workers over the last two months,” said Keolis CEO and General Manager David Scorey. “I am deeply appreciative of all the hardworking employees who have kept Commuter Rail operating for other essential employees during this challenging time. I am also grateful to our passengers who stayed home and for their patience while we work with the MBTA and public health officials to implement the schedules that will go into effect on June 22.”
Increased weekday Commuter Rail Service Schedules are available now at www.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. Fairmount Enhanced Service Pilot schedules are also available online. As part of the pilot, passengers can now use MBTA Charlie Cards to make free transfers to and from the Commuter Rail’s Fairmount Line using validators installed at every station on the line, including South Station. The pilot includes eight new weekday trains, providing more frequent train options to passengers in the corridor. Additional details on the Fairmount Enhanced Service Pilot can be found here.
The MBTA and Keolis are implementing Increased Service Schedules based on guidance from public health officials and as part of Phase 2 reopening of Massachusetts. As further precaution to limit the spread of coronavirus, the MBTA and Keolis are encouraging passengers to purchase tickets at ticket offices, vending machines or the mTicket app to limit the use of cash whenever possible.
Since the announcement of the Massachusetts COVID-19 State of Emergency, ridership on Commuter Rail has been approximately 90 percent below average weekday numbers. Keolis is continuing to monitor ridership levels and current service levels are designed to meet travel needs. As Phase 2 re-opening plans expand, Keolis anticipates ridership needs to increase. This increase will be met with the new service increases on June 22.
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. As part of this enhanced sanitization, added attention is given to touched surfaces, employee areas and air filtration systems. For additional information, please visit mbta.com/coronavirus or mass.gov/COVID19.
Keolis and the MBTA will continue to provide updates on service to passengers via Twitter at @MBTA_CR, MBTA.com, T-Alerts, station signage and onboard announcements.