A steep drop in MBTA ridership attributed to the pandemic and rising unemployment combined with the need for state budget cuts has resulted in some pretty scary proposed cuts that include halting all ferry service, eliminating a half-dozen commuter rail stops as well as stopping weekend service, cutting 25 bus routes and decreasing subway frequencies.
As a result of the decline in ridership that is similarly impacting transit agencies across the country, the MBTA is now only transporting 330,000 trips on an average weekday – but is continuing to run the same high levels of service as it ran to serve 1.26 million daily trips prior to the pandemic, an unsustainable level of service delivery.
Ferry service is currently running at 12% of pre-pandemic levels. Commuter rail service is essentially the same running at 13% of pre-pandemic levels. Subway and bus service are faring better but also have seen steep drop offs in ridership so the MBTA is proposing fewer trains and ending service at 12 Midnight. Approximately 25 bus routes appear to be on the chopping block. You can see what the MBTA has proposed for changes in bus service, here.
Some of the cuts to the commuter rail and ferry could be phased in as soon as January, but the changes to rapid transit and bus service would not be expected until the spring of 2021.