Red Line, Orange, Line and Blue Line
Just when you think things couldn’t be worse, the MBTA announced plans to cut train trip frequency this summer.
According to WBUR, the MBTA is downscaling service in response to a staffing shortage that federal transportation authorities have stated is a safety risk for riders and workers.
Beginning this week, the Red, Orange and Blue Lines will take on a Saturday schedule every weekday. Good Lord! It’s believed this new schedule will slow down travel significantly for up to hundreds of thousands of commuters.
Officials said they plan to return Red, Orange and Blue Lines to full service levels “as soon as sufficient dispatch capacity exists.”
The MBTA also stated in a press release that it hoping to launch “an aggressive recruitment campaign, offering bonuses, and potentially hiring back former dispatchers” to bulk up the number employees.
See press release below – and good luck out there!
BOSTON – The MBTA today announced weekday subway service changes to take effect on the Red, Orange, and Blue Lines on Monday, June 20, and continuing through the summer. These changes are the result of staffing challenges among the ranks of subway dispatchers in the MBTA’s Operations Control Center. With a limited number of dispatchers, these new timetables allow the MBTA to schedule dispatchers in compliance with Federal Transit Administration directives, and continue delivering service in a safe and reliable manner.
These changes, which mirror typical Saturday schedules for the subway, affect weekday service only. There will be no changes to Red, Orange, or Blue Line weekend service, and no changes to any Green Line service.
As of last week, ridership on the Red and Orange Lines remained approximately 50% below pre-pandemic levels while Blue Line volume was about 44% below pre-Covid ridership.
The MBTA is exploring multiple options to add capacity at the Control Center, including an aggressive recruitment campaign, offering bonuses, and potentially hiring back former dispatchers.
If dispatch capacity permits, there may be days when the MBTA can increase the number of trains in service. And as soon as sufficient dispatch capacity exists, the MBTA will revert to its previous level of service.
There is one exception to the revised summer schedule. In the afternoon and evening of Monday, July 4, the MBTA will provide regular weekday service in order to accommodate people attending Independence Day festivities.
Effective June 20, Red Line weekday trains will operate every 14 to 15 minutes on both the Ashmont and Braintree branches and seven to eight minutes between trains on the “trunk” of the Red Line between Alewife and JFK/UMass stations.
Red Line weekday summer service is typically nine to 10 minutes between trains during morning and evening peak periods, 10 to 12 minutes between trains during off-peak hours, and every five to six minutes between trains on the “trunk” of the Red Line between Alewife and JFK/UMass stations.
Effective June 20, Orange Line weekday trains will operate every 10 minutes in the mornings, 11 minutes between trains in the evenings, and eight to nine minutes between trains during mid-day periods.
Orange Line weekday summer service is typically six to seven minutes between trains during morning and evening peak periods, and every seven to eight minutes between trains during off-peak periods.
Effective June 20, Blue Line weekday trains will operate every seven minutes until 9 AM, and every eight to nine minutes for the rest of the day.
Blue Line weekday summer service is typically five minutes between trains during morning and evening peak periods, every nine to 10 minutes between trains in the mid-day mornings, and every five to six minutes between trains in the mid-day afternoons.
For more information, please visit mbta.com or connect with the T on Twitter @MBTA, Facebook /TheMBTA, or Instagram @theMBTA.
Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.
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