MBTA Prepares for Increased Ridership as People Go Back to Work

NBC Universal, Inc.

During the pandemic, only essential workers have been advised to hop on board the MBTA.

But the economy is now starting to reopen, which will mean more passengers and a new way of thinking.

A Better City, which studies transportation, has come up with a new report focused on the MBTA as it navigates the pandemic.

"Instead of 50 people on a bus, it could mean 10 or 12 people on a bus," said Rick Dimino, CEO of A Better City.

Key factors for safety will be disinfection, wearing masks and social distancing.

"Basically less riders per vehicle while at the same time run good service so those vehicles don't get too crowded," said Dimino.

The state's Reopening Advisory Board says employers should keep workers home as much as possible and stagger schedules to reduce demand during peak hours.

Only essential workers and those returning to the workforce should be taking the MBTA during phase 1 of the reopening process.

There are possible changes ahead for public transportation.

A modified version of full service could be up and running by phase 3, which will likely be sometime this summer.

"The T needs to make sure that they're really assessing almost day by day," said Jarred Johnson, director of TransitMatters.

Experts say the MBTA will have to be nimble, reacting quickly to adapt schedules based on demand to avoid crowds.

"As folks start to come back to work and go out for different activities," Johnson said, "they're adding additional trains or additional buses as needed."

Contact Us