Districts across Massachusetts have cancelled school for Friday and the MBTA is taking extra precautions ahead of what is expected to be an extremely cold evening commute.

Temperatures are expected to drop to dangerous levels on Friday and Saturday. Wind is forecast to combine with the cold to plunge wind chill values below -20 degrees in many places.

Mayor Michelle Wu declared a cold emergency on Wednesday ahead of the upcoming cold weather, and Boston, Worcester, and Framingham Public Schools all made the decision to cancel classes Friday due to the extreme weather conditions, citing their concern for student safety.

The MBTA also recognized that the cold has caused transportation issues in the past and said they are taking extra precautions as the Arctic front moves in.

The T’s Acting General Manager Jeff Gonneville said Thursday that significant shifts in temperature can lead to broken rails as tracks expand and contract. As a result, Gonneville said crews will be stationed around subway and commuter rail networks to address issues. 

MBTA officials have said they’ve been preparing for winter weather for months. Though the T is facing a labor crunch, officials have said extra workers will be called in beginning Friday.

The T is planning to store trains in tunnels to protect them from wind chills. 

Gonneville said crews will also be going through all T vehicles to make sure the air systems, which control doors and brakes, are all prepared for the cold. 

Gonneville rode the Red Line Thursday alongside Gov. Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll. Healey said riders deserve safe transit service even when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

T officials said they will monitor for any signs of trouble and react quickly as issues arise.

(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox