MBTA Ramps Up Service as Mass. Reopening Picks Up Pace

As services increase on the MBTA, transportation employees will sanitize trains, provide riders with face masks and post proper signage

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The MBTA ramped up its train and bus services Monday as more people in Massachusetts headed to work as part of Phase 2 of Gov. Charlie Baker's reopening plan.

The increased services coincide with the second step of Phase 2 of the reopening plan, which allows for offices to operate at 50% capacity, as well as the reopening of close-contact businesses such as nail salons and tattoo parlors.

As more people head back to work, the MBTA is ramping up service and cleaning protocols.

The Blue Line has resumed its regular weekday service, while the Red, Orange, Green and Mattapan lines are increasing their weekday services, along with almost 60 bus routes. The MBTA is increasing service on the Commuter Rail and resuming ferry service as well.

Transportation officials are unveiling a new safety campaign, which includes providing face masks to riders in need, putting up plenty of signs and messaging about social distancing and also making sure touch points are clean.

The MBTA is taking steps to make sure all trains and buses have been properly sanitized. Additionally, the agency says it’s going to keep a close watch on crowd sizes on all of its services to make sure social distancing guidelines can be adhered to, and add services if necessary.

MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak says the transportation agency has invested $35 million on cleaning and personal protective equipment since March.

"Every vehicle is cleaned and disinfected every night. Every two weeks we electrostatically fog the buses," Poftak said.

Despite its shaky track record, some riders say the new safety campaign may be making a difference.

"I didn't have a long wait time. Very spacious," said commuter Janice on Monday morning. "It was prompt."

The MBTA says regular weekday service will resume on the blue line, and there will be increased weekday service on the red, orange, green, Mattapan line and commuter rail.

Other commuters riding the subway Monday said they felt safe as the agency increased its capacity.

“I’ve seen the Green Line -- the above-ground trains -- and they looked so empty maybe like two or three weeks ago when no one was riding," one commuter said. "It was probably very safe. There was just nobody on the trains.”

“I have had a few friends who have gone back to work and my friend took the blue line and they said it’s been fine," another commuter said.

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