MBTA Lifts Last Full Trolley Line Speed Restriction, But Delays Remain

There’s no timetable for when all the block speed restrictions will be lifted

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The full-line speed restriction on the MBTA's Green Line has been lifted, the transportation agency announced Sunday night, but smaller speed restrictions continue to impact the four main rapid transit lines in and around Boston.

Those slow zones still exist across all lines in pockets of what the MBTA calls "block speed restrictions" while the T and 3rd-party engineers continue to inspect and maintain previously identified track defects.

Monday morning commuters were keeping a mostly positive attitude, with everyone really rooting for the MBTA to succeed because there aren’t a lot of other public transportation options.

“Slower, I guess, but it will get better, you just have to find your right schedule and it will be good,” said Divine Nosa, who rides the T daily.

BU student Maggie Hook said, “There’s tons of delays and the timing between the Ts is longer, and so then, if you miss one, then you have to wait like 15 minutes for the next one and that’s kind of frustrating.”

The Green Line was the last line with those global speed restrictions in place, until they were finally lifted Sunday night.

There’s no timetable for when all the slow zones will be lifted. The T is urging riders to continue building more time into their commutes.

In the meantime, T riders are just building extra time into their days, and hoping service will be improved in the long run.

“I leave home earlier, I guess, like 15, 10 minutes earlier,” Nosa said.

Crews had been conducting work this weekend to identify 30 speed limit signs that needed to be relocated before the global speed restriction could be lifted.

There will still be delays for riders with targeted blocked speed restrictions in place.

The Green Line was the last line with those global speed restrictions in place, until they were finally lifted Sunday night.

Even though this may be seen as somewhat encouraging news, T riders say they’re still a little hesitant to trust that they’ll actually get to their destination on time.

“I did notice there were a good amount of delays,” Adrian Ciezobk said, who was visiting from Chicago.

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

“I'm just hoping for the best and hope that it quickens up eventually," T rider Anna Owolabi said.

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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