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New Commuter Rail Schedules Released

Media Contact
MassDOT Press Office: 857-368-8500

BOSTON – April 14, 2016 – Following a robust public comment period, the MBTA has released new commuter rail schedules that will take effect on May 23. The changes are designed to improve performance and allow for greater schedule reliability.

The changes will improve passengers’ experience through consistent arrival and departure times, and additional express service. No major changes have been made to the T’s commuter rail schedules in decades, despite ridership changes and infrastructure improvements. These changes were developed using computer-based rail simulations, field testing and improved operations policies.

A new North Side draft schedule was initially rolled out in November 2015, and altered to reflect public comment and concerns. Customer comments were solicited during a public information period conducted from January 7 through February 22, which included eight public meetings held throughout the commuter rail service area. Over 9,000 comments were also solicited online via web survey and email.

“After hearing feedback at public meetings and receiving thousands of comments from our customers, we have adjusted some schedules in order to better serve the people who use our commuter rail system,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “This comprehensive update – the most substantive changes in decades – will lead to improved service and customer dependability.”

Service reliability is of paramount importance to customers and is a critical factor in the MBTA’s efforts to attract more riders to the commuter rail system. By effectively managing existing train sets to benefit the greatest number of customers, the MBTA has developed more realistic and dependable schedules on which daily commuters can rely.

To view the new commuter rail schedules online go to: http://www.mbta.com/about_the_mbta/news_events/?id=6442456079&month=&year=#Spring

Some of the highlights of the finalized schedules are:

NORTH SIDE SERVICE

  • New “reverse commute” train from North Station to Littleton/495 to serve new employment growth in the area, at 6:45 a.m., as well as an early reverse commute to Fitchburg at 6:30 p.m.
  • In response to comments received at public meetings:
    • Haverhill Line: shifted arrival times earlier to better line up with job start times.
    • Newburyport/Rockport Line: added later a.m. departures for school drop-off.
     

SOUTH SIDE SERVICE

  • New Express Train from Worcester to Boston at 8:05 a.m.
  • In response to comments received at public meetings:
    • Providence/Stoughton Line: provided five peak-service stops at Ruggles Staion, the same as previous schedule.
    • Framingham/Worcester Line: all ‘peak commuting period’ express trains to serve West Natick station, and Train 510 will make all stops in Wellesley.
    • Needham Line: restored the Forest Hills and Ruggles stops to all a.m. peak trains, and shifted p.m. peak departures to better reflect the existing schedule.
    • Franklin Line: restored the Dedham Corp. Center stop on a.m. and p.m. Express Trains and the Readville stop on comparable local services. P.M. peak service realigned to better match existing departure times (exact times could not be replicated due to equipment constraints and corridor capacity).
     


The MBTA and Keolis have initiated public outreach campaigns so that customers have ample time to adjust to the new schedules. The public information effort includes T-Alerts, on-board announcements by conductors, MBTA.com, social media (@mbta on Twitter) and the distribution of pocket schedules.