The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is preparing to significantly ramp up service across all modes as part of Phase 2 of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan.
Effective June 21, regular weekday service will operate on the Blue Line; increased weekday service will operate on the Red, Orange, Green, and Mattapan Lines; and service will increase for nearly sixty bus routes. On June 22, Commuter Rail service will be increased and ferry service will resume on weekdays.
MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said, “As the Commonwealth continues its reopening phases and we begin boosting service for all modes, we will continue to protect the riding public and our workforce through enhanced safety protocols, including cleaning and sanitizing our stations and vehicles. Thank you to MBTA riders for their patience during these challenging times and for wearing face coverings while using the system. I also want to reiterate my deep appreciation to our frontline workforce, who have come to work every day throughout the pandemic in order to provide essential transit services.”
On March 17, the MBTA implemented service changes that mimicked limited, modified Saturday schedules for most modes with ferry service temporarily canceled in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack said, “While service is increasing significantly, providing safe transit during the coronavirus pandemic is a shared responsibility among the MBTA, its customers, employers, and cities and towns.”
Customers should continue to make efforts to distance and are reminded that face coverings are required while onboard vehicles and within the MBTA system. The MBTA urges area employers to continue to allow telecommuting and to consider staggered work schedules to promote social distancing on public transit. The MBTA also encourages cities and towns to assist in this effort be expanding available space at historically busy bus stops and working with the MBTA to implement dedicated-bus lanes.
In compliance with the Executive Order that went into effect on May 6, riders are also reminded that face coverings are required while onboard all MBTA vehicles, on shuttle buses, and at stations and stops. This May 6 directive does include an exemption for individuals with certain medical conditions, but does not require a person who is so exempt to produce documentation of their condition. The MBTA has issued internal guidance to its operators consistent with the Executive Order, though the MBTA expects all customers will comply.
The MBTA continues to follow guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health with the MBTA encouraging its riders and the public to:
· Practice social distancing at all times when leaving the home for essential trips;
· Stay home if sick and avoid close contact with others;
· Wash hands often with soap and water for at least twenty seconds;
· Use alcohol-based hand sanitizing gel with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available;
· Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth;
· Clean areas that are frequently touched with sanitizing spray or wipes;
· Cover coughs and sneezes, and use a tissue or the inner elbow, not hands.