Possible upcoming changes to the morning MBTA commuter rail schedule could challenge parents trying to bring kids to school during set drop-off times and still make the train to work. Proposed Worcester line schedule changes would go through on May 22.
An online survey regarding the proposals ended last week, and an MBTA spokesman says the T staff “will consider all of the feedback and suggestions received during the public comment period.”
Of particular concern to one Swellesley reader who contacted us is the 510 train, which currently is scheduled to hit Wellesley Square at 8:25am, Wellesley Hills at 8:29am and Wellesley Farms at 8:32am. The next train is scheduled to come a half hour later. The proposed schedule changes would have the 510 coming 5 minutes earlier, and the next train wouldn’t arrive until 40 minutes later. That means arriving at South Station at 8:55am if you catch the 510, or 9:39am if you need to wait around for the next train.
“Although this may seem to be a minor adjustment, it does in fact result in many parents not being able to make that train,” the reader writes.
State Rep. Alice Hanlon Peisch says “The new schedule is driven by a need to have a schedule that is realistic. The current schedule is so tight that when anything goes wrong, the impact is felt for the rest of the day. Additionally, overcrowding is a big problem that is somewhat alleviated by the new schedule as there are more options for riders of the most crowded train. This schedule actually preserved Wellesley stops that might otherwise have been removed. ”
Peisch adds that there is “constant tension between riders west of Framingham and those further east with respect to how quickly the train gets to Boston.” The Swellesley reader says there is some frustration by locals who suspect that changes are being made to avoid schedule conflicts with the “HeartToHub” Worcester-to-Boston non-stop train, a favorite of top state officials that reportedly hasn’t attracted huge ridership because it arrives at South Station after 9am.
While the official public comment period, which included several public meetings, is over, Peisch encourages people to hit up the MBTA with any further concerns, as it’s still possible minor adjustments could be made before the changes go into effect. Here’s a link to the MBTA contact page.
MORE: See Dave’s Framingham-Worcester MBTA commuter rail blog for more info and analysis of the proposed changes
Issac Gardiner says
“This schedule actually preserved Wellesley stops that might otherwise have been removed.”
That is not a throwaway comment. In the previous schedule adjustment round (November) the original proposal eliminated all Wellesley stops on p510. My understanding is that it was only through the intervention of Rep. Peisch, citing the school drop-off issues, that the Wellesley stops were restored to that train.
I agree that making the stops ~5min earlier will be more challenging for us (parents), however, I am disinclined to complain too loudly, as the preservation of the stops at all was not a trivial matter.
I add that these school drop-offs of which people speak are still quite a thing for me. I just cannot believe the number of people who drive their kids – and particularly older kids – to school in Wellesley. I get that not every school is walkable for all, but I am surprised that more kids aren’t put on a bus.
In addition, there are these things, I believe they are known as “bicycles”, which are perfectly appropriate for older kids to ride to school, and which would be suitable for use on AT LEAST 150 of the 180 or so school days. It is not a large town and the High School is right in the middle of it.