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MBTA to add extra service on lines for which it discovered today it cut back too much

The MBTA tonight announced it's adding additional morning service on the Blue Line and more service throughout the day on the Green Line's E branch and the 7 bus from South Boston, following complaints today that service reductions went too far and led to riders being forced to crowd together at a time when that's the last thing they should be doing.

The T urged people to travel "only if absolutely necessary." This morning, several riders expressed frustration at crowding, because they had no choice but to take the T to their jobs.

In addition to the increased morning service on those lines, the T said it would be adding additional service on the 501 and 504 routes.

WBUR reports that subway ridership fell 48% last week, and that the number of cars parked at commuter-rail stations fell 69%.

MBTA coronavirus information.

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Comments

The Blue Line was crowded today both on the trains and platforms. Especially at Wood Island when it rained this morning, as the poorly designed station has no shelter from the elements, forcing people to huddle even closer in the tiny patch of station that has a roof. I don't understand how they thought they could relieve the crowding problem by having less trains.

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Voting closed 6

They should have expected demand to be consistent from Monday to Tuesday. Besides (Boston) schools and dine-in restaurants closing, there wasn't that much of a change in the number of people moving about.

This is not rocket science - it is well known from socioeconomics that many Blue Line riders have jobs that they can't telecommute to (and that there just aren't many public transportation alternatives for getting from East Boston to the rest of Boston). It is also well known that the E line serves the Longwood Medical Area, which continues to be a high-demand destination for reasons that we all know.

Yet, these are only first steps - the MBTA remains incompetent. For example, there's still no service tomorrow on the CT3, a weekday-only route that serves both BMC and the LMA and is heavily used by healthcare workers - the very people we need in this crisis.

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The E branch goes to the Longwood Medical Area and the VA - not surprised it's seeing a lot of use right now.

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Though in my experience, I transfer from Red to Green everyday, and I can take any branch from a service standpoint because I don't go far, but I avoid the E because it's just too packed to fight crowds. It's really the only green line branch that's going to a major jobs hub in the outbound direction, so I don't know who thought it might be wise to reduce service to it in the first place, let alone during a public health crisis.

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Voting closed 21

nothing better than to discontinue the E Line beyond Brigham Circle. Nearly every day, they come up with some reason (or "E"xcuse as I call it) to not run certain trips all the way to Heath Street.

I remember when they first introduced the 39 buses as a 'temporary' measure back in the early 1980s when they were doing trackwork on South Huntington Avenue. The buses provided horrible service then, and it's even worse today.

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Is that it's the only one which goes all the way to/from Lechmere, and that part of East Cambridge has a lot more housing/jobs than it used to. So by the time an E train makes it to Park Street, it has picked up close to half the passengers from the five Green Line stations further north (i.e. all from Lechmere/Science Park, half from N. Station/Haymarket, one-third from Govt. Ctr.).

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So I've read, anyway. Of course, that was before the coronavirus reared its ugly head.

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I forget exact dates, but Lechmere is closing due to the new GLX location of it, and the Lechmere Viaduct Rehab construction project is going to be getting underway pretty soon, so that takes both of those stations out of commission, with busing to replace service to North Station, from what I understand.

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I wouldn't be shocked if OT skyrocketed while ridership plummets!

World class!

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I really really really really really hope the MBTA is using this time to do maintenance. One of their biggest excuses of being behind is that it's always running and serving people. Now is the perfect time to catch up and make this thing actually work.

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If they're serious about "social distancing", they'll send everyone home except employees essential to running the buses and trains.

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A thinner schedule won't allow them to do track maintenance. There would need to be zero trains passing through a tunnel for them to work. Late starts or early daily shutdowns would increase the work window, however.

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Just blindly changing to a Saturday schedule was very foolish. The biggest issue is that Saturday has a smaller span of service and some routes don't run at all. Plus some routes didn't actually see a very significant drop in riders because they carry a lot of medical and service workers. The T needed to use a scalpel rather than an ax to adjust to the ridership changes. I know that's more challenging, but life isn't always easy.

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Voting closed 18

It's hard to gauge the decrease in ridership on routes that don't run on Saturdays, if the T isn't running service at all.

Also, a notable decrease in ridership could have been caused by the transition to a Saturday schedule itself. Service becomes less frequent/convenient, and early morning bus trips are substantially reduced, which has a disproportionate impact on healthcare and service workers (since they tend to have irregular, non-9-to-5 shifts).

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