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Commuter-rail schedules to be slashed in half for two weeks because so many train workers now have Covid-19

Keolis and the MBTA announced today that, starting Monday, the number of daily train runs on the commuter-rail system will be cut from 541 to 246 - the system just no longer has enough workers not in quarantine to keep up with the normal schedule - and that while they hope to resume regular service on Dec. 27, the cutbacks might last longer.

The MBTA and Keolis, like other employers in Massachusetts, have experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases over the past 10 days. The Reduced Service Schedule will run at least through December 27. During this time, the MBTA and Keolis will monitor employee availability to determine if the Reduced Service Schedule needs to remain in place for an extended period.

The cuts basically reduce service to what the system might provide during and right after a major snowstorm.

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Comments

Well maybe if more of their staff actually followed the mandate and worse masks, maybe this would not be an issue.

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Voting closed 13

Is there a link to the new reduced service schedules?

Also, that is a cut of *more* than half the trains -- not long after they added more service in the fall.

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email I received today:

All Commuter Rail lines will operate on the Reduced Service Schedule on weekdays beginning Monday, December 14th and for at least 2 weeks, due to Covid-19 impact in communities and in the workforce. Weekend trains will operate on regular schedule.

Reduced Service Schedule is now available from MBTA.com/cr and at South Station, North Station and Back Bay.

Bikes will be allowed on board all trains.

On Friday, January 1st, The Commuter Rail will operate on a regular Sunday Schedule.

We will be reviewing staff numbers on a weekly basis to determine when we can be confident of being able to restore the full service.
Last Updated: Dec 10 2020 02:35 PM

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Voting closed 20

Up until even yesterday, a conductor on the 4:25pm Haverhill line train was sitting down close to passengers with his mask off talking away. Most of us have been saying this for months: Commuter rail personnel have not been following or enforcing mandatory mask usage and this is the result - starting Monday, crowded trains and less of them....

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Voting closed 42

Cutting back service now, in the middle of the worst of the pandemic, makes a lot of sense. Cutting back service in the middle of next year, after so many people have received vaccines and Covid hopefully is retreating, makes no sense. I realize the reasoning is because operators have become sick, but the cutbacks they were recently talking about should have been quickly implemented so they could be restored as life hopefully gets back to semi-normal.

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Voting closed 28

Once cut, per the MBTA. We will not have the infrastructure to allow for full five days weeks for years given traffic and mbta situation

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I hope the conductors and engineers I know are okay. Good times on the Needham 600 and 602 trains (And the Boston Latin “school bus” in the afternoons)

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Why is it that the Transit Police refuse to enforce the no mask rule or fare enforcement? How many citations have been issued in the last few months? My guess is less than ten.

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These are the people who tried to severely cut service by saying there would be less late trains if there were less trains. When that failed three conductor crews became two. For a while packed afternoon trains always had one conductor, causing near-riots at every station. Keolis will always try to deliver the least amount of service the can for this contract they already have.

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Voting closed 14