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MBTA Will Reduce Service in Response to COVID-19

1:16 PM EDT on March 16, 2020

Two Silver Line buses pass each other on the dedicated busway in Chelsea. Photo courtesy of the MBTA.

The MBTA has announced that it will reduce subway, bus, and commuter rail services effective Tuesday, March 17 in an effort to reduce the risks of COVID-19 exposure to its employees and riders.

In a press statement, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak wrote that “the MBTA plays an important role in slowing the spread of the coronavirus while continuing to provide critical services to medical professionals and other employees in key industries that rely on public transit. While some of these changes are inconvenient, they maintain a responsible balance between protecting the health and safety of the MBTA workforce and our customers, and our goal of continuing to run safe and reliable service without major disruptions.”

For now, buses will generally run on Saturday schedules, while subway trips will be reduced to run every 7 to 14 minutes. Detailed schedule information will be updated regularly on

Anecdotal evidence suggests that MBTA ridership has declined significantly in recent days as more Massachusetts residents embrace "social distancing" recommendations. The @MBTA_Parking Twitter account, which monitors park-and-ride lot capacity at key rail stations, reports that there are thousands of empty parking spaces this morning in garages that are ordinarily full:

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