MBTA: Red Line riders no longer have to transfer at JFK/UMass for Braintree service

BOSTON (WHDH) - Red Line riders no longer have to transfer at the JFK/UMass Station for the Braintree branch but they can still expect delays during the Monday morning commute, MBTA officials announced on Sunday.

Recent repairs to signal and track infrastructure following a train derailment last week just outside of the JFK/UMass Station has allowed regular service to resume on all tracks after a series of successful tests, according to MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak.

“We are pleased to be able to resume direct service to the Braintree branch, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Poftak said. “Recovery operations are continuing with a goal of full service, but riders should allow additional time for their commutes because track switches must be operated manually until repairs are completed. For Monday’s commute, we will continue to offer additional commuter rail trips and will continue to keep riders routinely updated on the schedule.”

The MBTA is still asking Red Line commuters to plan an additional 20 minutes of travel time Monday morning as trains continue to operate at restricted speeds because switches will have to be operated manually.

One commuter said, “It’s slower than usual, I mean, it’s not quite fully back up to normal yet but at least they are working on it.”

The derailment, which marked the second in the span of four days, has commuters doubting the MBTA system.

Gov. Charlie Baker stressed that the agency is making long-term improvements.

“Almost a billion dollars in investments on both the Red Line and another billion dollars on the Orange Line over the next three or four years and it’s going to hit practically everything,” Baker said. “It’s going to hit tracks, it’s going to hit signals.”

Some passengers are looking forward to a smoother ride.

“I trust MBTA and I’m sure they’ll do a great job,” a commuter said.

Others expressed that with increased fares should come better service.

“I’m a little concerned, a little concerned, especially with their hikes coming up, but what can you do? I have to take it every day to get to work anyway, so there’s not much more alternatives,” another passenger said.

CharlieCard or CharlieTickets will continue to be honored for Commuter Rail service on Monday. In addition to regularly scheduled trains on Kingston, Middleboro, and Greenbush Lines, extra trains will make additional stops at Braintree, Quincy Center, JFK/UMass, and South Station.

Countdown clocks have been enabled at some Red Line stations and the MBTA is continuing to monitor their predictions for accuracy.


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