The following is a press release.
BOSTON – As part of the MBTA’s process to continually monitor ridership demand, additional service revisions will be implemented on Thursday, March 19.
Effective tomorrow, increased service will operate on select bus routes that appeared to experience crowding earlier this week. This added bus service will be targeted toward the early-morning hours.
This week, the MBTA is also implementing new protocols to clean and disinfect all high-contact surfaces on buses during mid-day layover periods. In an effort to protect the health and safety of the MBTA workforce and customers, this new protocol is in addition to the daily cleaning and disinfecting of all MBTA fleet vehicles that takes place once every twenty-four hours.
The MBTA continues to monitor customer volumes following the addition of service on the Blue Line and the E Branch of the Green Line.
Revisions in service are being made based on guidance from public health professionals to support social distancing. Consistent with Governor Baker’s declaration of a State of Emergency, the MBTA is encouraging customers to limit travel on the T to what is absolutely necessary.
These revisions are being implemented to protect the health and safety of the MBTA’s workforce and customers, while continuing to provide vital transportation services to employees in key industries and workers with limited or no other transportation options. The MBTA will continue to implement adjustments based on changes in the need of T ridership.
“These revisions will provide essential services to those who rely on the T to travel, while adding capacity to address concerns related to health and safety,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “I want to thank the frontline employees who are providing this critical transportation service during this challenging time.”
A comprehensive list of schedule changes can be found at mbta.com/coronavirus.
Effective with the start of service on the morning of Wednesday, March 18, Blue Line service has been increased from Tuesday’s levels to reflect ridership demand.
Outside of these changes, Blue Line trains throughout the day will continue to arrive approximately every nine to thirteen minutes.
On the Orange Line, trains will continue to arrive at approximately every nine to eleven minutes.
On the Red Line between Alewife and JFK/UMass Stations, trains continue to be expected to arrive approximately every seven minutes. Red Line trains on the Ashmont and Braintree branches will run approximately every fourteen minutes.
In response to reports of heavy passenger volumes on the Green Line E branch and to further support workforce access to area hospitals in the Longwood Medical Area, service has been added to the E branch specifically with more frequency seen between Prudential and Heath Street Stations. Green Line B, C, and D branch trolleys will continue to run every seven to thirteen minutes with more frequent service on the trunk through the downtown area.
MBTA buses will continue to operate on a Saturday schedule, though frequency (especially during the early morning and AM peak hours) has been added on select routes that reflects ridership demand.
Routes 7, 501, and 504 will continue to operate modified weekday service.
Route 710 will continue to operate regular weekday service. Select express bus routes 325, 326, 351, 352, and 354 will continue to operate according to regular weekday schedules.
Ferry service continues to be cancelled until further notice. Ferry customers who board at the Hingham and Hull terminals are encouraged to use West Hingham or Nantasket Junction Stations on the Greenbush Commuter Rail Line as an alternative.
All Commuter Rail lines will operate on reduced schedules, which can be found at mbta.com. 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.
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.
Effective today, the MBTA’s CharlieCard Store has been closed until further notice. The CharlieCard Store is located at 7 Chauncy Street within Downtown Crossing Station. Normal hours of operation are 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM 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.