BOSTON (WHDH) - The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority reduced Commuter Rail service by more than half on Monday, the same day the agency is slated to vote on additional proposed service cuts.

On Monday, the Commuter Rail began operating 246 daily trains as opposed to 541 due to low employee availability because of COVID-19 absences, the MBTA and Keolis announced.

The reduced schedule only impacts weekday service and is slated to run at least through Dec. 27.

This all comes as the MBTA decides on how to deal with a massive budget shortfall due to the pandemic.

The MBTA unveiled a package of proposed service cuts on Nov. 9, which included eliminating commuter rail service on weekends and after 9 p.m. on weeknights, ceasing running all ferries, scrapping 25 bus routes, halting subways and buses at midnight, and scaling back more transit options beginning next spring and summer.

They are expected to vote on a final package Monday.

A number of lawmakers, including Sen. Ed Markey and representatives Ayanna Pressley and Stephen Lynch, plan to hold a press conference opposing service cuts just hours before the vote.

(Copyright (c) 2021 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox