Another Day, Another Red Line Nightmare On the MBTA
Riders just can’t escape the horrors of delayed trains during their daily commute. Blame the weather.
The MBTA is blaming the third rail on two separate tracks for the commuter calamity that kept customers crammed on the platforms, both Tuesday night, and Wednesday morning, as riders scrambled to get to where they were going.
MBTA Spokesman Joe Pesaturo said a third rail defect was discovered shortly before 7 a.m. on the northbound tracks on the Ashmont side of the JFK/UMass Station, along the Red Line, which wasn’t fixed in time for the flow of travelers. The below-freezing temperatures are believed to be a contributing factor, he said.
Some customers were told to change trains at JFK/UMass to the Braintree side for service into the city. MBTA officials also told riders to either utilize bus routes, or even the Commuter Rail if possible. “A few buses were used, but the vast majority of Dorchester branch customers transferred at JFK to other Red Line trains or commuter rail trains,” Pesaturo said in an email.
The delays inevitably trickled down to other stops, filling up the platforms.
Sardines in a can are way more comfortable than everyone on the Red Line right now. Total nightmare, avoid at all costs #MBTA
— Brendan Joyce (@BJoycey89) December 10, 2013
The red line is an absolute nightmare. Avoid at all costs
— Courtney Hayes (@Courtney__Hayes) December 10, 2013
The #mbta Red Line has been an absolute nightmare so far this week.
— Ron Powers (@ropowers3) December 10, 2013
Although everyone is excited about the prospect of new late-night service coming to the tracks in 2014, which will help get people home after the bars close in Boston, some are questioning whether or not that money would be better used by just fixing the system in general first.
While it's cool MBTA will operate late night, I'd rather them focus attention on providing actual working trains and efficient service.
— Mike Miccoli (@MikeMiccoli) December 11, 2013
As the Globe outlined earlier this month, even workers at the transit agency are wary of the problems that could crop up if there is track trouble late at night, when swarms of bar-goers start to cluster at stations, relying on the T as their means of transportation home. “There’s always something unexpected that comes up, because it’s an old system,” said a staff member who works for the track maintenance department, the report said.
While new trains are on the way in 2019, on both the Orange and Red Line, there is no immediate plans for fixing the tracks themselves.
For now, customers will have to grin and bare it, and try and get along as they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow passengers.