The MBTA modified its reduced schedule for the Wednesday morning commute after riders complained of overcrowding Tuesday, the day the new schedule took effect.
“As we continue monitoring the situation, we are making adjustments to ensure we can provide service for essential trips in the safest manner possible,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said in a news release Tuesday.
But Tuesday morning’s commute produced complaints from riders that some trains were crowded, and a photo from the Blue Line showed a cramped train car that was standing room only.
Additional Blue Line trains were planned to be added on Wednesday, plus more trains for the Green Line’s E Branch to service the Longwood Medical Area, especially between Prudential and Heath Street, according to a news release from the T.
Buses are planned to operate on a Saturday schedule, but more were planned to be added in the morning due to “heavy ridership” reports. Route 710 was planned to pick up a typical weekday schedule on Wednesday, and Routes 7, 501, and 504 were planned to run on a “modified” weekday schedule. Some express routes — 325, 326, 351, 352, and 354 — were all planned to continue on a typical weekday schedule.
The commuter rail is continuing to run on reduced schedules, but these “are being modified to support targeted periods of peak travel while providing options for off-peak travel throughout the day,” the T said in the release.
The Mattapan trolley is still planned to run on a schedule of every 12 to 26 minutes. Ferry service remains canceled, and the RIDE is still running normally.
“The MBTA encourages RIDE customers to plan their trips accordingly and follow the guidance of public health officials while in close contact with older adults or people with underlying health issues,” the release said.
But even with the updated schedule, riders were still complaining of overcrowding on the Blue Line and some buses Wednesday morning.
Video from Haymarket Wednesday morning showed packed buses from Route 111 dropping off passengers.
“Packed 6am inbound Blue Line train again,” Brian Bethell said on Twitter. Bethell had shared a photo of the Blue Line being crowded on Tuesday, too. “Made it all the way to Beachmont today before it was packed.”
— Brian Bethell (@bwb311) March 18, 2020
Not all trains on all lines appeared crowded, however. Thomas Sullivan posted a photo of an empty Red Line car around 8 a.m. on Wednesday.