In an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19, the MBTA announced last week it would be reducing frequency in service to help facilitate social distancing.
However, following Tuesday’s implementation of service reductions that led to crowded trains on some lines, the MBTA announced Wednesday additional revisions to service to reflect demand at specific times of day. This change applies to select rapid transit lines and bus routes.
In Charlestown, the Orange Line will continue to arrive approximately every nine to 11 minutes.
“As we continue monitoring the situation, we are making adjustments to ensure we can provide service for essential trips in the safest manner possible,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “We recognize that some employees in key industries, including those in the medical community, rely on the MBTA to get to their places of work, and we’re committed to providing service to those folks who rely on the T. That said, service continues to operate at reduced levels in an effort to maintain a responsible balance between protecting our workforce and operating safe service.”
The MBTA will continue to track customer volumes and make service adjustments accordingly while continuing to meet the needs of customer demand and supporting social distancing.
According to Poftak, the Blue Line service will be increased in the mornings to reflect ridership demand. Outside of the morning rush, Blue Line trains throughout the day will continue to arrive approximately every nine to 13 minutes.
On the Red Line between Alewife and JFK/UMass stations, trains continue to be expected to arrive approximately every seven minutes. Red Line trains on the Ashmont and Braintree branches will run approximately every 14 minutes.
In response to reports of heavy passenger volumes on the Green Line E branch, and to further support workforce access to area hospitals in the Longwood Medical Area, service will be added to the E branch specifically with more frequency seen between Prudential and Heath Street stations. Green Line B, C and D branch trolleys will continue to run every seven to 13 minutes.
The MBTA urges members of the public to travel only if absolutely necessary in keeping with Gov. Charlie Baker’s declaration of a State of Emergency and efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 by engaging in social distancing.
These changes are being made based on guidance from public health professionals with the principal goal of protecting the health and safety of MBTA employees and customers. The MBTA will continue to monitor and assess ridership needs as this situation evolves, with a particular focus on workforce access for hospitals and food distribution locations operated by the City of Boston.
The MBTA also said it continues to ramp up its cleaning and sanitation work in stations and across vehicles.
“We are continuing to take necessary steps to protect the health and safety of riders and MBTA employees with increased cleaning and sanitation at stations and on vehicles,” said Poftak. “This includes cleaning and disinfecting vehicles. All MBTA fleet vehicles (buses, trolleys, subway cars, Commuter Rail coaches, ferries, and RIDE vehicles) are being disinfected on a daily basis.”
The MBTA is also cleaning and disinfecting MBTA property.
“All business locations, including the RIDE Eligibility Center and CharlieCard store, are being disinfected every 24 hours,” he said. “All high-contact areas at subway stations (handrails, fare gates and fare-vending machines) are being cleaned every four hours.”
The MBTA is also adding more sanitation equipment like hand sanitizing dispensers, disinfectant wipes, and cleaning sprays. These will be deployed at MBTA facilities and stations throughout the system.
The MBTA is also encouraging all riders to:
• Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
• Cover coughs and sneezes with elbows.
• Stay home if sick.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
• Clean areas that are frequently touched with sanitizing spray or wipes.
Other MBTA updates
MBTA buses will continue to operate on a Saturday schedule, though frequency (especially during the early morning and morning peak hours) will be added beginning tomorrow based on reports today of heavy ridership during certain times on certain routes.
Route 710 will operate regular weekday service beginning tomorrow. Routes 7, 501 and 504 will continue to operate modified weekday service.
Select express bus routes 325, 326, 351, 352 and 354 will continue to operate according to regular weekday schedules.
Ferry service continues to be cancelled until further notice. Ferry customers who board at the Hingham and Hull terminals are encouraged to use West Hingham or Nantasket Junction stations on the Greenbush Commuter Rail Line as an alternative.
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.
The Mattapan Line will continue to run trolley service approximately every 12 to 26 minutes.
The MBTA will continue to operate full service on the RIDE. The MBTA encourages RIDE customers to plan their trips accordingly and follow the guidance of public health officials while in close contact with older adults or people with underlying health issues.
The MBTA’s CharlieCard Store is located at 7 Chauncy St. within the Downtown Crossing T station. Normal hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. In the event that hours of operation change, customers should check MBTA.com for updated service hours.