MBTA commuters face sluggish travel Monday morning with speed restrictions still in place as crews continue their work to verify that previously identified track defects have in fact been addressed.
T officials announced Sunday evening that slow zones remain in place on the entire Green Line and Mattapan Line after a failure to document repairs prompted them to impose systemwide speed restrictions Thursday night.
The Red, Blue and Orange Lines since Friday have been subject to a series of localized speed restrictions, not end-to-end slow zones, that T officials now say affects nearly a third of track miles.
As of Monday morning, the MBTA has 39 newly implemented “block speed restrictions” in place on the Red Line, 19 on the Orange Line and six on the Blue Line, together covering 31.9 percent of the track for those three routes. Officials did not provide any information about where the new slow zones are located.
“A block speed restriction is a length of track that may include multiple defects that need to be investigated or mitigated,” the T wrote in a press release. “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.”
Officials said the 31.9 percent figure does not account for slow zones that pre-dated last week’s upheaval, so the total percentage of the heavy rail subject to slower-than-usual travel is larger.
Before the latest development, 11.9 percent of the Red Line, 12.8 percent of the Orange Line and 1.6 percent of the Blue Line had been subject to speed restrictions.
MBTA Interim General Manager Jeff Gonneville, who continues to hold the top job while Gov. Maura Healey searches for a permanent leader of the T, said last week officials “did not have confidence” in the existence or quality of documentation proving that repairs were made to issues flagged by specialized “geometry car” scans of the tracks.
The slow zones will remain in place as teams work to verify that maintenance work has been conducted as needed.
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