Below is a press release from the MBTA and Keolis:
BOSTON, MA — The MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the agency’s operating partner for Commuter Rail, announced Monday minor additions and adjustments to the existing Reduced Service Schedule. These changes provide earlier train options for passengers with essential travel needs, such as medical professionals and emergency responders, and will take effect on Wednesday, March 25. The complete Reduced Service Schedule including these adjustments is available at www.MBTA.com/coronavirus.
The MBTA and Keolis have been and will continue to monitor ridership and service levels throughout this outbreak. To better meet the needs of healthcare professionals and other individuals with essential travel in the morning, the Fitchburg, Haverhill, Lowell and Needham lines’ schedules will feature an additional early inbound train on the Reduced Service Schedule. Additionally, Newburyport line inbound train 7150 will starting March 25 depart Newburyport at 5:35 a.m., providing an option for passengers that need to be at North Station before 7 a.m.
“While ridership has been very low, these adjustments help accommodate our community’s needs in these unprecedented circumstances,” said David Scorey, CEO and General Manager of Keolis. “By adding these options, we are providing public transit for those with essential travel needs and enabling as much social distancing as is possible on Commuter Rail. I appreciate the feedback from our passengers to encourage these changes, as well as the dedication of our Commuter Rail employees who continue to provide this public service and are helping to disinfect coach cars every 24 hours.”
With the Commonwealth under a State of Emergency declared by the governor, it is important to emphasize the need for everyone to limit travel unless it is essential. Keolis customer service team members will hand out printed copies of these new schedules at North Station, South Station and Back Bay Station ahead of this change. Printed schedules are available at ticket offices as well.
The MBTA and Keolis are implementing this Reduced Service Schedule based on guidance from public health officials as a measure to help protect passengers and Commuter Rail employees from the spread of COVID-19. To support social distancing onboard trains, conductors will provide access to all coach cars, even with low ridership, during both peak service and off-peak service. Passengers are reminded to only board and detrain at doors attended by a conductor. Bicycles will be allowed on all Reduced Service Schedule trains.
Keolis and the MBTA will provide updates on service to passengers via Twitter at @MBTA_CR, at MBTA.com, through T-Alerts and on station signage and onboard announcements.
About Keolis Commuter Services
Keolis Commuter Services (KCS) has operated and maintained the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s commuter rail system since July 1, 2014. The fifth largest commuter rail operation in North America, the system carries approximately 127,000 daily passengers throughout the greater Boston area and services 141 stations over 394 miles. KCS is a subsidiary of Keolis North America (KNA), both headquartered in Boston, and employs approximately 2,400 people throughout the region. KCS and KNA are part of Keolis Group, an innovative global leader in transit services with more than a century of passenger transportation experience and operations in 16 countries.
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