Weekend commuter rail service returns on the first Saturday in July after being cut or sharply curtailed when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
Rail service on Saturdays, beginning July 3, and Sundays returns to the Haverhill, Fitchburg, Franklin, Greenbush, Kingston, Lowell and Needham lines with service identical across all lines. MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said the state agency and Keolis, the train operator, are “designing our service schedules to best serve riders who have used the system throughout the pandemic as well as returning and new customers.”
“The resumption of weekend service represents a major milestone in the MBTA’s aggressive plans to restore service to meet rider demand,” he said. He said the new normal means face coverings are still required while using all MBTA services.
MBTA officials said $10 weekend tickets are available for purchase on mTicket, on board with cash or a credit card, or in ticket offices located at Boston’s Back Bay and North and South Stations. Tickets are valid for unlimited travel across all lines for one weekend. Schedules are available online at mbta.com/commuterrail.
In January, the MBTA said it was matching service to lower ridership levels resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring access for essential workers and transit-critical communities. As a result, weekend service was suspended on all lines except the Newburyport/Rockport, Framingham/Worcester, Fairmount, Providence and Middleborough lines. Officials said weekend ridership has recovered on those lines that still offer it with more than 50% of pre-pandemic ridership returning.