Full-Line Speed Restriction Lifted for MBTA Green Line; Some Slow Zones Remain

Targeted block speed restrictions remain in effect on the Green, Red, Orange, Blue and Mattapan Lines, the MBTA said.

NBC Universal, Inc.

The MBTA notified riders on Sunday that the end-to-end speed restriction on the Green Line that has slowed down the trains in Boston has been lifted, though there are still going to be some delays.

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.



Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.


Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

MBTA test trains have since confirmed that all speed signs on the Green Line are in place to safely implement block speed restrictions, which represent about 18% of track, the transit agency said.

There are some slow zones also still in place on the Red, Orange, Blue and Mattapan Lines.

A block speed restriction is a length of track that may include multiple defects that need to be investigated or mitigated. As each defect is validated and corrected as needed, the length of the block speed restriction will be reduced until the block is fully removed.

The MBTA shared its latest update through social media and said commuters should continue to plan for longer headways and additional travel time.

Riders say it's been annoying to deal with.

"It's quite slow, it's like taking time with the delays and stuff," one woman said. "I'm just hoping for the best and hope that it kicks up eventually,"

Samantha Miller, who rides both the Green and Red lines to get to work, says it's been very frustrating.

"Crazy and overwhelmingly inconvenient," she said. "I've definitely been staying up-to-date on any delays, closure, shuttle buses because I have to get places on time."

All weekend long, riders were getting their hopes up and then getting disappointed. The MBTA had hoped they could ease speed restrictions by end of service on Saturday, but they continued for most of Sunday, with the latest update coming around 8:40 p.m. Addressing the continued disruption, the agency said it was continuing to prioritize safety as further evaluation and validation of specific locations was needed.

Miller said she's just glad there's progress as she starts her week Monday, though she says the MBTA has a very long way to go.

"I hope it gets resolved soon and we can see a modernization efforts happening," she said. "We want to attract people here and I don't think the T is up for the task."

A lot of people have a lot of questions for the MBTA. NBC10 Boston did request an interview with interim MBTA General Manager Jeff Gonneville on Sunday night but we were told he wasn't available.

The acting head of the MBTA said Friday that he was "optimistic" that the last of the global speed restrictions placed on the lines last week could be lifted by Saturday morning, but riders had to plan around the T on Sunday, this time with St. Patrick’s Day crowds adding to the ongoing speed restrictions across all subway and trolley lines.

The entirety of the Green Line had remained under the restriction 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.

Pockets of track on all lines remain restricted — about 25% of the total track 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," Gonneville said at a news conference.

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

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.

Contact Us