Note - this subject originally came up in another thread, but I felt it deserves more attention, so I'm posting a separate story
The MBTA recently released new commuter rail schedules effective November 21st.
Update - just received this e-mail after originally posting this item:
Fall Commuter Rail Schedules Effective 11.21.16
Dear Commuter Rail Customer:
The Fall Commuter Rail schedules will be in effect starting on Monday, November 21st. You'll find more information and updated schedules for all lines at the following link:
Note: There will be no schedule changes for the Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth, Middleborough/Lakeville and Worcester Lines. For the Worcester Line, the re-print also includes the adjustments made in July to the final arrival time of certain trains (Inbound trains 588, 522 and 526. Outbound trains 517, 519, 521, 593, 523 and 525).
Full service to Wachusett begins November 21st.
Paper copies of the schedules will be available in the Boston-based stations (North Station, South Station, and Back Bay) starting on Monday, November 14th.
Each line now has a legend that indicates service level information in the event of severe weather. We will operate at various 'colors' in the event of severe weather.
o Purple is standard service
o In the event of Blue we will not operate the trains shaded in blue on the online schedules
o Orange will have a unique schedule for that day that is not currently available online
o Gray means no train service that day
If you have any trip planning questions related to the new schedules, please contact Customer Service at 617-222-3200 or on Twitter @MBTA_CR.
We value your feedback and thank you for riding with us.
The MBTA/Keolis Commuter Rail Team
The significant change from the current schedule is the creation of a "Blue Level" of service. Under the Blue Level, a number of trains on each line will be cancelled for that day. Although the intent is stated as during "severe weather", there's no information about the specific weather criteria for declaring a "Blue Level", or how promptly passengers will be notified prior to the reduced service level taking effect. This latter point is critical, especially on lines like Reading/Haverhill, where an early train (7:30 from Reading) is being run, but later trains (8:00 and 8:30 from Reading) are being cancelled.
Not to mention that the concept of "it's a winter storm, so we have to run LESS service" is just plain absurd. Wonder what overpaid consultant came up with this one.