Due to the pandemic the MBTA is experiencing a huge decrease in riders this year. That puts a huge dent into their budget, and thus they are proposing service cuts across the board.
Last year, MBTA riders took 1.26 million daily trips, and in October 2020, riders took 330,000 daily trips. That's 26 percent of daily ridership compared to 2019, according to the MBTA. Yet, the MBTA has continued to operate at 2019 service levels despite a decrease in ridership.
Ridership for the Red, Orange, Blue, and underground Green Line stations are having about 120,000 gated entries on weekdays, which is about 24 percent of pre-COVID ridership.
So the MBTA has proposed several service changes starting spring 2021. All service will be stopped at midnight. Frequency of the four lines will be reduced 20 percent across the board.
Also, the MBTA has proposed stopping Green Line E service at Brigham Circle, and diverting riders to the Route 39 bus, which would have increased service.
These proposed changes didn't sit well with many people, specifically elected officials. On Veterans Day, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley, District 8 City Councilor Kenzie Bok, At-Large City Councilor Michelle Wu, state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-2nd Suffolk), led a socially distanced rally, at the end of the Green E line trolley turn at Heath Street and South Huntington Avenue. State Rep. Nika Elugardo (D-15th Suffolk) was unable to attend the event due to recovering from a fall, but supported the protest.
Chang-Diaz rose the issue that VA Hospital workers, as well as assisted living and nursing homes, work up and down the area that would lose service.
Heroes seek care & help at the VA hospital just steps away. Heroes work all up & down these blocks caring for elders & disabled residents in a cluster of assisted living & nursing homes. Cutting their transit forces them into greater danger. #VeteransDay #hypocrisy #mapoli https://t.co/QtCDs8rNlj pic.twitter.com/XNbkGnoWvI
— Sonia Chang-Díaz (@SoniaChangDiaz) November 11, 2020
‘Save Our Trolley’ rally at Heath St in front of VA Medical Center today in protest of proposed service cuts by MBTA
— Mihiro Shimano (@MihiroShimano) November 11, 2020
Chang-Diaz also took the fight to the State House, co-sponsoring legislation that would block cuts to MBTA service.
Back atcha @KenzieBok. @MA_Senate budget debate starts today & I'm proudly co-sponsoring Amendment 152 #TransitIsEssential w/ @SenJasonLewis to block cuts to MBTA service. #bospoli https://t.co/dwjM7PHfZx https://t.co/anFK4tG43C
— Sonia Chang-Díaz (@SoniaChangDiaz) November 17, 2020
Other service changes have been proposed for the commuter line, ferry, bus, and The Ride. Click here to read more about the proposed changes.
The Fiscal Management and Control Board, which was created by Governor Charlie Baker in 2015 to help get the T back on track, is scheduled to vote on the changes on December 7, 2020 to begin planning for 2021.
The MBTA is seeking feedback on its Forging Ahead service proposals.