(State House News Service) — Government officials are advising people to use public transportation to get around snow-clogged cities and towns, but the system is plagued by delays and officials are asking its users to dress for extreme cold and expect severe impacts on Tuesday.
In a statement to the News Service Tuesday morning, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said, “A week of constant exposure to frigid temperatures, ice, and record snowfall has taken a major toll on the MBTA’s vehicles and infrastructure. Rail service, particularly on the Red Line and Commuter Rail, will be severely impacted. Due to a shortage of fully functioning subway cars, customers are asked to consider an alternative to the Red Line today.”
Citing the “snowiest seven day period in Boston history,” the MBTA also reported on its website that “decades-old equipment may experience more frequent mechanical issues” and “switches and signals may also be adversely affected by frigid temperatures.”
Massachusetts non-emergency state workers and House and Senate employees have been advised they have until 11 a.m. to report to work on Tuesday.
Coming out of last week’s blizzard, Gov. Charlie Baker urged the state’s residents to “engage commerce” but severe winter weather has continued to make it difficult for many people to leave their homes.
Massachusetts lawmakers and Gov. Deval Patrick in 2013 approved a package of tax increases that they said would address repair needs and the costs of expansion efforts on the MBTA.
Lawmakers subsequently repealed a computer services tax that was a major piece of that law and voters in November approved a ballot question repealing another piece – the law requiring the gas tax to rise automatically to keep pace with inflation.
Boston plans to host a victory parade Wednesday for the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, an event that typically draws hundreds of thousands of people to line city streets and show their support.
The MBTA posts service information at mbta.com/winter and on Twitter @MBTA and @MBTA_CR.