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Commuter Rail Accessibility Guide

Most MBTA Commuter Rail stations and trains are accessible to seniors and people with disabilities.

Every customer has the right to use accessibility equipment at MBTA stations and trains. This includes elevators, escalators, accessible restrooms, ramps, mobile bridgeplates, mobile lifts, high-level platforms, and mini-high platforms. 

To help plan your trip, MBTA rail schedules are available in large print and braille formats. Contact Customer Support to request a copy. 

Commuter Rail Tickets

What You Can Expect at an MBTA Commuter Rail Station

MBTA Commuter Rail stops have purple signs at each station. Train lines are identified by their final outbound stop. For example, the Worcester line ends at the Worcester train station.

At larger terminals like South Station, train lines don't always board at the same track. About 10-15 minutes before the train’s scheduled departure, you can find the track number on the departure board. The station agent will also announce the track number over the loudspeaker.

Customer service desks are available at North, South, and Back Bay stations to help you purchase rail tickets or find and board your train.

Boarding and Exiting Commuter Rail Trains

The Commuter Rail system features 3 different platform types:

  • High-level
  • Mini-high
  • Low-level

Some stations with low-level platforms also have mini-high platforms for level boarding. Not every low-level platform offers level boarding. Before you begin your journey, check station accessibility features.

High-level platform

High-level platforms are level with the train door. There may be a gap between the train and the platform. An MBTA staff member can set up a bridgeplate to span the gap so it’s easier for you to board.

Do not approach the train until it has come to a complete stop. The conductor can help you to your seat after boarding.

Once you’re on board, let the conductor know which stop you’re going to so they can make sure you’re in the right car to exit. They can help you exit the train at your destination.

Mini-high platform

Mini-high platforms are located at the far end of low-level platforms. They only offer accessible boarding at the front or back doors of the train. You can wait on the platform as the train approaches, but do not begin to board until it has come to a complete stop.

Once you’re on board, let the conductor know which stop you’re going to so they can make sure you’re in the right car to exit. They can help you exit the train at your destination.

Priority Seating Areas

There are priority seats near the front and rear of each car, and passengers are expected to yield their seats to seniors, expectant parents, and people with disabilities. There are designated spots for wheeled mobility devices on most trains.

If no priority seats are available, the conductor can ask passengers to offer their seats, but cannot force anyone to move. Alternately, they can help you to another seat or find out when the next train that can accommodate you will be arriving. 

While on Your Trip

All stops and transfer points are announced automatically 3 times: once as the train departs the previous station, once as it approaches the next station, and once as it arrives. If the automated system isn’t working, the MBTA operator will make those announcements.

If you aren’t sure where your stop is or which car to exit from, the conductor can help you.