HAVERHILL — If you are a train commuter who uses the city’s downtown station, get ready to change your habits.
Starting next week, commuter rail passengers who use the downtown Haverhill train station will be bused to the Bradford Station for certain inbound trains heading to Boston, and will be bused from Bradford to Haverhill for certain outbound trains leaving Boston for Haverhill.
Repairs to the Merrimack River train bridge are causing the changes. Bridge repair work is set to begin Wednesday and will require some changes to train numbers and times for the Haverhill commuter rail line. Those changes will go into effect Monday. Busing for two morning and two evening trains between the Bradford and Haverhill stations begins Wednesday.
Riders taking weekday inbound trains #212 and #222 to Boston and who park at the downtown station will be bused at no charge to the Bradford station for their commute. Riders taking the weekday outbound trains #203 and #213 from Boston will be bused at no charge from the Bradford to the Haverhill station. Riders are asked to allow for extra travel time.
Message boards will be placed at the stations letting people know the bus schedule and pick-up location
MBTA officials said that some commuters may choose not to use the bus, but rather to park and board the train at the Bradford Station. Before the bridge repair work, the MBTA estimated there were usually 230 surplus parking spaces at the Bradford Station.
MBTA officials said the bridge repairs will be handled in several phases. On Wednesday, work is expected to start with the closure of Track No. 2, which will be taken out of service between the Haverhill and Bradford stations for structural repairs, painting, track work, and other work for 12 months. During this period, regular service will continue on Track No. 1, except for two trains in the morning and two in the evening, with passengers being bused between the Haverhill and Bradford stations and vice versa.