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New MBTA commuter rail schedules take effect Jan. 23; reduced service continues

MBTA officials are reminding customers that new commuter rail schedules take effect Jan. 23.

There will be a slight increase in weekday service levels from the current schedule, and weekend service will only be offered on the Newburyport/Rockport, Framingham/Worcester, Fairmount, Providence, and Middleborough lines. All other commuter rail lines will not have weekend service, MBTA officials said in a press release.

The reduced service schedule that’s currently in place will continue through Jan. 22, and after that weekend service will only run on those select lines, officials said.

MBTA officials said the new schedules will start to align service to the lower ridership levels that have been seen during the pandemic.


“Ridership has remained low during the pandemic with approximately 8 percent of regular weekday ridership during the morning rush hour period in the fall of 2020 compared to fall 2019,” officials said in the release. “The new Winter Service Schedule includes additional trains on the Middleborough Line, Fairmount Line, and Newburyport/Rockport Line. These added trains help to fill in service gaps that existed in the previous schedule and help to offer more consistent train intervals, such as clockface service which makes riding simpler for passengers.”

“For instance, on the Fairmount Line, the new Winter Service Schedule offers clockface service every hour. From Readville, a train will depart on weekdays every hour at 30 minutes past the hour between 6:30 AM and 10:30 PM. This consistent interval is maintained for all stops on the Fairmount Line, and during higher ridership times additional trains are available.”

The new winter service schedules will be available online at www.MBTA.com on Jan. 15 and print copies will be available at major stations starting the week of Jan. 18.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.