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MBTA to increase security for July 4

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  June 27, 2013 01:14 PM

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The MBTA will increase security and police patrols around the system on July 4. As in years past, the T will boost subway service and will not charge fares after a certain point at nighttime, officials announced this week.

“We encourage people coming into the city to celebrate to use the MBTA and ask passengers to expect large amounts of people, and as we do every day we ask people to be aware of their surroundings, and if they see something unusual, report it immediately,” said Joseph F. O'Connor, superintendent-in-chief of the Transit Police Department.

He said, that while security is normally heightened on the holiday and for other large public events around Boston, this year there will be even more patrols than on July 4 in years past, including a “significant amount” of both uniformed and plain-clothes officers throughout the public transit system due to the bombing attacks in the city at the Marathon in April.

“We want people to feel safe,” O’Connor said. “We want to reassure the public for people who may be concerned because of the events that happened at the Marathon and in the week after.”

There will be no special restrictions on what items passengers can carry while riding the T, but O’Connor reminded riders that some items will be prohibited within a secure perimeter that will be established around the Esplanade.

He said random bag inspections, which are performed daily at strategically-chosen parts of the T, will be performed on the holiday. O’Connor also encouraged riders to download the agency’s free smartphone application which allows users to report suspicious activity by sending text and photos directly to Transit Police.

He said that Transit Police will, as they do regularly, work closely with federal, state and city law enforcement throughout the holiday.

The T also plans to institute schedule-related changes similar to what the agency has done on Independence Day in years past.

On Thursday, July 4, fares will not be collected after 9:30 p.m., subway service will run at “rush hour levels” after 2 p.m. and the last outbound commuter rail trains scheduled to leave Boston will delay their departure to allow passengers more time to board after the fireworks display at the Esplanade.

“Customers are urged to take public transportation to and from Fourth of July events and advised to check T-Alerts and mbta.com for the most up-to-date service information during the holiday,” the agency said on its website.

Officials also reminded riders that bicycles are not allowed on any subway lines on July 4. Bikes are also not allowed on inbound commuter rail trains from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or on outbound trains after 4 p.m.

Buses will operate on a Sunday schedule. Before 2 p.m., the T’s four subway lines – the Red, Blue, Orange and Green – will operate on a Sunday schedule.

The commuter rail will operate on a Saturday schedule, until the day’s final outbound commuter rail trains, all but one of which will delay their departures from Boston until 11:45 p.m. – about 45 minutes after the city’s fireworks display usually ends. The #1173 to Newburyport is scheduled to depart at 11:15 p.m.

Quincy and Hull boats will run on a weekday schedule. Charlestown boats will operate on a Saturday schedule. Hingham boats will not run.

Passengers who use The RIDE service are asked to check directly with their contractors for specific schedule changes.

For more information, visit the T’s website, www.mbta.com.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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