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T to boost service, delay weekend commuter rail cuts for War of 1812, July 4 festivities

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  June 25, 2012 05:39 PM

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The MBTA plans to boost some train and bus service this weekend and on July 4 – including delaying service cuts to three commuter rail lines – as thousands of travelers are expected to visit Boston for festivities celebrating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and Independence Day.

On Sat., June 30, Sun. July 1 and Wed. July 4, the T will add trains on the Red and Orange subway lines to help connect customers to key areas including North Station, South Station, Haymarket Station, JFK/UMass Station and the Silver Line, the agency announced in a press release and on its website.

Plans to eliminate Saturday commuter rail service on the Needham Line and Saturday and Sunday service on the Greenbush and Kingston/Plymouth lines will be implemented on the weekend after the Fourth of July, instead of on the first of the month, to accommodate the city’s expected crowds for events during the first week of July, officials said.

A special shuttle service will run from JFK/UMass Station to Castle Island on Friday and Saturday. On July 4, a separate bus will run from the parking lot of the Bayside Expo Center to Castle Island, according to the T. The shuttles will cost $3 per round-trip or $1 per roundtrip for those eligible for senior, student or Transportation Access Pass fares. The T is encouraging riders to pay with cash on the shuttles.

All Middleboro/Lakeville, Kingston/Plymouth, and Greenbush line commuter rail trains will make unscheduled stops at JFK/UMass Station.

Additional buses will be in service from Saturday through Thurs., July 5, on three routes to bring customers to the Seaport District, T officials said.

The Route 7 from South Station to City Point and the Route 9 from Broadway to City Point will run extra buses starting at 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The 93 from Haymarket to Charlestown Navy Yard will run extra buses from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., but will not make any stops through the Navy Yard from Friday through Wednesday and express bus service will not run on that route on July 4.

The MBTA will not collect fares after 10:30 p.m. on the Fourth of July “to ensure public safety and security” during and after the city’s fireworks display on the Esplanade, the agency said.

On July 4, bicycles are not allowed on any subway lines all day long, according to the T's website. Bikes are not allowed on inbound commuter rail trains from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or on outbound trains after 4 p.m.

The commuter rail will run on regular weekday schedules on Friday, regular Saturday and Sunday schedules this weekend and Saturday schedules on July 4, officials said. On Independence Day, all commuter rail trains, except for one, will delay their departures from Boston until 11:45 p.m. – about 45 minutes after the fireworks display ends. The #1173 to Newburyport is scheduled to depart at 11:15 p.m.

The T’s four subway lines – the Red, Blue, Orange and Green – along with all boats, Silver Line buses and all other buses will run on regular weekday schedules on Friday, a regular Saturday and Sunday schedules this weekend and Sunday schedules on July 4.

Silver Line buses will make extra trips between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. from Saturday through Thursday, July 5, according to the MBTA.

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

The T is also encouraging potential customers to – weather permitting – enjoy a scenic walk to some of the coming week’s festivities around Boston.

Customer service representatives will be staffed at stations to assist riders. For more information on changes this weekend and on July 4, visit the T’s website, www.mbta.com.

To see details on other changes scheduled to start on July 1, including fare hikes, service reductions and commuter rail schedule alterations, click here and here.)

“We are entrusted with the enormous responsibility of providing safe, reliable service to our customers,” acting MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis said in a statement. “As we do for every major event in Boston, we are taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to service to ensure that residents and visitors alike can get to their destinations in the most efficient and safest way possible.”

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