MBTA wants to make sure system-wide slowdown ‘never happens again’

BOSTON – More speed limits are set to be lifted on MBTA lines in the coming days as the embattled agency’s interim director vows to make sure system-wide slowdowns “never happen again.”

It’s been slow for MBTA riders for the past week. Last Thursday, the MBTA briefly implemented “worldwide” speed limits of 10 to 25 mph due to documented “deficiencies” of track defects. The matter was brought up after a visit to the red line of public utilities.

“As we go forward and go through this process, we’re making sure that the data that we’re collecting and that the verification and validation process is accurate, and that’s why it’s going to take time,” said the interim MBTA GM. Jeff Gonneville at a press conference on Friday.

“Each of these very specific faults has a detailed set of measurements that must be made at each of these individual locations,” he continued. “It takes time. And it also takes time to do it between trains, which is what we do every single day.”

Speed ‚Äč‚Äčlimits are no longer in place for the entire line except for the Green Line, but the Red, Orange, Blue and Mattapan lines still have certain points where trains must slow down.

Riders’ frustration is palpable when they notice a longer commute. “I was on the red line today and felt like I could have walked faster,” said Alexis Santos of Boston.

“It’s an inconvenience to anyone who takes it, but obviously safety comes first,” said Dana Schuh of Cambridge, “but if they could speed up the process, that would be great.”

Gonneville said the T is “taking a conservative approach” to fixing the problem and prioritizing rider safety. He said the global slowdown on the Green Line is expected to be lifted on Saturday, and other speed restrictions will be lifted in the coming days.

“As we continue to review and validate track conditions, I will report our findings and take the necessary steps to ensure this does not happen again,” he said.

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