COVID-19 Impacts on Logan, MBTA, and Boston travel and tourism

bigeman312

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That math looks wrong or doesn't really reflect pre-pandemic levels. From that graph the Red Line was doing 180-190k during normal weekdays that didn't include days that it snowed. 61k is nowhere near 65%. It's also not really that much higher than the summer lull levels.

Might want to really compare to May 2019.
That particular comment was in reference to the last day that had higher ridership than 5/21/21. Not to the pre-COVID average ridership.

EDITED FOR CLARITY:

It now reads:

At 25,566 riders on 5/21/21, the Blue Line recorded:
  • 72% of its Friday, March 13, 2020 ridership.
    • 3/13 was in the middle of a precipitous decline in ridership and was the last time MBTA ridership was higher than 5/21/21.
  • 53% of its Friday, March 6, 2020 ridership.
    • 3/6 was at the end of the last "normal" week before the precipitous ridership decline.
  • 54% of its Friday, February 28, 2020 ridership.
    • 2/28 was the highest system-wide ridership Friday of 2020.
...

At 61,260 riders on 5/21/21, the Red Line recorded:
  • 65% of its Friday, March 13, 2020 ridership.
    • 3/13 was in the middle of a precipitous decline in ridership and was the last time MBTA ridership was higher than 5/21/21.
  • 35% of its Friday, March 6, 2020 ridership.
    • 3/6 was at the end of the last "normal" week before the precipitous ridership decline.
  • 32% of its Friday, February 28, 2020 ridership.
    • 2/28 was the highest system-wide ridership Friday of 2020.
More clear now?
 
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ra84970

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It's wild to me that the RT system is still carrying less than the bus system. I suppose the RT system is there for carrying commuters to jobs in central Bos-Camb-erville - and many of those jobs are not back either on-site or at full-hire. So, it may take another quarter or so before the RT system is carrying significantly more than the buses, again.
 

bigeman312

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It's wild to me that the RT system is still carrying less than the bus system. I suppose the RT system is there for carrying commuters to jobs in central Bos-Camb-erville - and many of those jobs are not back either on-site or at full-hire. So, it may take another quarter or so before the RT system is carrying significantly more than the buses, again.
Keep in mind that only gated station validations are included in the “RT” count, so it includes a couple Silver Line stations, which amounts to nothing more than a rounding error, but omits most surface Green Line stops, which likely causes this “RT” ridership to be an undercount.
 

ra84970

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Keep in mind that only gated station validations are included in the “RT” count, so it includes a couple Silver Line stations, which amounts to nothing more than a rounding error, but omits most surface Green Line stops, which likely causes this “RT” ridership to be an undercount.
There's an undercount for sure, but, if most people are taking round-trips (rather than triangle or quadrangle trips) by T, not an undercount by much.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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"Vax Express" commuter rail train to be making the rounds at the following stops on the following dates, offering walk-in onboard vaccinations. . .

June 16: Mattapan and Boston
Blue Hill Avenue Station on the Fairmount line, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
South Station, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
June 17: Worcester
Worcester’s Union Station on the Worcester line, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
June 18: Lowell and Boston
Lowell Station on the Lowell line, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
North Station, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
June 19: Lawrence
Lawrence Station on the Haverhill line, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
June 20: Fitchburg
Fitchburg Station on the Fitchburg line, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
No idea how this is supposed to work...moving trains or static-display sets? Possibly the latter since the times at the non-terminal stops are all off-peak, though also don't know how that's going to work at single-platform stations Worcester, Lawrence, and Fitchburg. Nonetheless, I give them large points on creativity. This is exactly the sort of publicity stunt that'll draw a beneficially large crowd if the word gets around, and the stop selection leans hard on some maximally dense downtown walkup areas in good range to vulnerable populations. Plus hitting each of the terminals at the peakiest-of-peak for broadest possible capture.
 

Riverside

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Yeah, my first thought when I saw that was what the impact will be on the Fairmount and Haverhill lines to have a trainset blocking the platform for four hours. Although that's a good point that Worcester and Fitchburg are also complicated, due to the single platform.

The UK had a similar concept, except it was a long-term rapid testing center, in Brighton:
(By the way, Geoff Marshall's videos are great, if anyone here is unfamiliar with him.)
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Yeah, my first thought when I saw that was what the impact will be on the Fairmount and Haverhill lines to have a trainset blocking the platform for four hours. Although that's a good point that Worcester and Fitchburg are also complicated, due to the single platform.

The UK had a similar concept, except it was a long-term rapid testing center, in Brighton:
(By the way, Geoff Marshall's videos are great, if anyone here is unfamiliar with him.)
Blue Hill Ave. and Lowell are both 2-track, so that's no problem whatsoever on the off-peak. Ditto bogarting a single NS/SS platform for one peak only.

But I honestly have no clue how this is going to work for Fitchburg and Lawrence which are on single-track passenger-only turnouts in the middle of their lines. There isn't alternate access. I suppose at Worcester Union you could plunk it on the Gardner Branch side with folding one-door ramp and rope off + security-staff an escorted pathway for getting there. After all, that's pretty much what CSX did last week when it parked its "rolling corporate boardroom" biz train @ Union Station for merger meetings with Pan Am; they staff-escorted dignitaries on/off via normally off-limits track access.

Still a pretty cool idea, however.
 

Stlin

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Blue Hill Ave. and Lowell are both 2-track, so that's no problem whatsoever on the off-peak. Ditto bogarting a single NS/SS platform for one peak only.

But I honestly have no clue how this is going to work for Fitchburg and Lawrence which are on single-track passenger-only turnouts in the middle of their lines. There isn't alternate access. I suppose at Worcester Union you could plunk it on the Gardner Branch side with folding one-door ramp and rope off + security-staff an escorted pathway for getting there. After all, that's pretty much what CSX did last week when it parked its "rolling corporate boardroom" biz train @ Union Station for merger meetings with Pan Am; they staff-escorted dignitaries on/off via normally off-limits track access.

Still a pretty cool idea, however.
For Worcester, have they started construction for the island project yet? Last I saw the first phase of that included a temporary island platform that can service 2 tracks, so if that's already in place?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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For Worcester, have they started construction for the island project yet? Last I saw the first phase of that included a temporary island platform that can service 2 tracks, so if that's already in place?
No. Not until '22. A CR employee on RR.net explained how the ops would work for the Vax Train.
  • Worcester: they'll park trains back-to-back on the same platform, Vax Train at the westerly tip of the full-high and revenue trains behind it overspilling onto the low platform. Because the old low platform is so extensive, there's apparently 1000+ total feet of platform space available. They'll just make an accessibility announcement beforehand for anyone who needs to be seated in the front cars for the full-high.
  • Lawrence / Fitchburg: Weekend dates. Both lines still have suspended weekend service because of ongoing construction projects, so nothing else besides the Vax Train will be using the platforms.
  • Blue Hill Ave. / Lowell: Chose off-peak slots where single-tracking is possible around the parked train. Train will be gone by the time first double-meet happens on-peak.
  • North Station / South Station: Temp peak closures of single platforms happen for maint from time to time, so something they can easily plan around as a one-off.
 

bigeman312

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The weeks of 5/24 and 5/31 each set COVID-era highs in bus ridership:

MBTA_Bus_Ridership_5_31_Week.png


These were the fifth and sixth consecutive weeks during which the MBTA set a COVID-era high in weekly bus ridership.

During the week of 5/31, the bus system averaged 207,701 riders per weekday. This is the highest ridership week since the week of 3/9/20. Ridership was 51% of the index week (week of 2/24/20), 78% of Christmas week '19, and 80% of Thanksgiving week '19. This is up 2.7% from the previous week's high-water mark.

The second-highest ridership bus route on the week of 5/24 was the 111, cracking the top-2 for the first time in five weeks (it's usually the 66 and 28). At 6,977 riders per weekday, the 111 almost became the third unique bus route (after the 28 and 66) to log 7,000 riders per day for a week in the COVID-era. The following graph includes the week of 5/31:

111_Bus_Ridership_5_31_Week.png


The 111 bus ridership on the week of 5/24 was 73% of the index week, 85% of New Year's Week ('19-'20), and 92% of Thanksgiving week '19.

During the week of 5/31, the highest ridership bus route was the 66 for the fifth week in a row. At 7,609 riders per weekday, the 66 logged the highest weekly COVID-era ridership to-date for any bus route in the system:

66_Bus_Ridership_5_31_Week.png


The 66 bus ridership was 57% of the index week and 95% of Christmas week '19. The 66's ridership on the week of 5/31 was the first occurrence of a bus route averaging >7,500 riders per day since March of '20. For perspective, this is a mark that was surpassed by 12 unique bus routes during the index week (of 2/24/20).
 

F-Line to Dudley

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"Vax Express" did Worcester today. Photo shows it berthed at the full-high while an in-service commuter train is berthed at the adjacent low platform, and a CSX yard job passing in front. They used a 4-car set of coaches from the now idle PTC test train for the outfitting of makeshift vaccination trailers.
 

jklo

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"Vax Express" did Worcester today. Photo shows it berthed at the full-high while an in-service commuter train is berthed at the adjacent low platform, and a CSX yard job passing in front. They used a 4-car set of coaches from the now idle PTC test train for the outfitting of makeshift vaccination trailers.
Do we have any idea of how many people actually went to it? The publicity stunt is amusing but access hasn't been that big of an issue. Just a quick look and there's at least two vax locations in the immediate area of Union Station.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Do we have any idea of how many people actually went to it? The publicity stunt is amusing but access hasn't been that big of an issue. Just a quick look and there's at least two vax locations in the immediate area of Union Station.
Apparently they had quite a line, so the publicity stunt seemed to work at drawing people out.
 

jklo

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Apparently they had quite a line, so the publicity stunt seemed to work at drawing people out.
Bizzare. I'd like to see the actual numbers. Like the lady who complained who lived in Millbury.. there's two CVS and a Walgreens in town.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Bizzare. I'd like to see the actual numbers. Like the lady who complained who lived in Millbury.. there's two CVS and a Walgreens in town.
Not bizarre in the slightest: many people are wildly uninformed.
 

bigeman312

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The week of 6/7/21 saw the highest total "Rapid Transit" (fare gated stations including those on the Silver Line) ridership in the COVID era. Thursday, June 10 was the highest MBTA "Rapid Transit" ridership day since March 2020:

MBTA_RT_Ridership_6_7_Week.png


That Thursday (6/10/21) saw comfortable weather return after a 5-day stretch of 90+ degree heat (the second earliest 5-day heat wave for Boston). With highs in the 70s and low humidity, the Astros were in town for a "wild Thursday night at Fenway Park." I was at that game and I can attest that the crowd was "electric" and the bars were packed afterward. Definitely a very lively Thursday night in Boston.

It was on that Thursday, 6/10/21, that the Orange Line recorded its highest ridership day since 3/13/20, surpassing the ridership of 3/16/20 for the first time:

Orange_Ridership_6_10_Week.png


At 55,271 riders on Thursday 6/10/21, the Orange Line recorded:
  • 51% of its Thursday, March 12, 2020 ridership.
    • 3/12 was in the middle of a precipitous decline in ridership and was the last time a Thursday's MBTA ridership was higher than 6/10/21.
  • 36% of its Thursday, March 5, 2020 ridership.
    • 3/5 was at the last "normal" Thursday before the precipitous ridership decline.

On the following day (Friday, 6/11/21), the Blue Line, Red Line, and Green Line (gated station validations) each recorded their highest ridership day since 3/13/20:

Blue_Ridership_6_7_Week.png


At 26,900 riders on Friday 6/11/21, the Blue Line recorded:
  • 76% of its Friday, March 13, 2020 ridership.
    • 3/13 was in the middle of a precipitous decline in ridership and was the last time MBTA ridership was higher than 6/10/21.
  • 56% of its Friday, March 6, 2020 ridership.
    • 3/6 was at the end of the last "normal" week before the precipitous ridership decline.
  • 57% of its Friday, February 28, 2020 ridership.
    • 2/28 was the highest system-wide ridership Friday of 2020.

Red_Ridership_6_7_Week.png


At 68,089 riders on Friday 6/11/21, the Red Line recorded:
  • 73% of its Friday, March 13, 2020 ridership.
    • 3/13 was in the middle of a precipitous decline in ridership and was the last time MBTA ridership was higher than 6/10/21.
  • 39% of its Friday, March 6, 2020 ridership.
    • 3/6 was at the end of the last "normal" week before the precipitous ridership decline.
  • 36% of its Friday, February 28, 2020 ridership.
    • 2/28 was the highest system-wide ridership Friday of 2020.

Green_Ridership_6_10_Week.png


At 29,918 riders on Friday 6/11/21, the Green Line (gated station validations) recorded:
  • 81% of its Friday, March 13, 2020 ridership.
    • 3/13 was in the middle of a precipitous decline in ridership and was the last time MBTA ridership was higher than 6/10/21.
  • 42% of its Friday, March 6, 2020 ridership.
    • 3/6 was at the end of the last "normal" week before the precipitous ridership decline.
  • 38% of its Friday, February 28, 2020 ridership.
    • 2/28 was the highest system-wide ridership Friday of 2020.

The MBTA also set a COVID-era high in bus system ridership for the seventh consecutive week:

MBTA_Bus_Ridership_6_7_Week.png


The bus system averaged 208,957 riders per weekday. This is the highest ridership week since the week of 3/9/20. Ridership was 51% of the index week (week of 2/24/20), 78% of Christmas week '19, and 81% of Thanksgiving week '19.

The highest ridership bus route on the week of 6/7 was the 66, for the fifth time in six weeks. In fact, at 7,766 riders per weekday, the 66 logged the highest weekly COVID-era ridership for any bus route in the system:

66_Bus_Ridership_6_7_Week.png


The 66 bus ridership was 58% of the index week and 97% of Christmas week '19.

tl;dr T ridership keeps increasing to levels not seen since early March of 2020. The Blue Line as well as some high-ridership bus routes (like the 66 bus) are running at about 60% of their pre-COVID ridership.

Edited to add: interesting (to me) tidbits that I found when poring over the data.

3/13/20 is in a way a benchmark. It was at the end of a week that saw a precipitous decline in ridership, as COVID precautions took hold. It's the latest day from March 2020 that the MBTA has not yet matched in system-wide ridership.

As ridership keeps ticking up, some stops are starting to surpass their 3/13/20 ridership for the first time in the "post-COVID-era" (all dates in 2021):
  • Community College on 3/16
    • Orange Line derailment caused Community College to become the impromptu Orange Line terminus.
  • Sullivan Square on 3/17-3/19, 3/22-3/27, 3/29-4/2, 4/5-4/10
    • Busing between Sullivan Square and Oak Grove
  • Kenmore on 3/27, 4/3, 4/10, 4/17-4/24, 4/30, 5/1, 5/4-5/8, 5/11-5/15, 5/17, 5/20-5/22, 5/25-5/30, 6/2-6/5, 6/7-6/11
    • Bussing and/or Red Sox games
  • Ruggles on 4/24
    • Busing between Ruggles and Forest Hills
  • JFK/UMass on 5/1
    • Bussing between JFK/UMass and Ashmont
  • World Trade Center on 5/21
  • Riverside on 6/9-6/11
    • Red Sox games
  • Courthouse on 6/11
 
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bigeman312

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The system did not set any new highs last week, but the Blue Line did. On Friday, 6/18/21, the Blue Line had its highest ridership day since 3/13/20:

Blue_Ridership_6_14_Week.png


At 27,901 riders on Friday 6/18/21, the Blue Line recorded:
  • 79% of its Friday, March 13, 2020 ridership.
    • 3/13 was in the middle of a precipitous decline in ridership and was the last time MBTA ridership was higher than 6/18/21.
  • 58% of its Friday, March 6, 2020 ridership.
    • 3/6 was at the end of the last "normal" week before the precipitous ridership decline.
  • 59% of its Friday, February 28, 2020 ridership.
    • 2/28 was the highest system-wide ridership Friday of 2020.
Edited to add: I want to keep the station level data v 3/13/20 feature.

3/13/20 is in a way a benchmark. It was at the end of a week that saw a precipitous decline in ridership, as COVID precautions took hold. It's the latest day from March 2020 that the MBTA has not yet matched in system-wide ridership.

As ridership keeps ticking up, more stops are starting to surpass their 3/13/20 ridership. These are stations that recorded higher ridership than 3/13/20 on any day from 6/12/21 to 6/18/21 (all dates in 2021):
  • Aquarium on 6/12 and 6/18
    • First two times surpassing 3/13/20
  • Kenmore on 6/12-6/14
    • Red Sox games
    • 43rd, 44th, and 45th times surpassing 3/13/20
  • World Trade Center on 6/14 and 6/17
    • 2nd and 3rd times surpassing 3/13/20
 
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Wash

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@bigeman312 , could I shoot you a DM about the ridership graphs you've been posting? I want to do a deeper dive into some of the data and would like to know how you're getting it/turning it into graphs.
 

#bancars

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millerm277

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MassPort cutting prices for the Logan Express in a bid to mitigate the impact of increased traffic to Logan as travel demand rebounds:

It's pretty ridiculous they hadn't cut the rate on the main parking garage before this. Closed the economy parking garage because of low demand and still kept charging the same (much higher) rate at the only place they left open to park. $38 a day as the only option for people who needed to travel was obscene.
 

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