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MBTA commuter rail, ferry service cuts take effect

An MBTA commuter rail train pulls into the station in Brockton.
An MBTA commuter rail train pulls into the station in Brockton.Lane Turner/Globe Staff/file

Saturday marked the first day of service changes on commuter rail and ferry lines operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which has seen a steep drop in revenues and passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Weekend service will only be offered on the Newburyport/Rockport, Framingham/Worcester, Fairmount, Providence, and Middleborough lines, according to the MBTA.

All other lines will operate only on weekdays, the agency said in a post on its website.

“Ridership has remained low during the pandemic with approximately 8% of regular weekday ridership in the fall of 2020 compared to fall 2019,” the agency wrote.

The agency said in a statement that the lines still operating on weekends run through “transit-critical communities” and saw a growing number of riders in the last several months.


Additional trains have also been added to the Middleborough, Fairmount, and Newburyport/Rockport lines to reduce gaps in service, the MBTA said.

Direct ferry service to Charlestown and Hingham, along with weekend service on the Hingham/Hull ferry, is temporarily suspended. The weekday Hingham/Hull ferry will also run at reduced rates, the agency said.

“With ferry ridership approximately 12 percent of pre-COVID levels, these changes in ferry service.... aim to align service with the lower ridership levels experienced during the pandemic,” the MBTA said.

With fewer riders during the pandemic, the MBTA said it will continue to reduce service on various lines in upcoming months.

For more information about service changes, visit the MBTA’s website.

Caroline Enos can be reached at caroline.enos@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @CarolineEnos.