Reduced commuter rail schedule extended until Jan. 8
12 of 58 Keolis dispatchers out due to COVID-19
KEOLIS COMMUTER Services said on Wednesday that it plans to continue providing roughly half of its regular weekday service until January 8 because of staff absences caused by COVID-19.
Keolis originally planned to offer the lower service levels from December 14 until December 27, but announced on Wednesday that it is pushing back the date for resumption of regular service until January 8 because of continued absences due to COVID-19. Keolis officials said 12 of the system’s 58 dispatchers, who control the movement of trains across the system, were out as of December 17 and that number has held steady since.Commuter rail is now running on a severe storm schedule on weekdays, with 246 instead of 541 daily trains. Weekend service is not affected. Ridership on the commuter rail system has been about 13 percent of pre-COVID levels.
The MBTA has about 80 active COVID-19 cases among its 6,375 employees. T officials estimate two employees need to take time off to quarantine or get tested for every one with the virus. The T has responded to the absences by slightly increasing the time between subway trains to free up staff to fill for employees out due to COVID-19.