The MBTA is chipping away at its goal of getting full service back up and running by mid-March after a series of weekly storms dumped eight feet of snow on the region and virtually crippled the T.
Transit officials have released a map showing which areas of the system will be back in business, and it looks like the downed areas of the Red Line and the Green Line will likely be functional by Friday.
The service restoration plan comes on the heels of weeks of frustrated commutes as MBTA customers deal with cancellations , delays, irregular commuter rail schedules and the use of temporary shuttle buses in lieu of rail lines.
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Downed parts of the Red Line and Green Line were expected to be open Friday.
MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott, who last week announce she would step down from her post, pointed to the system’s antiquated equipment and infrastructure, as well as the historic amount of snow that blanketed train tracks, as the cause of the disfunction .
Scott said on Monday that it could take as long as a month to restore full service, a plan that Governor Charlie Baker called “sort of an outer limit.”
“We need to be faster than that, but I don’t want anyone over-promising and under-delivering, here,” Baker said of the timeline.
But this new announcement from the T seems to mean the system is chugging along ahead of schedule — that is, if the agency keeps its word and delivers on its promise.
“If all goes according to plan, we should have all MBTA lines and stations before the end of next week, and that will certainly be good news for all of our loyal customers,” said MBTA Spokesman Joe Pesaturo .
After that, the T will apply “a laser-like focus on repairing subway and trolley cars that were damaged during the four brutal winter storms,” Pesaturo said.
Prison inmates have been put to work digging out the Red Line’s snow-covered tracks. The National Guard has worked to clear the tracks on Green Line routes.
“The goals we identified today will hinge on a number of factors, including weather conditions, and while we are making progress on recovering tracks and stations, we are also working hard to get train counts up,” General Manager Beverly Scott said in a statement on Wednesday. “This will not be an easy task but our dedicated employees are working day and night to deliver the level of service the people of Massachusetts deserve.”
Pesaturo said the cost of full MBTA service restoration will be calculated after the storm recovery process is finished.
More snow is slated to hit Massachusetts Saturday evening. The National Weather Service forecasted the small storm to bring a wintry mix of snow, ice, rain and wind, with snowfall predicted overnight into Sunday.
Precipitation on Sunday is expected to turn to freezing rain, the NWS said.