Amtrak Acela service to return June 1

Amtrak Acela service to return June 1
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Amtrak's Acela service will resume on the Northeast Corridor starting June 1, reopening routes from Washington to Boston.

According to a press release, the service will resume under some modified scheduling changes, including the return of three weekday roundtrips for Acela and an increase from eight to 10 roundtrips for Northeast Regional.

President and CEO Bill Flynn said that Amtrak's primary focus in reopening services is safety.

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"We want everyone to feel comfortable as they navigate this new normal," he said.

Amtrak will keep several coronavirus-related safety measures in place, such as requiring face masks for customers and staff, temporarily capping bookings at 50 percent and maintaining other physical distancing rules, as well as only allowing cashless payments.

The move to reopen is said to be a response to anticipated increased demand for business travels in June, Amtrak Chief Marketing Officer Roger Harris said, according to a phone call reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

"We think that having had the Acela brand out of the market for an extended period of time is a risk for not only Acela, but for Amtrak, too, considering how much revenue Acela produces," Harris said in late April.

"And our best estimate, based on the shutdown rules in local communities, is that beginning of June will be the most likely time when people would start to travel again, at least for business," he added.