BOSTON– So we have good news and bad news. Let's start, for once with the MBTA, with the good.
Well actually, the good thing starts with a bad thing. As a reminder, on June 11 of this year, a red line train derailed and damaged control signals and switches at JFK/UMass. Those signals and switches tell the trains if they can proceed, or if a train in front of them is stalled. When those got damaged, the T had to hire 50 human beings to manually do that job, and apparently they can't do it as well as the machines.
SO... they told us that there would be delays basically for the rest of the summer. However, they released a statement yesterday that might give us some hope: "Our crews have rebuilt 3 signal bungalows and built 1 additional bungalow for additional communications and power support. As of Friday, 21 of 29 signals and 11 of 19 switches are once again being remotely controlled by dispatchers at our Operations Control Center (OCC). The number of trains we can move through the area is increasing." The most important sentence there is the final one: if more trains can move through the area, that means less crowded trains and more frequent rides. They caused a problem, but at least they're trying to fix it.
Now, the bad news. There was an equipment failure on a Blue Line train near Government Center which caused a power outage. Riders were forced to evacuate the train as a result. Service was suspended for an hour and hundreds were left outside waiting for shuttles to get them to work.
A WBUR poll found that riders are very frustrated with the transportation system, and 29% have a favorable opinion of how Gov. Charlie Baker has handled the MBTA.
Lastly, the T recently increased fares, with one ride with a CharlieCard going from $2.25 to $2.40.
Whatever your opinion is, the fact of the matter is that the MBTA has been in the news a lot recently, and not for the right reasons.
Image via Wikimedia / Dennis Yu