The following is a press release from the MBTA submitted to SOURCE media.
BOSTON – The MBTA today, April 2, announced upcoming schedule changes for the Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail Line taking effect on April 5 that better meet the evolving needs of passengers through on-the-hour weekday service between Worcester and downtown Boston and half-hour weekday peak service between Framingham and downtown Boston.
These upcoming changes improve the Framingham/Worcester Line by moving its schedules closer to a Regional Rail style of service that best meets the needs of both pre-pandemic commuters and new riders.
“As ridership patterns change and our region and Commonwealth emerge from this pandemic, our Administration is committed to working with the MBTA and Keolis to monitor travel patterns and adjust accordingly,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “This new schedule will serve central Massachusetts and Metro West commuters in the weeks and months ahead as the T welcomes back new riders and supports our Commonwealth’s economic recovery.”
“We know that commuting needs are evolving, and the MBTA’s schedules and planning staff along with Keolis have worked hard to formulate a new schedule for Metro West riders and our customers across the rail network that offers more choice through increased bi-directional service, consistently throughout the day,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “The MBTA looks forward to better serving our existing customers, welcoming back returning customers, and serving new riders with a Regional Rail schedule that offers a better, more attractive transportation option.”
Over the last year, though Commuter Rail ridership has remained low overall, midday trains retained a higher percentage of their ridership than the traditional AM and PM peak trains with ridership more evenly distributed throughout the day.
Recognizing that commuting needs have changed and will continue to evolve, the MBTA and Keolis have developed a Regional Rail style of service that offers more options to returning pre-pandemic commuters as well as new riders who may not have considered the service previously.
For the Framingham/Worcester Line specifically, several important upgrades to schedules will take effect on April 5.
On weekdays between 5 AM and 7 PM, all inbound and outbound trains will depart on-the-hour between Worcester and South Station in downtown Boston. During AM and PM peak periods on weekdays, all inbound and outbound trains will depart every 30 minutes between Framingham and South Station.
By filling in service gaps with regularly scheduled train trips, the Framingham/Worcester Line will become a more attractive transportation option to the Metro West area with these newly developed schedules offering riders multiple options all day in both directions.
These schedules are available at mbta.com.