The MBTA announced weekday subway service changes to take effect on the Red, Orange, and Blue Lines on Monday, June 20, and continuing through the summer. These changes are the result of staffing challenges among the ranks of subway dispatchers in the MBTA’s Operations Control Center. With a limited number of dispatchers, these new timetables allow the MBTA to schedule dispatchers in compliance with Federal Transit Administration directives, and continue delivering service in a safe and reliable manner.
These changes, which mirror typical Saturday schedules for the subway, affect weekday service only. There will be no changes to Red, Orange, or Blue Line weekend service, and no changes to any Green Line service.
As of last week, ridership on the Red and Orange Lines remained approximately 50% below pre-pandemic levels while Blue Line volume was about 44% below pre-Covid ridership.
The MBTA is exploring multiple options to add capacity at the Control Center, including an aggressive recruitment campaign, offering bonuses, and potentially hiring back former dispatchers.
If dispatch capacity permits, there may be days when the MBTA can increase the number of trains in service. And as soon as sufficient dispatch capacity exists, the MBTA will revert to its previous level of service.
There is one exception to the revised summer schedule. In the afternoon and evening of Monday, July 4, the MBTA will provide regular weekday service in order to accommodate people attending Independence Day festivities.
-via Press Release