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MBTA rail service to resume Wednesday after blizzard shut down

MBTA crews working with "pick axes and shovels," says General Manager Beverly Scott.

Crews work to clear MBTA tracks of snow.

Nicolaus Czarnecki, Metro

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority was expected to resume rail service Wednesday after Monday’s snow shut it down for more than 24 hours, keeping thousands of Bostonians from work and drawing fire from residents and state officials.

The commuter rail system would operate on a modified weekday schedule, making approximately 70 percent of the trips regularly scheduled, the T said. The Green and Blue Lines will operate, but with fewer cars and less frequent service. Service would also be restored on the Red and Orange Lines, but the level of that service was not clear as of Tuesday afternoon.

MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott didn't hold back during the Tuesday morning press conference, lambasting the lack of investment in the antiquated transit system. Scott told reporters that “there has to be significant investment and reinvestment in this system.”

Scott said the agency has nearly 200 miles of tracks to clear of snow, and that crews have been working with “pick axes and shovels” to get the job done. There were 50 disabled trains across the T Monday, Scott said, and three instances in which people had to leave stalled trains.

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Scott, who became general manager in December 2012, was defensive at times as she fielded questions about the T's response to the snow.

“This ain't this woman's first rodeo,” she said at one point.

“The trains are 100 years old… To think that it's going to have the resilience to rise up and fly like an eagle… is foolish,” said Scott. "What happened here, it would have taken anybody down."

The transit agency said in an announcement Tuesday that levels of accumulated snowfall continue to make it difficult for customers to maneuver their vehicles around MBTA parking lots.

“Work crews continue to try very hard to keep the lots' travel lanes and exits clear, but heavy snow has accumulated in the immediate areas around vehicles occupying spaces. Customers are strongly encouraged to consider these factors if using MBTA parking lots,” the statement read.

Buses are available “on an extremely limited basis” with various buses on snow routes, the T said. However the buses are running with delays due to traffic congestion and local street conditions.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker expressed frustration with the T's handling of the winter weather, and said he planned to sit down with transit officials to discuss his concerns.

“We've been disappointed by the fact that even that abbreviated schedule hasn't been able to be maintained. Once it stops snowing, we plan to have a long conversation with the folks at the T about improving performance,” Baker said.

“There are a lot of people at the T who I know have been working extremely hard, but this performance is simply not acceptable.”

When asked if she was thinking about resigning, Scott said no.

The latest service information is available at mbta.com/winter.

 
 
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