MBTA to Adjust Service Delivery in Response to COVID-19;
Virtual Public Meetings to be Held in November
Challenged by low ridership and lost fare revenue as a result of the pandemic, the MBTA is moving forward with an initiative to alter and in some cases substantially reduce service levels. Commuter Rail service is likely to be reduced as a result, with service changes anticipated to be implemented in mid-2021 and remain in place for several years.
Per the MBTA, their existing level of service delivery does not match passenger demand at present. Through their "Forging Ahead" initiative, MBTA aims to reduce service where ridership has decreased, or where trains are nearly empty, and invest those savings into transit services that more riders continue to rely upon.
The MBTA is seeking public feedback and engagement as it moves forward with this process. The objective is to determine core essential services, and to realign service by prioritizing and preserving those services. Proposed service options will be announced in November, with time for additional public discussion into the first week of December.
The MBTA will be holding 11 public meetings over Zoom (nine regional meetings, two system-wide meetings). These meetings can be joined by computer, smartphone app, or telephone.
Regional Public Meeting Information
REGION ONE (Majority of 495/MetroWest Partnership Communities)
The meeting will focus on bus and Commuter Rail service (Fitchburg, Framingham/Worcester, and Needham Lines).
REGION EIGHT (Bellingham, Foxborough, Franklin, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, and Wrentham)
The meeting will focus on bus and Commuter Rail (Providence/Stoughton and Franklin Lines).