BROOKLINE, MASS. (WHDH) - A new round of speed restrictions on the MBTA’s Red, Orange, Green and Blue lines made for a difficult commute Thursday night and Friday morning for riders relying on the public transit network.
Though MBTA officials said they had lifted many of the new restrictions as of Friday morning around 10:30 a.m., frustrations lingered for some already impacted by previous public transit issues in the Boston area.
“You prepare at a certain time and it comes either 10 minutes too early or five minutes too late and it throws off your whole schedule,” Makha Kekana, a restaurant server, said. “Then you get to work and you’re five minutes late and you have to explain ‘Oh I missed the T or the T didn’t come in time,’ so it can be a little frustrating.”
Kekana gets paid hourly. She said she counts on the T to get her to work in time for her shift. Issues over the years, she said, have led to lost wages.
“If you’re 30 minutes late, that’s like half your hourly wage that you have,” Kekana said.
Elsewhere, Real Estate Agent Gil Propp said he invested in a car after years of T troubles made him late for work.
“It just kept breaking down,” Propp said. “You’d be stuck at Kenmore or Park Street for 10-20 minutes with no explanation.”
“Over time, as I got more busy with my career, I just couldn’t do it anymore,” he continued.
Now, Propp is behind the wheel, allowing him to get to appointments on time.
“It’s definitely more money for a car, however the opportunity to make more money makes it worthwhile,” he said.
The transit strain has been difficult for business owners, too.
Bill Blanchette owns a mattress store. While he said he’s providing a service, he said he’s not necessarily getting service from the MBTA.
“When I open up the store, I want to be here on time,” he said. “I don’t want people waiting outside having to wait for me to come here,” Blanchette said.
Blanchette said customers will leave if he’s not at the store on time. That, he said, hurts his bottom line.
With particularly severe delays on Friday morning, some commuters arrived at T stations and said they were surprised to learn about the new temporary speed restrictions. Others said they would cut their losses and use options such as rideshare services to get to work. Still others said this situation had them reassessing their relationship with the T.
“I don’t really know what I’m going to do,” Grace Tauriello said. “I’ll have to figure it out.”
“I was just blindsided when I got here,” Gina Sullivan separately said.
Where this latest disruption caused delays, some said they appreciated the concern for their safety.
“They don’t get enough credit,” Sullivan said. “They just get the grief.”
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