FRAMINGHAM, MA — A new spring 2021 commuter rail schedule coming next month will include key changes for riders, including fewer morning and evening trips and service continuing after 9 p.m.
Keolis, the MBTA’s service provider, gave a sneak peek at the spring schedules on Monday. Keolis said the MBTA has backed off a plan to end nighttime service at 9 p.m. “with only very late or extremely low ridership trains eliminated.” The MBTA had wanted to cut service after 9 p.m. due to ridership slowdowns during the pandemic.
At the same time, the MBTA is planning to spread train trips out during the day. That means fewer trains during the morning and evening rush hours, but more trains in the middle of the day, Keolis said.
“Shifting in part to this model on MBTA Commuter Rail is possible due to the low ridership, and it is beneficial for the MBTA because it provides financial efficiencies as well as increased flexibility to increase service in the future when appropriate,” the Keolis statement said.
The MBTA hopes to attract riders who work outside the typical 9-to-5 schedule with the increased mid-day trips, Keolis said.
Trains are still running on a winter schedule in February. The spring schedule will be released in March.