We only get one Big Dig, state declares: MassDOT and the board that now runs the T agreed today that they're not going to pay any more for the Green Line Extension than the state's already committed to, so if the project's costs can't be shrunk by a billion dollars or so, it's dead, unless "other sources" come up with the extra money, and by "other sources" they mean cities that really want the thing (both of them), landowners and developers that would benefit from being right on the proposed line.
T workers managed to dispose of the carcass of a trolley that died at Cleveland Circle earlier this morning, but now there are signal issues at Copley jamming up the works.
Reporters at WGBH perform songs about the Red Line.
Yes, it's another commute with signal problems at Braintee on the Red Line. However, all trains are operating with drivers.
WBZ reports the driver of the runaway train used a cord to tie down the speed-control lever to bypass the "dead-man's switch" feature before getting out of the train to flip the switch that would let the train travel through red signals - the ones that had been plaguing the Red Line in Braintree all week. Oops: He didn't set the train's brakes first.
WBUR reports Gov. Charlie Baker called the untended ride "an isolated incident" that resulted when "a single individual made multiple errors."
Kidlet got to school a bit early this morning and found this in the school library.
The T is warning of "moderate" delays on the Red Line to and from Braintree this afternoon, due to signal problems. Of course, Braintree has been having signal problems all week, including this morning, when a train left the station without the driver who had gotten out to deal with them.
State Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack acknowledged this afternoon that the train's driver left the train to prep it to deal with signal problems that have plagued the Braintree branch of the Red Line all this week.
But at an afternoon press conference, Pollack added that "operator error" is the primary focus of an MBTA investigation into the incident - in which a train traveled from Braintree to North Quincy without a driver. Read more.
The T is investigating how a Red Line train managed to travel several miles from Braintree to the Neponset River without a driver at the controls.
Equipment tampering is one of the things investigators are looking at; trains aren't supposed to just move on their own volition, let alone travel several miles. The Herald reports the FBI is now on the case.
MassDOT reports: Read more.
Service in both directions on the Worcester Line was halted around 8:30 a.m. upon discovery of a suspicious package at Newtonville. Police declared the package not suspicious about 15 minutes later and trains were free to go about their business.
UPDATE: T workers had to corral the train because it was coming down the tracks with no driver.
A train left its earthly body at North Quincy this morning, leaving the Red Line no choice but to immediately go into "severe delay" mode in both directions. But, hey, at least it wasn't signal problems today, amirite?
Boston Magazine reports on a meeting today of the MassDOT and MBTA fiscal control boards at which consultants urged officials to toss the current bid, which has ballooned in cost and seek new bids for a system with smaller stations, a more modest trolley-repair facility and a different track alignment.
Just in time for the afternoon rush, the T is warning of "moderate" delays on the Red Line to Braintree.
My MBTA train is stuck at North Quincy and it sounds like an airplane about to take off.
Shortly before 7 p.m. Transit Police report:
A male, age unknown , while trespassing on the right of way was struck by an inbound Red Line subway train. Boston Fire extricated the male and he was transported to a local area hospital with serious injuries. Shuttle bus service was set up between JFK and Park Street.
The MBTA reports "moderate" delays on the Red Line to Braintree due to signal problems, or as Dan Moore puts it: Read more.
UPDATE, 10 a.m. Bhaiwala has set her report to "friends only."
UPDATE, 8:35 a.m.: A Transit Police spokesman says: "We have attempted to reach out to her but have not, as of this correspondence, received a reply."
Zahra Bhaiwala, who is studying health economics at the Harvard School of Public Health, reports she was on her way from class to work on the Green Line today when the trolley entered Copley and some guy she says had been eyeing her since Longwood started yelling that she had a bomb in the black bag she was carrying:
"Copley is next! Thatâ€™s the best place for them to do an attack!â€ť Followed by â€śWomen are doing it too now, donâ€™t you see the news?â€ť
4 or 5 angry men had now gathered around me and I showed them my Harvard and Genzyme IDs and opened up the bag to show them my computers. They nodded their heads and backed away slowly. No one in the car said anything to the man, who refused to come with me to the MBTA office and also refused to apologize. None of the 5 men apologized either, which is more upsetting.
Trolley past its expiration date at Kenmore is causing problems for riders who for some reason insist on heading downtown; train that had to be taken out and put out of its misery at Downtown Crossing causing problems for riders who for some reason insist on heading north instead of south.
UPDATE: Signals died, outbound riders sighed, on the Green Line at Copley.
CommonWealth reports MassDOT claims attorney/client privilege, not because the state is going to sue any contractors, but because the contractors might sue the state.