MBTA Commuter Rail reports the 12:20 p.m. train to Providence is just sitting at South Station with its doors closed because of a "crew availability issue," i.e., they can't find anybody to work that train.
Somerville City Councilor Ben Ewen-Campen captured the scene along the Fitchburg Line tracks, next to the impending Union Square Green Line stop, after this afternoon's drenching rain. Note the floating timbers. Read more.
People trying to get into Boston from West Gloucester on commuter rail this morning had an extra 2 1/2 hours added to their trip when their train came down with what the T described as "a mechanical issue" somewhere between Chelsea and North Station. Read more.
The MBTA says July 3 is when full service will resume on all commuter-rail lines, including weekend service on the lines that used to have it in the before times but had it axed in January. Masks are still required on T trains and buses and in stations. The T adds:
New schedules will represent an increase in the overall number of weekend trains operating with new, earlier options that match the needs of shift workers like essential employees in the healthcare industry.
Transit Police report arresting an allegedly short-tempered Providence man who blamed another man at South Station for stealing his phone and then began punching him in the face, even though the victim had nothing to do with the alleged fool's phone, which was waiting for him at the station lost and found - and had been siting there before he unleashed his closed fist of fury at Track 7 shortly before 6 p.m. on Friday. Read more.
Governing takes a look at recent scheduling changes by the T that begin to move commuter rail toward a more European-style "regional rail" system that assumes people might want to get somewhere other than downtown Boston at times other than just rush hour.
Yesterday, a trucker delivered this oversize-load sized steel beam to Robert Street in Roslindale Square so that, starting at 4 a.m. on Saturday, workers can begin to replace the bridge that now carries the Needham Line over the street. The bridge dates to 1898.
Forget for a moment the question of why you'd want to do that, on a slow trip that would involve changing trains several times. The New London Day reports Connecticut legislators are considering a plan that would extend that state's commuter-rail system, which now ends at New London, to either TF Green Airport in Rhode Island or Worcester's Union Station - both of which are now also served by MBTA commuter rail. Read more.
A Worcester man was arrested this week on charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for a scheme in which he'd allegedly buy commuter-rail passes to resell them at a discount over their face value. Read more.
Keolis and the MBTA announced today that, starting Monday, the number of daily train runs on the commuter-rail system will be cut from 541 to 246 - the system just no longer has enough workers not in quarantine to keep up with the normal schedule - and that while they hope to resume regular service on Dec. 27, the cutbacks might last longer. Read more.
CommonWealth Magazine reports on MBTA planning for service in an era when ridership remains way down due to Covid-19. Bus routes serving low-income communities, where demand has not collapsed, might be protected from cuts.