Rockport/Newburyport commuter rail riders: Get ready for a summer of disruption

All thanks to the Beverly drawbridge replacement and the Positive Train Control system installation work.

Weekday Service Plan for July 17 through August 13

The Beverly Drawbridge replacement project will shut down all train service north of Salem Station from July 17 through August 13. Commuter Rail customers are encouraged to consider alternate transportation options for weekday commuting, including driving to an alternate station, using existing bus services in the Newburyport area, carpooling, taking the Salem Ferry, connecting to MBTA service via regional transit authorities, or working from home during this time.

Alternatively, the MBTA will provide free alternate weekday bus shuttle service. Three shuttle bus options are available to connect to Commuter Rail Service at Salem Station:

More info at:

Now I wonder if, between this and the Green Line bustitutions for the Comm Ave bridge work, whether the T will have enough buses to go around without having to pull them off of regular routes.



    Free tagging: 



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    The Gloucester Times has an article about this today.

    The T currently tells commuters to expect a 60 minute bus ride to Salem station, and then at least a 40 minute train ride from Salem to Boston. Adding an hour each way to people's commutes is unacceptable. And that's before the T fails to run enough buses, which experience tells us all will happen. They'll bring a bus for 40 people when there are 100+ people waiting. The Newburyport/Rockport line is one of the busiest commuter rails the T runs.

    Here is what should happen (but is not planned as far as I can tell): the T should run 5 buses for each train. One from Rockport to Boston, one from Gloucester to Boston, one from Manchester to Boston, one from Beverly to Boston, and one from Rockport that makes local stops between the station and Salem. On the Newburyport line, express buses should run from Newburyport and Ipswich. And then they should reverse those routes to run from Boston to each local station. This plan could likely help the T to manage ridership numbers and expectations for the buses.

    Alternatively, the T could run a summer ferry from Gloucester to Boston, and only bus on the Newburyport section.

    This current plan is completely unacceptable. (The first clue: the T is now advising riders to drive to Woburn and take a train from there. Why drive all the way to Woburn and not just to Boston? Or Wonderland?)

    I will not be able to ride the train to work this summer as it is now. How will I get to work? Not using the T. This plan MUST BE CHANGED.

    Love it

    "free alternate weekday shuttle bus service" is the SEVENTH option listed. This for a line that sees an upsurge in patronage in the summer months, as carless urbanites head for a summer respite on the North Shore.

    And Amtrak Downeaster rail

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    And Amtrak Downeaster rail riders: Get ready for another fare hike coming later this year. Meanwhile drivers are paying less and less in gas taxes and killing more and more people. The responsible people who take public transit never stop getting screwed around here.

    There Is So Much Anger In Your Response

    I would gladly live in the city and take public transportation (and I do from the burbs most days - $20 roundtrip plus $4 parking), the problem is that the house across the street from the house where I grew up just went on the market as a fixer upper at $965,000 or about $5K a month in total payments with 20% down.. That comes with being on a busy corner, crappy schools, and as an added bonus - random gunfire a few streets away. No thanks. I did my time in purgatory. There is a 2 week old deer asleep in the high grass in my yard right now. I'll take that over getting stuck on the Red Line and not have my kids caught in crossfire while getting a slice any day.

    What do you want me to do about the price of the Downeaster going up? You can always take the bus. It is $39 RT from Portland to South Station, which is $11 cheaper than the train roundtrip now.

    Please remember that the train does not operate on goodwill and nice thoughts. It is a diesel choking monster and bridges, tracks, and operators cost money as well. What shocks me is that the bridge, which I know the Downeaster does not travel on, is less than 35 years old and needs replacement. Nice job MBTA.

    I'll gladly pay more in gas taxes to alter the infrastructure paradigm, just please don't expect a free ride on my back.

    As if your roads...

    please don't expect a free ride on my back

    As if your roads, bridges, pollution, runoff, crashes, heart surgery, etc etc etc are super cheap and don't cost the rest of us anything.

    Trust Me

    I'm a donor state in the tax paradigm. I cover my nut and that of others You are welcome.


    I remember it burning or something like that in the early 80's and trains being stuck on the northerly side of the line.

    That was actually at North Station

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    in late 1984. The original wooden trestles supporting the draw spans caught fire. They replaced the trestles, but not the bridges - can you say "penny wise - pound foolish." If you look closely as you cross the Charles River on a train, you can see fire-charred remnants of the original trestles - now outside the current boating channel - that were never removed.

    Wasn't it both at one point?

    Bridges out at both North Station *and* Beverly-Salem? That was probably the nadir of the commuter rail system's entire history, along with the B&M strike around the same time.

    I think he means drivers are

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    I think he means drivers are paying less proportional to the costs of maintaining infrastructure (which have gone up due to inflation, etc) and less than T riders, who have had their fares raised multiple times while the gas tax has only gone up once since the 1990s.

    That's not all Downeaster riders have to worry about

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    Trump's budget proposes sharp cuts in Amtrak funding, and while the Downeaster as a state-supported train isn't supposed to be affected, much of the state money in question is dependent on federal money that will be cut.

    When the dust settles, a lot of state-supported transportation services, including the T itself, are likely to face drastic cuts if our Dear Leader gets his way.

    I like that they're

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    I like that they're explicitly stating that the shuttle buses (and train service the rest of the month!) are free and passengers only need pay for a zone 3 pass to go all the way to zone 8, rather than still charging the regular fare. I think that will definitely help offset the inconvenience, considering a zone 3 monthly is $244.25 compared to $363 for a zone 8, so a Newburyport rider would save $237.50 to make up for one month's inconvenience. Plus parking, if their station normally charges for it, because that will be free too.

    On weekends, when the whole

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    On weekends, when the whole line runs with buses, the fare will be $10 round trip.

    This is a great benefit to Boston riders. Interzone riders, not so much.

    From the wording of the

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    From the wording of the announcement I don't think you have to purchase that $10 round trip. It just says that it's available from the ticket office at North Station.

    It explicitly says that regular tickets/passes will be accepted on weekends, and I wouldn't be surprised if the bus is still free for outer interzone riders.


    So instead of screwing over the 3rd+ person they'd rather screw over everyone? Sure, that makes sense.

    The MBTA already has a 2 bike per bus policy and makes it clear you're SOL if the rack is full. Why not continue letting the first 2 people use the rack on the bus if the bus has one anyway.

    So instead of screwing over

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    So instead of screwing over the 3rd+ person they'd rather screw over everyone? Sure, that makes sense.

    Government is fair, not smart.

    It's a CYA so that third person can't turn around and sue because CLEARLY they were denied their bike spot for being [insert demographic here]. Or so fights don't break out.

    Probably also to shave off 30 seconds or so from overall boarding.