MBTA Escapes Morning Snow Mostly Unscathed
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority did not collapse into a frozen mess of snow and ice during Friday morning’s snowstorm, contrary to what passengers might have been dreading.
Commuters experienced some early morning problems on the Red Line and Orange Line with disabled trains at JFK/UMASS and Chinatown, respectively, but that was the extent of the MBTA’s rush hour problems. Per the MBTA, the disabled Red Line train experienced a brake problem while the disabled Orange Line train experienced a door problem.
Shortly after rush hour ended, a Green Line trolley accident resulted in the disruption of service along the B Line. Buses were used between Washington Street and Boston College.
The news was mostly positive on the Commuter Rail, too, as that service experienced only minor delays due to fallen tree branches and crossing gate issues. The delays were confined to the Franklin, Fitchburg, and Lowell lines. No rush hour delays were longer than 25 minutes.
These incidents serve more as a reminder that winter weather is always an obstacle for the agency, but so is its $7.3 billion maintenance backlog. After last winter, the MBTA implemented an $82.7 million winter resiliency plan to prevent a repeat of the catastrophic failures the system experienced in 2015. Many of these improvements included new de-icing equipment, improvements to track switches, and a new management plan at MBTA headquarters for snow events.
Still, the worst of this storm is yet to come. As snow continues to accumulate throughout the day, the big test for the MBTA could come this afternoon when the system will have to function under several inches of snow. Minus a handful of weather-related delays on bus and rail routes, the MBTA operated well during the first major snowfall of the year, when Winter Storm Jonas came through in January.
“The system performed well this morning, and personnel will be working hard all day to help ensure a safe and reliable late afternoon/early evening commute,” said MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo.