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MBTA adds service to some bus lines, cuts others in response to pandemic

Buses lined up before the start of the day at the Lynn garage in 2019.
Buses lined up before the start of the day at the Lynn garage in 2019.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The MBTA will temporarily add service to some bus routes and eliminate others, beginning Monday, as the transit agency focuses on serving medical personnel amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Thursday.

More buses will be added on routes serving the Longwood medical area in Boston, Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Medford, and the Steward Satellite Emergency Department in Quincy, officials said in a statement.

Earlier service or additional trips will be added to some of the T’s busiest bus routes in an effort to support social distancing among passengers and employees, the MBTA said.

The agency will will temporarily stop running some weekday express routes that are seeing few riders, the statement said.

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The MBTA moved to a modified Saturday schedule across the system on March 17 in response to reduced ridership because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“These further revisions will continue to support critical travel needs of those who are essential to slowing the spread of this virus,” Steve Poftak, general manager of the MBTA, said in the statement. “These revisions, along with the additional precautions we are implementing to protect the health and safety of our workforce, will ensure we can continue to provide critical transportation services.”

The changes will not affect trolleys, subways, or the commuter rail, officials said, and the T’s ferry service remains shut down.

Beginning Monday, bus route 19, which passes through Longwood, and route 245 to Quincy Center will operate on a regular weekday schedule, while routes 352 and 354 through Medford and route 504 between Watertown and downtown Boston offer modified weekday service, the T said.

Bus route 7 through the Seaport will operate on a Saturday schedule, and the T will temporarily stop running buses on suburban routes 325, 326, 351, and 501 because of reduced ridership or the availability of other transportation, the agency said.

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The MBTA will continue disinfecting all vehicles every 24 hours, cleaning high-contact surfaces in stations every four hours, and cleaning high-contact bus surfaces during layover periods.

Further changes could lie ahead, MBTA officials said, as they continue monitoring usage of the system while most area residents stay home to slow the spread of the virus.

The T asks residents to avoid nonessential trips and to maintain social distance when riding buses or trains, boarding buses and trolleys by the rear door whenever possible.




Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.