June 16, 2021 Submitted by MBTA
BOSTON and HINGHAM, MA– The MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the agency’s operating partner for Commuter Rail, are reminding passengers that weekend service will resume on all Commuter Rail lines effective Saturday, July 3. Schedules are now available to view on mbta.com/commuterrail.
Rail service on Saturdays and Sundays will return to the Fitchburg, Franklin, Greenbush, Haverhill, Kingston, Lowell, and Needham lines. Saturday and Sunday service will be identical across all lines.
“The resumption of weekend service represents a major milestone in the MBTA’s aggressive plans to restore service to meet rider demand,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “With the public’s health and safety of paramount importance, we remind our customers that face coverings are still required while using all MBTA services. As we navigate the ‘new normal,’ we are designing our service schedules to best serve riders who have used the system throughout the pandemic as well as returning and new customers.”
In January, the MBTA initiated plans to match service with lower ridership levels resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring access for essential workers and transit-critical communities. As a result of these plans, weekend service was suspended on all lines except the Newburyport/Rockport, Framingham/Worcester, Fairmount, Providence, and Middleborough lines.
New Saturday and Sunday schedules will take effect on all lines, including those that have continued to operate on weekends since January. Passengers should visit mbta.com/commuterrail to view timetables and plan their trips. New schedules will represent an increase in the overall number of weekend trains operating with new, earlier options that match the needs of shift workers like essential employees in the healthcare industry.
“We believe weekend service across all lines will contribute to the steady growth in ridership seen on Commuter Rail during the pandemic recovery,” said John Killeen, Acting CEO and General Manager of Keolis. “Shift workers who previously worked Saturdays and Sundays early in the morning will now find they have more convenient options that better align with their schedules.”
Ridership on weekends has recovered with more than 50% of pre-pandemic ridership returning to Commuter Rail routes that have maintained weekend service.
Passengers are reminded that face coverings are required when riding any MBTA service or when in stations, to stay home if they are feeling unwell, and to wash their hands frequently. In addition to regular cleaning, trains are sanitized every 24 hours and many as frequently as every 12 hours. For additional information, please visit mbta.com/ridesafer or mass.gov/COVID19.
Passengers are also reminded that $10 weekend tickets are available for purchase on mTicket, on board with cash or a credit card, or in ticket offices located at Boston’s Back Bay, North, and South Stations. Tickets are valid for unlimited travel across all lines for one weekend, from the first scheduled train Saturday morning until the last Sunday evening.