The T

The T

By - 2/13/15 - 5:18 pm

MassDOT just announced there will be no subway, commuter rail, bus or boat service on Sunday:

The projected heavy snow and high winds will significantly inhibit the MBTA’s ability to deliver safe and reliable service. Trees and power lines could come down, and visibility will be hampered. Additionally, the MBTA is concerned that a train could break down between stations, resulting in a track right-of-way evacuation that would put customers, employees and emergency responders at risk.

The suspension of service will also allow MBTA crews to keep clearing snow and ice from tracks, the third rail and switches. A decision about the status of service for Monday will be made Sunday.

By - 2/13/15 - 4:03 pm
Ferry and icebreaker

Photo by MBTA.

In Karhide, on the planet Gethen, ferry voyages always include an icebreaker sent ahead.

In Hingham harbor, as well.

By - 2/13/15 - 3:33 pm

MassDOT announced that MBTA service on Saturday night will stop at 12:50 a.m., rather than run to 3:30 a.m., so that T workers can try to get a jump on snow fighting.

By - 2/13/15 - 10:11 am

the MBTA issues this week couldn't get any more absurd, now they're apparently sending out alerts without verifying the information first.

Just after 7 am this morning, I got an alert that the 7:30 train out of Reading was cancelled. Accordingly, I didn't leave my house until about 7:30, to get to Melrose Highlands in enough time to secure a parking spot and get the 8:00 train. However, as I'm approaching Greenwood Station, what do I see heading inbound but a train on the 7:30's schedule (the one that had been "cancelled" according to the alert).

By - 2/13/15 - 9:59 am

Mayor Walsh today issued a statement to clarify his statement yesterday that he thinks the T might have to shut down due to the anticipated weekend blizzard: He was being descriptive, not prescriptive:

The MBTA has faced incredible difficulties over the past few weeks due to the historic amount of snowfall and increasingly cold weather, coupled with an aging system. Closing the T for the weekend would pose an incredible hardship to workers and people living throughout Boston. We have another big storm coming our way Saturday night into Sunday and I hope that our public transportation system can safely remain running to keep Boston open, support our local economy and get people to work.

By - 2/13/15 - 9:44 am

Coming February, 2015.

H/t Fermezporte.

By - 2/12/15 - 6:28 pm
Crowded platform at South Station

Mark Reagan shows us the hordes waiting for a train around 6 p.m. on a platform at South Station.

It wasn't much better inside the station, where Rebecca Luongo was among the subdued hordes wishing they could be anywhere else other than an overpacked train station.

By - 2/12/15 - 2:02 pm

And so it's come to this: With the Braintree leg of the Red Line effectively out of commission since that train got stuck for two hours, the T is turning to Peter Pan, which normally provides bus service to places like Vermont, to help ferry riders between Braintree and JFK/UMass tonight and tomorrow.

In a statement, the Carmen's Union, which represents MBTA bus drivers, says:

By - 2/12/15 - 9:17 am
Unhappy people on the Red Line

Will captured the mood on one Red Line car this morning.

By - 2/12/15 - 8:06 am
Fresh snow at Oak Grove on the Orange Line

Rich got to Oak Grove around 6:30 a.m., just in time to see tracks remain unshoveled, which is one of the reasons the T is still just running that single shuttle train up and down that one track between Oak Grove and Wellington, causing grief for commuters like Beth Chaplin at Malden:

At Malden Sta at 7:15am; SB "shuttle" train too full to get on. Now heading NB to OG so I can circle back to Wellington.

By - 2/11/15 - 7:28 pm
Back Bay nightmare on the Orange Line

Around 5:30 p.m. at Back Bay, Patrick Shea urged anybody considering the Orange Line to forget about it, as the T ran fewer trains on the line than usual due to snow-related whatevers.

Claire Blechman reports things weren't much better at North Station:

Crowded North Station
By - 2/11/15 - 4:22 pm

So it turns out Beverly Scott did drop the mic at her press conference yesterday.

Scott did not specify reasons in her resignation letter, but did praise T workers and said she was proud to have been part of the Patrick administration's transportation team.

She leaves the job in April.

By - 2/11/15 - 7:22 am
MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott in control center

MBTA GM Beverly Scott in T control center this morning. Photo by MBTA.

It's shuttle buses instead of trains between Braintree and JFK and those buses are going nowhere fast because they're on the same roads everybody else is using. Of course, first you have to get on a shuttle - Riley Foster shows us the line at Wollaston around 7:45:

By - 2/11/15 - 6:15 am
Man shaving on the MBTA's Green Line

A rider forwards this photo of a man taking care of grooming in the nick of time on the Green Line this morning.

Earlier:
Close shave on the Orange Line.

By - 2/10/15 - 3:55 pm

The MBTA says it will run the Green and Blue Lines, but at reduced frequencies tomorrow. There will be trains on the Red and Orange Lines, "but the level of that service will not be determined until later today."

Commuter rail will only make about 70% of normal trips, but there will be no service to Plymouth, TF Green Airport or Wickford Junction.

And buses will continue to replace the Mattapan Line.

By - 2/10/15 - 11:44 am

And at a feisty press conference, MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott could not rule out further shutdowns if we got more snowstorms. She said she should have a better idea later this afternoon when service can resume.

In contrast to the quiet, subdued Walsh and Baker press conferences, reporters went for the jugular and Scott didn't back down. "Oh, Lord Jesus!" she said at one point as a reporter asked her about the T's debt issues - some $3.5 billion of which she said was dumped on the MBTA by state officials desperate to find a way to pay their share of the Big Dig.

By - 2/10/15 - 9:04 am
Worcester Line tracks in the snow

Gamma Ray Digital shows us where the Worcester Line used to be in Allston.

OK, if you look closely, at the snow to the left of the roof at the bottom of the image, you can see a thin black line. That's all that's left of the train tracks this morning.

By - 2/9/15 - 9:40 pm

Here's London mayor Boris Johnson with some random chap on the Red Line today:

By - 2/9/15 - 5:56 pm

The declaration clears the way for emergency equipment to start coming into Massachusetts from other states: Front-end loaders, backhoes, snow melters and the like for getting rid of snow.

Parking bans to remain in effect through end of weeks, non-essential state workers in eastern Massachusetts given tomorrow off due in part to the T shutdown. Baker said he wants to wait until after the storm damage clears to have detailed discussions with T officials about what's gone wrong this winter.

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