Keolis and the MBTA announced several changes to Commuter Rail operations as the Orange Line returned to service on Monday. Oak Grove station, which was re-opened to support passengers during the Orange Line service disruption, will remain in service, becoming a regular stop on the Haverhill Line in Zone 1A. Additionally, some of the service that was added at Forest Hills Station will remain, ensuring two trains an hour in the weekday morning inbound peak at that station. All passengers are reminded that regular fare collection will resume for Zones 2, 1A and 1. The amended schedules can be found online athttps://www.mbta.com/schedules/commuter-rail.
“We’re pleased to add Oak Grove as a permanent regular stop on the Haverhill Line and to make additional stops at Forest Hills going forward,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “This is an exciting development that came about following the Orange Line shutdown that we hadn’t previously planned. Thank you to our partners at Keolis for their teamwork during the Orange Line diversion and collaboration on these station and schedule improvements.”
“During the Orange Line service disruption, we welcomed many new riders to the Commuter Rail,” said Abdellah Chajai CEO of Keolis Commuter Services. “We hope that they found their trips to be reliable and convenient and that they will continue to see the Commuter Rail as a great option for their transportation needs.”
Ahead of the Orange Line service disruption, Oak Grove Station was recommissioned to offer a service alternative for Orange Line riders. As part of recommissioning, repairs were made to the Commuter Rail platform, including installation of new a new platform edge tactile and updated signage. Additional upgrades to the lighting will be made now that the station is being permanently returned to the schedule.
During the Orange Line service disruption, in preparation for the post Labor Day return to work and school, Commuter Rail service at Forest Hills station was expanded, offering a 5 inbound trains in the 7:00 a.m. hour and 4 trains an hour for the remainder of the weekday peak. With the Orange Line returning to service, the Commuter Rail will maintain some of that additional service, ensuring two trains an hour inbound during the weekday morning peak.
When the Orange Line returned to service on September 19, the Commuter Rail returned to it’s normal fare collection practices, requiring visual validation of a ticket purchased for the appropriate zone. Passengers will no longer be able simply show a CharlieCard to ride trains within Zone 2. Passengers are reminded that Commuter Rail tickets can be purchased on the mTicket mobile app, at fare vending machines, and at ticket windows at North, South and Back Bay stations. For more information about Commuter Rail fares visitwww.mbta.com/fares/commuter-rail-fares
Passengers can stay connected with Commuter Rail by calling customer service at 617-222-3200, following @MBTA_CR on Twitter or signing up for T-Alerts at www.mbta.com/alerts.