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MBTA shakeups, and a nice surprise for commuter rail riders

Posted by Nichole Davis  June 29, 2012 12:00 AM

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Hello again!

It's Friday, and I, for one, am looking forward to the weekend. Lots going on around the city, including the Tall Ships festival and various other happenings! I'll be in and out of town this weekend, and spending lots of time in front of the AC again, as I'm sure you will ...

There's plenty of shakeups happening in the next few days when it comes to the MBTA. I've got schedule and service changes under the cut, some great news for commuter rail riders, and also where you'll find brake lights for ongoing construction ... so let's dive in.

MBTA Matters

First and foremost - big news when it comes to commuter rail fare changes! Many of you had expressed significant discontent about the surcharge the MBTA was planning to hit you with if you bought your tickets on the train. Apparently, you weren't the only ones that were upset with the essential doubling of your fare - over two dozen state Representatives wrote to the T asking them to change their mind.

Well, it worked! The agency says they will NOT -- I repeat, WILL NOT -- put the surcharge into effect on July 1, as they'd been planning. Spokesman Joe Pesaturo told

... the T will instead add the $3 charge, starting Sunday, only when riders buy tickets on board trains after getting on at stations where they can be conveniently purchased. That more closely mirrors the existing policy of tacking on a surcharge ($1 off-peak, $2 peak) for failing to buy tickets before boarding at stations where they are available.

The T says they'll reconsider the surcharge in the fall after they roll out their Mobile Ticketing app. Full story here.

So what do you think? Is this a better workaround, or do you think the surcharge should be gone all together? Let me know in the comments.

Another round of busing is in place on the Green Line B branch this weekend. Train service will be suspended between Boston College and Babcock Street from the start of service Saturday until the end of service Sunday. Buses will make all stops. The MBTA says track work has to be performed in the suspended stretch.

Also, here's a significant change in service to plan on if you're a nighttime Orange Line rider: the T says they'll be busing between Oak Grove and Sullivan Square every Sunday through Thursday night from July 8 to December 28. The diversions will begin at 9:00 each evening and will last until the end of service that night. Buses will make all stops. Officials for the T say the diversion is necessary as track, signal, and power work are all being done in that stretch to continue the Assembly Square Project.

Holiday service schedules are out for the Tall Ships weekend!

Subway: The T says they'll be adding extra trains to all lines and the Silver Line, but it looks like there won't be any significant change in schedule other than that.

Bus: Extra service will be added on three lines between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday:
- Route 7 from South Station to City Point
- Route 9 from Broadway to City Point
- Route 93 from Haymarket to the Charlestown Navy Yard

If you're looking to get to Castle Island, the T says there will be a shuttle to Castle Island from JFK, and you can access that on the 8 bus, which will also have extra service. If you're a normal rider of the 93, you will not be able to stop through the Navy Yard at any time between today and the Fourth.

Commuter Rail: Service changes to the Plymouth/Kingston and Greenbush lines will NOT go into effect this weekend or on July 4th. The T says they will delay the reduction in service in order to accomodate a larger push of customers during the holiday weekend.

Expect extra stops at JFK/UMass if you're travelling on the Greenbush, Plymouth/Kingston or Middleboro/Lakeville lines coming into the city. They'll be doing so to allow easier access to the Castle Island shuttles.

Where did my bus/train/boat go?!

As we've been hearing, some MBTA service is ceasing completely or seeing significant cuts in service as of July 1. Here's how it will affect you:

If you're a Green Line "E" rider, all service is now being terminated at Brigham Circle every Saturday and Sunday. The T suggests you take the 39 bus for service from there to Heath Street. Also, if you normally use the Mattapan Trolley on weekends, you'll find a reduction and modification of service there too.

Several bus routes are seeing reductions in service. The 48 in Jamaica Plain will be completely eliminated. On weekdays, there will be no service on the 500 or 355. Saturdays will bring no service on the 52, 245, 451 and 554. If you use the 18, 37/38, 436 or 245 on Sundays, that service has been cut. Expect route and schedule changes on the 52, 217, 351, 354, 439, 441, 442, 451, 455, 465, 555, and the CT3.

As I mentioned earlier this week, weekend commuter rail service is being cut completely to the Greenbush and Plymouth/Kingston lines. There will be no Saturday service on the Needham line. This will take effect after the July 4th holiday.

If you enjoy a scenic weekend commuter boat ride on the F2, unfortunately, that service will be eliminated after October 8th. Weekday service will run as normal.

There are significant schedule and fare changes to THE RIDE service. For those, and more detailed information on the scheduled closures and elimination of service across the board, click here.

You'll find slowdowns here...

128 Southbound between the Braintree Split and Route 37 (Exit 6), Braintree: the right lane is closed for road construction between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

128 Southbound between Rt 93 (Exit 37, Woburn) and Route 3A (Exit 33, Burlington): watch for roving work crews between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

95 Northbound between Neponset Street (Exit 11) and Route 128, Norwood: watch for roving work crews between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

128 Northbound between Route 109 (Exit 16) and Route 135 (Exit 17), Dedham: left lane is taken for road widening work during middays (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and overnights (8 p.m. to 5 a.m.). Expect significant delays.

Route 1 Northbound between Main Street and Noah's Motors, Saugus: right lane is closed weekday nights between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. for water main installation.

Mass Pike East at the Prudential Center tunnel: All travel lanes are closed Sunday through Thursday, 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Follow posted detours.

North Harvard Street over the Larz Anderson Bridge: Continual lane closures are in effect in both directions for bridge reconstruction work. No left turn onto Memorial Drive from JFK Street.

Tobin Bridge in both directions: Watch for continual lane closures as DOT crews continue to paint the bridge. These will be in effect until November.

(NOTE: This item originally mentioned the complete elimination of the commuter boat F2 route, according to information we had originally received from the MBTA. The post has been edited to show the route will not be cancelled until after October 8th. We apologize for the misinformation.)

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Nichole Davis is a Boston-based traffic reporter and news anchor. She’s been seen and heard on television and radio airwaves across New England since 2003, providing commuters with all the More »

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