MBTA

MBTA Says Riders Should Plan for Longer Times as Speed Restrictions Continue

Speed restrictions were put into place Thursday night on the Red, Orange, Blue and Green Lines

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Localized speed limits are still in place in certain sections of the track for several MBTA lines ahead of the busy Monday morning commute, and the transit agency is warning riders to anticipate longer travel times.

This weekend saw partial delays of up to 20 minutes on the Red Line, up to 15 minutes on the Blue Line and up to 10 minutes on the Orange Line. The Green Line and the Mattapan Trolley were still seeing delays across the board as speeds remained capped between 10 and 25 miles per hour.

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The MBTA did not provide a timetable for when these restrictions will be lifted but said in a service update Sunday night that riders should plan for additional travel time and longer headways on the Red, Orange, Blue, Green and Mattapan Lines this week as T engineers continue to perform repair validations and speed verifications for each section of track.

In a surprise move late last Thursday night, speed restrictions were implemented across the entire system "out of an abundance of caution" following a March 6 site visit by the Department of Public Utilities, where officials examined the Red Line between Ashmont Station and Savin Hill and found several issues that required immediate attention, including concerns with priority-one track conditions, electrical access boxes on the right of way and headlight operations within the tunnels.

There was also missing or inconsistent documentation around which repairs were made.

Global speed restrictions were lifted Friday morning on the Red, Blue, and Orange Lines and replaced with block speed restrictions in areas that still need to be inspected or where conditions do not permit normal speeds. Global speed restrictions have remained in effect on the Green and Mattapan Lines, however, which limits trains to going 25 mph on straightaways and 10 mph on curves and other special forms of track, according to the interim general manager.

Many had wondered if things would be back to normal for the work week. Jeffrey Gonneville had said he didn't want to speculate on when the speed restrictions would be lifted but had asked riders to be patient and allow them until the start of service Monday to validate repairs and verify speeds, while offering an apology for slower service.

Localized speed limits are still in place in certain sections of the track on the Red, Orange and Blue lines.

Overall, riders tell NBC10 Boston that they’re tired of the all the problems on the T.

“It definitely is an inconvenience to a lot of people’s time. We have to pay for the train all the time. It is expensive and stuff so you don’t know how everybody can adjust to it," Brianna Gomes said.

“It’s a problem because when you want to go to the hospital or go to work and you have to take a shuttle, it takes time to get to the place. And then you’re late where you work, or you’re late to where you’re going and it’s really hard," T rider Natou Sissoko said.

"Half of the reason why I live in Boston is because I can get around without a car. Now I can't really, so it makes it really frustrating," said another regular user of the T.

Most riders say they just want a system they can rely on.

"[I] just want to get around, with some semblance of speed and predictability... I don't know how long my commute to work is going to be on Monday. I just get on the train and hope and see what happens," another commuter said.

It’s not clear at this point when those will be lifted.
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