MBTA Discourages All Non-Essential Travel

The MBTA has announced additional service revisions in a continuing effort to protect the health and safety of the T’s customers and workforce, and to preserve transit services for those who are essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19, or otherwise must travel for purposes that are absolutely necessary.

Effective Wednesday, March 25, the MBTA will modify the Commuter Rail’s Reduced Service Schedule to allow for 5 trains to arrive in Boston prior to 7 AM. These schedule revisions are being made to address demand for travel by medical professionals and other emergency responders.  The specific intent of these changes is to allow essential workers to travel with enough time to meet to shift changes at hospitals and other medical facilities.

The complete Reduced Service Schedule including these adjustments is available at mbta.com/coronavirus.

These revisions assist in maintaining vital transportation services to employees in key industries and workers with limited or no other transportation options.  As a key component of ensuring continuity of service for those individuals, the MBTA is strongly urging customers to avoid any and all unnecessary travel.

“The MBTA’s recent service revisions are in keeping with the broader strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19, and to ensure health care workers, grocery store employees, and others who play key roles in keeping everyone safe, can continue to do so,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “Critical to our success in sustaining mobility is a combination of providing service that meets the needs of employees essential to combating COVID-19, keeping up our enhanced protocols for cleaning and disinfecting of vehicles and high-contact surfaces, and renewing our request to customers to minimize their travel to only what is absolutely necessary.”

As part of the MBTA’s process of monitoring ridership and making corresponding service adjustments, the T continues to strongly discourage all non-essential travel.  The MBTA will continue to monitor this situation and may make further revisions in service based on guidance from public health professionals to support social distancing and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Commuter Rail

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.

Effective with the start of service on Wednesday, March 25, targeted adjustments in capacity will be made to meet the unique needs of health care professionals and early morning shift changes:

MBTA Construction

While significant MBTA projects like the Green Line Extension, South Coast Rail, and safety-critical work will continue, effective today, March 23, the MBTA is pausing a number of previously planned capital program activities for 3 weeks to ensure that necessary engineering and maintenance employees can focus on providing safe service for MBTA customers, many of whom provide COVID-19 essential services. Projects that were scheduled to take place during evenings, overnight, and on weekends are particularly affected because of the need for engineering and maintenance staff to focus on safety and preventive maintenance activities needed to support service rather than capital delivery.

This previously scheduled work will be rescheduled at a later date with more information available on mbta.com/alerts for the most current diversion information.

Many projects will continue, including safety-critical work, environmental stewardship projects, and accessibility improvements including elevator work at various stations; repair work at the Alewife Garage; emergency lighting, fire alarm and suppression work in the Harvard busway and at Oak Grove; standpipe work within the Blue Line’s tunnel; power upgrades at the Wellington Car House; Green Line Extension/Green Line Transformation work in support of Lechmere Viaduct work; and MBTA/Keolis Commuter Rail projects that include Gloucester Drawbridge structural inspections; PTC construction; the Worcester Branch Bridge Bundle; construction at the Iron Horse Park Dispatching Center; and related Green Line Extension construction.

-via Press Release

This article was posted on: March 23, 2020