BOSTON (CBS) – The MBTA is making changes as Massachusetts begins the second part of Phase 2 of reopening the economy Monday.
The T Is ramping up service on dozens of bus routes, adding trains to all subway and commuter rail lines, and resuming limited ferry service.
The agency is also reminding riders that face coverings are required for everyone.
At a news conference Monday morning, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said the T will hand out masks at several high volume stations during peak hours for the next two weeks.
He said about 1,000 employees have been tested for coronavirus and more than 20 have tested positive and are out on leave.
The @MBTA will be handing out masks at some of the busier stations for the next two weeks as part of their Ride Safer campaign. They are also expanding service on the subways, bus routes and the ferry. #wbz pic.twitter.com/8Dbv8QRxhA
— Anna Meiler (@AnnaMeiler) June 22, 2020
The announcements are part of the T’s new Ride Safer campaign, which began Monday with a new series of videos. It promotes good hygiene, social distancing, and reminds riders that masks are required.
“Every vehicle is cleaned and disinfected every night,” said Poftak. “We are cleaning stations and facilities every day.”
“Right now we are running so much service, we’re running, essentially 100-percent of service, at least on the Red Line, for roughly 15 or 16 percent of ridership, so we think we’ve got plenty of service out there that we should be able to handle any demand we hit.”
Regular weekday service has resumed on all subway lines. There will be more buses running on nearly 60 routes and commuter rail service will be essentially doubled.
Also beginning Monday, there will be limited weekday ferry service to Hingham, Hull and Charlestown. Weekend ferry service is still suspended.
The MBTA is also urging employers to continue allowing people to work from home when possible or consider staggered schedules to help with social distancing on public transportation.
“We expect this will be a slow return to work right now we believe we have an extraordinary amount of service available so people can ride in a socially distant way,” said Poftak.
For more information on the expanded service, visit mbta.com.