Those looking to take a late-night commuter rail train home to the North Shore from Boston will have to seek alternate options as schedule changes approved by the MBTA take effect on Jan. 23.
Already on a reduced service schedule due to COVID-19 impacts, the MBTA will continue to operate without late-night commuter rail service to the North Shore.
Last trips to/from North Station
- Outbound to Newburyport: 10:20 p.m.
- Outbound to Rockport: 11:30 p.m.
- Inbound from Newburyport: 9 p.m.
- Inbound from Rockport (shuttle service to West Gloucester): 9:50 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday
- Outbound to Newburyport: 8:30 p.m.
- Outbound to Rockport: 9:30 p.m.
- Inbound from Newburyport: 7:10 p.m.
- Inbound from Rockport (shuttle service to Beverly): 7:25 p.m.
Weekend commuter rail service on the Newburyport/Rockport line was originally proposed to be eliminated entirely, but it is one of a handful of lines where operations will continue, albeit at a reduced level. The others are Middleborough, Fairmount, Providence and Worcester.
“These lines experienced more ridership gains over the last several months compared to other lines and serve transit-critical communities,” according to the MBTA. “Ridership has remained low during the pandemic with approximately 8% of regular weekday ridership during the morning rush hour period in the fall of 2020 compared to fall 2019.”
Due to ongoing construction for the Gloucester Drawbridge replacement project, buses will continue to replace train service between Rockport, Gloucester, West Gloucester (and Manchester on designated outbound trips) on weekdays.
On Saturdays and Sundays, trains bound for Rockport will travel as far as Beverly, where buses will replace train service to all stations on the remainder of the line. Buses will also be used for inbound service on the Rockport line.
Back in December, Sen. Joan Lovely (D-Salem) and Rep. Brad Hill (R-Ipswich) testified on the proposed changes to the Newburyport/Rockport commuter rail line and the impacts they would have on their constituents.
“I am relieved that the MBTA recognized the importance of continuing weekend commuter rail service on the Newburyport/Rockport line,” said Lovely. “Many North Shore residents rely on public transit to get to their jobs on the weekends, and the T made the right call in preserving this essential service.”
Hill said he was extremely pleased that MBTA leadership understood the need for weekend service, in some capacity, on the North Shore.
“I look forward to continuing our dialogue to ensure that our workers can get into Boston and that our tourism industry leaders don’t have to worry about people getting to our area via the commuter train,” he said.
The updated reduced service schedules will remain In place until mid-March, at which time, the MBTA will review how they are working, and decide whether to keep them in place, restore some service or implement additional cuts for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
For more information and to view the schedules, visit www.mbta.com/schedules/CR-Newburyport/timetable.
— Please support local journalism by subscribing to the Herald Citizen at https://www.wickedlocal.com/subscribenow, and by signing up for our weekly newsletter at https://profile.wickedlocal.com/newsletters/manage.