Below is a press release from Keolis Commuter Services:
BOSTON, MA — The MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services announced this week that Commuter Rail Reduced Service Schedules will continue to operate through Friday, January 8. Reduced Service Schedules took effect on December 14 due to low employee availability because of COVID-19 absences.
The MBTA and Keolis, like other employers in Massachusetts, have experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases since early December. Various departments have been impacted by these absences, including railroad dispatchers that control movement of trains across the Commuter Rail network.
The reduced schedule includes daily service on all Commuter Rail lines and at all stations, and it is already posted as the Storm Schedule, which was designed in advance to provide lower service levels in severe weather. Reduced Service Schedules, which impact weekday service only, are available at MBTA.com and in major stations today. The Reduced Service Schedule has no changes to weekend scheduled trips.
Since March, Keolis and the MBTA have introduced new technologies like electrostatic sprayers to help sanitize passenger areas quickly and thoroughly. As part of this enhanced sanitization, added attention is given to touch surfaces, employee areas and air filtration systems. Specifically in the dispatch office, in the spring Keolis implemented temperature checks for entrance, required masks and installed clear plastic dividers where possible in addition to daily deep cleanings. Passengers are reminded that all coach cars on every train remain open so they may spread out and maintain social distance.
Commuter Rail has operated consistently throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to provide critical transit for essential workers, including nurses and medical professionals, and for transit-dependent communities. Ridership on Commuter Rail has been approximately 13 percent of its pre-COVID levels, and during the holiday weeks in December ridership is historically low.
About Keolis Commuter Services
Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis Boston) 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. Keolis Boston is a subsidiary of Keolis North America (KNA), both headquartered in Boston, and employs approximately 2,400 people throughout the region. Keolis Boston 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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