BOSTON — The spring commuter rail schedule takes effect on Monday and reflects the direction for regional rail service outlined last month to the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board.
The new schedule provides more trains during the middle of day and is a significant service increase compared to the current winter schedule that has been in effect since December, according to a statement from the MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services, the agency’s operating partner for commuter rail.
For example, trains on the Newburyport/Rockport Line offer service between Beverly and North Station every 30 minutes nearly all day. Similarly, trains on the Worcester Line depart Worcester Station every hour on the hour from 5 a.m. through 7 p.m. with additional options outside of those times.
The spring schedule is available at MBTA.com.
“The MBTA and Keolis worked to create a service offering that is attractive to passengers for both its all-day frequency and ease of trip planning with trains at regular and predictable intervals,” said Steve Poftak, general manager of the MBTA, in the statement. “Adopting a regional rail style of service also helps to better position the network for a future rail transformation.”
Keolis and the MBTA designed the spring schedule to offer train service at regular and predictable intervals.
“This schedule change establishes a service pattern we believe will better match the current and future needs of our passengers,” said David Scorey, CEO and general manager of Keolis.
He said the new schedule "provides options that our passengers have requested and can assist in a strong and equitable economic recovery with regular service across all lines and more consistent service to many gateway cities."
The shuttle bus that replaced the commuter rail trains between Rockport and West Gloucester, and in some instances Manchester, since late April 2020 will continue through the summer of 2021, according to the MBTA. This service replaces all weekday and weekend trains with a free shuttle bus between Rockport, Gloucester and West Gloucester stations while the MBTA replaces the commuter rail bridge over the Annisquam River.
Shuttles operate on the normal train schedule but may experience delays up to 15 minutes.
Passengers should visit mbta.com/commuterrail to view schedules for all lines.
Responding to rider feedback, weeknight service after 9 is preserved as part of the schedule change. Bicycles will be permitted on all trains across all lines as part of the spring schedule but not on the shuttle buses.
Seating in all coach cars on all trains will continue to be available to allow for social distance between passengers, according to the release. Passengers are reminded that face coverings are required when riding any MBTA service or when in stations, to stay home if they are feeling unwell and to wash their hands frequently. In addition to regular cleaning, trains are sanitized every 24 hours and many as frequently as every 12 hours. For additional information, visit mbta.com/coronavirus or mass.gov/COVID19.