The full transformation of the Red and Orange Line fleets will be delayed by at least a year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and pre-existing manufacturing issues, MBTA officials announced Monday.
Under its contract with Chinese manufacturer CRRC, the MBTA expected to have a fleet of new Orange Line cars delivered by January 2022 and a fleet of new Red Line cars by September 2023.
The Orange Line delivery is now projected to be 15 months late and arrive in April 2023, while the Red Line set is running a year late and is expected to be done in September 2024, according to MBTA Deputy General Manager Jeff Gonneville.
With those delays, the T also pushed back its target for running trains more frequently with shorter headways to summer 2023 for the Orange Line and winter 2024 for the Red Line.
Gonneville said the T's contract with CRRC includes language allowing the agency to seek damages for delays and that officials intend to explore its possible application.