BOSTON – In response to coordinated efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, the MBTA will implement several changes to service levels effective with the start of service on Tuesday, March 17.
These changes are being made based on guidance from public health professionals and have been developed according to several criteria that seek to protect the health and safety of MBTA employees and customers, as well as recent reductions in ridership. Acknowledging guidance that recommends people avoid large crowds, the MBTA will operate at levels that support social distancing.
“The MBTA plays an important role in slowing the spread of the coronavirus while continuing to provide critical services to medical professionals and other employees in key industries that rely on public transit,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “While some of these changes are inconvenient, they maintain a responsible balance between protecting the health and safety of the MBTA workforce and our customers, and our goal of continuing to run safe and reliable service without major disruptions.”
As this situation evolves, the MBTA will continue assessing ridership needs with a particular focus on workforce access for hospitals, as well as food distribution locations operated by the City of Boston. As part of that ongoing assessment, the T will continue monitoring customer volumes and make service adjustments accordingly; this means if the T experiences an increase in ridership, capacity will be added as necessary.
On all lines, Commuter Rail schedules are being modified to support targeted periods of peak travel while providing options for off-peak travel throughout the day.
Service by individual mode will change according to the following:
|Blue Line||Trains every 9 to 13 minutes|
|Orange Line||Trains every 9 to 11 minutes|
|Red Line between Alewife and JFK/UMass||Trains every 7 minutes|
|Red Line Ashmont and Braintree Branches||Trains every 14 minutes|
|Green Line||Trolleys every 7 to 13 minutes on the branches; more frequent service on the trunk|
|Bus (with exceptions)*||Saturday Schedule|
|*Express Bus Routes 325, 326, 351, 352, 354, 501||Regular Weekday Schedules|
|Commuter Rail||Reduced Service – Schedules posted on MBTA.com|
|Mattapan Line||Trolleys every 12 to 26 minutes|
|The RIDE||Full Service|
On the Blue Line, trains can be expected to arrive approximately every nine to thirteen minutes. On the Orange Line, trains can be expected approximately every nine to eleven minutes.
On the Red Line between Alewife and JFK/UMass Stations, trains can be expected to arrive approximately every seven minutes. Red Line trains on the Ashmont and Braintree branches will run approximately every fourteen minutes.
Green Line trolleys will run every seven to thirteen minutes on the branches, with more frequent service on the trunk.
The MBTA will continue to operate full service on the RIDE. The MBTA encourages RIDE customers to plan their trips accordingly and follow the guidance of public health officials while in close contact with older adults or people with underlying health issues.
The MBTA’s CharlieCard Store is located at 7 Chauncy Street within Downtown Crossing Station. Normal hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. In the event that hours of operation change, customers should check MBTA.com for updated service hours.
In addition to encouraging good hygiene practices and social distancing, the MBTA is continuing its enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, which includes:
· Disinfecting all fleet vehicles – buses, trolleys, subway cars, Commuter Rail coaches, ferries, and RIDE vehicles – every twenty-four hours;
· Disinfecting all MBTA customer business site locations, including the RIDE Eligibility Center, every twenty-four hours;
· Cleaning all high-contact surfaces such as handrails, fare gates, and fare vending machines in subway stations once every four hours.
The MBTA continues to follow guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, with the MBTA encouraging its riders and the public to:
· Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds;
· Cover coughs and sneezes;
· Stay home if sick;
· Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth;
· Clean areas that are frequently touched with sanitizing spray or wipes.