The popular Amtrak Downeaster passenger rail service will resume five round trips a day between Maine and Boston in May, after a year of regular service interruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Downeaster’s schedule will be adjusted to add midday trips from Brunswick and Boston’s North Station, the service said Wednesday. The 10:20 a.m. southbound and 3 p.m. northbound routes should provide more flexibility for business and leisure travelers, said Natalie Bogart, marketing director for the rail service.

“Passengers have requested more midday trains for years,” Bogart said in a news release.

The Downeaster will also offer new discounts for advance ticket purchases, more space for bicycles, and in-seat food and beverage service.

Full service will resume on May 3. The Downeaster has run only four daily round trips since July.

Although the Downeaster has regained lost customers since the service shut down last March, ridership is still far below pre-pandemic levels.

The rail service had its highest number of post-pandemic riders in October, when almost 10,400 people took the train, but that was just one-fifth of the total ridership in October 2019.

In March, about 8,600 passengers rode the Downeaster, making it the service’s second-best month since the pandemic began.


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