Transportation Update:
Proposed MBTA Service Reductions
Opportunities for Engagement with MBTA: Public Meeting Tonight, Partnership Transportation Committee Meeting Dec. 1st

In a presentation to the Fiscal Management Control Board yesterday, the MBTA announced a proposed suite of service cuts and capital reallocation maneuvers to address a projected $579 million budget gap in FY22 as part of its “Forging Ahead” initiative. The plan will shave an estimated $130 million in annual expenditures; 35% of savings are directly attributed to service level reductions on Commuter Rail.

Proposed service reductions are likely to remain in place for several years. Click here to learn more about MBTA's "Forging Ahead" initiative

There will be several public meetings hosted by MBTA to make detailed presentations and receive public feedback on the topic; further, the MBTA will make a presentation to the Partnership's Transportation Committee on Tuesday, December 1st at 8:30 AM regarding the proposed service changes. More details on these sessions can be found below.

Proposed Commuter Rail Service Reductions

Elimination of weekend service on Commuter Rail is slated to begin in January, with other scheduling modifications targeted for May. 

Proposed Commuter Rail Service Changes:
  • Stop all weekend service (January 2021)
  • Stop all service after 9pm (May 2021)
  • Decrease peak and some midday service (May 2021)

Commuter Rail Capital Projects placed “On Pause:”
  • Franklin Double Tracking & Signal Improvement
  • Framingham/Worcester Line Track & Station Accessibility Improvements (including Third Track Feasibility)
  • Worcester Union Station – Design and Construction
  • Procurement of 181 Bi-level Coaches

MBTA Public Meeting Information

The MBTA is seeking public feedback and engagement as it moves forward with this process. 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.

Region One (Majority of 495/MetroWest Partnership Communities): **TONIGHT November 10th at 6:00 PM; click here to register. This 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): November 30th at 6:00 PM; click here to register. This meeting will focus on bus and Commuter Rail (Providence/Stoughton and Franklin Lines). 

495/MetroWest Partnership Transportation Committee Meeting

The Transportation Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership will meet via Zoom on Tuesday, December 1st, at 8:30 AM. Click here to register.

The Transportation Committee will hear a presentation from MBTA Assistant General Manager for Policy Laurel Paget-Seekins regarding upcoming MBTA service reductions, including reductions to Commuter Rail. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and to offer feedback on the proposed service changes.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you. You may reach me directly via email at

Jason Palitsch
Executive Director
The 495/MetroWest Partnership