QUINCY, MASS. (WHDH) - Many morning commuters are experiencing the latest MBTA service cuts for the first time today after the long holiday weekend.
“I don’t really like waiting, but I guess I have no choice,” one Red Line rider said.
This is the first true test of the service cuts announced by the MBTA on Friday. Service cuts will impact the Red, Orange and Blue Lines.
This move comes after Federal Transit Authorities blasted the MBTA for safety issues, most notably its lack of dispatchers– many of whom had previously been working shifts as long as 20 hours. The MBTA has put an end to those shifts.
Some commuters are already waiting 15 minutes or more after missing their train at the Wollaston station on the Red Line.
The new timetables are:
Red Line: Ashmont and Braintree branches will run every 14 to 15 minutes instead of 9 to 10, and trains between Alewife and JFK/UMass will run every 7 to 8 minutes
Orange Line: Will run every 10 minutes in the morning, every 8 to 9 minutes throughout the day, and every 11 minutes at night
Blue Line: Will run every 7 minutes until 9 a.m. and then every 8 to 9 minutes the rest of the day.
Also starting Monday, the B branch of the Green Line will close between Boston College and Kenmore for 12 days, with shuttle buses carrying riders.
The FTA is investigating the T following the March dragging death of Robinson Lalin and numerous other safety issues, and issued four special directives Wednesday calling for immediate action before they release their final report. One of the directives specifically criticizes operations control center employees working 20-hour shifts and returning to work after only 4 hours off, which Gov. Charlie Baker said the T was addressing.
“One of the things they said was you need to find or train up some people who have particular skills around dispatch, because you need more dispatchers,” Baker said Saturday. “I think that’s going to be a big focus of the T from this point forward.”
“The FTA’s findings and the MBTA’s subsequent service cuts don’t inspire any public confidence in our transit system,” state House Speaker Ronald Mariano and state Senate President Karen Spilka said in a joint statement. “Since 2015, at his request, Governor Baker has had control of the MBTA. It has since been the Administration’s responsibility to keep up with maintenance and manage an efficient system that customers can rely on.”
The pair said they would work with the Joint Committee on Transportation a hearing on the topic “in the coming weeks.”
MBTA officials are working to bring new dispatchers aboard through a recruiting process, potentially offering bonuses and bringing back dispatchers who used to work at the T.
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