Tuesday, June 6, 2017

MBTA Weekend Rail Service Suspension

In March, the MBTA announced plans to temporarily suspend weekend rail service on several of its lines in order to complete transportation safety projects, known as Positive Train Control (PTC) in compliance with federal requirements. This PTC work will impact commuters on the Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail Lines; it will take place on weekends from July 8 through September 30.

Clearly, this summer weekend service interruption will have short-term negative impacts for workers, tourists, and others who seek to travel to and from the North Shore. Initial plans did not include bus replacements or alternate modes; not having any service at all is unacceptable. I have expressed my concerns, and those of many others, to T officials. Last month I co-hosted a public input session in Gloucester to give citizens and civic leaders an opportunity to come together and better understand these impacts and discuss some potential remedies.

Last night, the T’s Chief Operating Officer, Jeffrey Gonneville, and several of his colleagues, presented alternate transportation service plans for customers using the line. They have now committed to a bus schedule to accommodate commuters. The MBTA will provide shuttle bus service between North Station and select stations on the Newburyport/Rockport commuter rail lines in order to keep weekend customers moving.

Also, the Beverly Drawbridge replacement project will shut down all train service north of Salem Station from July 17 through August 13. Parking will be free at all stations north of Beverly Depot Station.

I will share future updates on the project, there is also a phone hotline that you can use for the latest information on schedules or trip planning - - 617-222-3200.