MBTA Pauses Lifting Speed Restrictions on Green Line

The acting head of the MBTA said Friday that he was "optimistic" they would be lifted on Saturday.

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The MBTA is pausing its planned lifting of the speed restrictions on the Green Line after they were expected to be lifted on Saturday.

This after crews identified speed signs that need to be relocated to implement block restrictions, according to the MBTA.

The T notified riders of the pause on social media.

Once again, riders have to plan around the T, this time with Saint Patrick’s Day crowds and ongoing speed restrictions.

The acting head of the MBTA said Friday that he was "optimistic" that the last of the global speed restrictions placed on the T's subway and trolley lines last week can be lifted by Saturday morning.

The entirety of the Green Line remained under the restriction as of Friday, more than a week after an inspection of part of the Red Line triggered the global speed restrictions on all of the T's four heavy and light rail lines.

Still, pockets of track — about 25% of the total — will remain under restrictions, according to the MBTA, meaning trains won't be able to go over certain sections of track faster than 25 mph, or 10 mph on restricted curves and other specialized stretches of track.

"I remain focused on the safety of fixing the system. That is what our riders want and deserve,," interim MBTA General Manager Jeff Gonneville said at a news conference.

It's unclear when all the speed restrictions across the system will be lifted.

He noted that a "dedicated and robust" independent investigation into what led to the slowdowns is underway. But he said he was satisfied with the pace of the systemwide track inspection, given how much has needed to get done while keeping trains running.

Gonneville reiterated that riders should continue to plan for additional travel time and longer headways on all subway and trolley lines, given the pockets of slow zones that will persist.

Next week, the T plans to unveil a new dashboard that lets riders know where exactly speeds are restricted on the subways and trolleys.

Riders have been frustrated Thursday and Friday by speed restrictions on the MBTA.

Rail speeds were reduced on all T lines last Thursday based on findings by a Department of Public Utilities inspection on the Red Line earlier in the week. It 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, and missing or inconsistent documentation around which repairs were actually made.

The sudden announcement slowed trains systemwide. Global speed restrictions were lifted the next day for the Red, Blue, and Orange lines, but they remained on the Green Line and — until this Thursday — the Mattapan trolley.

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