Red Line ridership continues to lag
Numbers improve a bit, particularly at Quincy stations
Red Line ridership continued to lag behind normal levels during the last week of June – the continuation of a trend that began after a train car derailed at the JFK/UMass station on June 11.
The number of weekday tap-ins – people using Charlie Cards or tickets to pass through fare gates – remained below 200,000 every day during the last week of June as it did during the two preceding weeks. Normally, Red Line tap-ins exceed 200,000 a day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Red Line taps averaged 193,156 during the last week of June, up 1.6 percent over the previous week and 6.6 percent above the week of the June 11 derailment. But the number was 4.3 percent below the first week in June and 4.4 percent below the average for all of June 2018. (For an earlier story on Red Line ridership numbers in the wake of the derailment, click here.)
The numbers are being watched closely to see if and when ridership rebounds. Hindering the effort is a signal and switch system knocked out by the derailed train. As the T works to replace the system, a process that could run through Labor Day, T workers are moving trains through stations using long poles used to trigger manual blocks on the tracks. The manual process often leads to delays of 20 minutes or so over the course of a ride.
The numbers provided by the T indicate Quincy riders are coming back to the Red Line more quickly than riders using Dorchester and South Boston stations. Relative to 2018 weekday levels, tap-ins at Dorchester stations (Ashmont, Shawmut, Fields Corner, Savin Hill, JFK/UMass) were off nearly 23 percent the week of the derailment, 9.3 percent the week after, and 10.5 percent the last week in June.At the Southie stations (Andrew and Broadway), ridership was off 14.1 percent the week of the derailment, 11 percent the week after, and 9.8 percent the final week of the month.
By contrast, tap-ins at the Quincy stations (Braintree, Quincy Adams, Quincy Center, and North Quincy) were off 27.1 percent the week of the derailment, 14.3 percent the week after, and 8.3 percent during the final week of the month. Part of the rebound at the Quincy stations may be due to the discontinuance of special commuter rail service to several of the stations in the immediate aftermath of the derailment.