LISTEN LIVE: Morning Edition



MBTA Implements Rear-Door Boarding On Buses And Trolleys To Slow Coronavirus Spread

The MBTA’s Fradwin Suarez wipes down the steering wheel of the bus overnight at the Charlestown bus garage. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
The MBTA’s Fradwin Suarez wipes down the steering wheel of the bus overnight at the Charlestown bus garage. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
This article is more than 2 years old.

Passengers who take the T will be boarding through the rear doors starting today, according to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

The implementation of rear-door boarding was put into place to protect "the health and safety of the T's workforce and customers, and to preserve transit services for those who are essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19," the MBTA said in a statement Saturday.

Anyone boarding an MBTA bus or MBTA trolley at a street-level stop on the Green Line and Mattapan Line will be asked to use the rear doors to minimize contact.

Anyone who may need to use the front door of a trolly or bus, such as seniors or people with disabilities, can continue to do so, the MBTA said in their statement.

"The MBTA is undertaking these measures to protect our frontline employees while maintaining regional mobility for essential trips by healthcare workers and emergency responders," said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak.

New protocols to clean and disinfect "high-contact" surfaces in subways station every four hours and on buses during midday layovers were also put into place this week. This is in addition to the daily cleaning and disinfecting of MBTA vehicles, including the RIDE, that occurs every 24 hours.

After Gov. Charlie Baker's state of emergency declaration, the MBTA has reduced its services. T ridership is down as much as 80%, Poftak told Radio Boston this week.

"Working together, the Carmen's Union and the MBTA are ensuring that the necessary precautions are put in place to protect our members and riders,” said Boston Carmen’s Union President Jim Evers. "We take our responsibility as essential employees tasked with moving Massachusetts seriously. The men and women taking the MBTA every day are trusting us to get them where they need to go, and to do so safely. I'm proud that our Union and the T were able to work together to ensure the right steps are being taken to protect employees and riders during this time."


Derek J. Anderson Twitter Digital Producer
Derek J. Anderson is a digital producer for WBUR.