All signs indicate that this New England Patriots’ Super Bowl championship parade was the biggest one to date.
There were many familiar sights: Throngs of jubilant fans in blue and white jerseys, a shirtless Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy, outrageous lines at T stations, a handful drunken donnybrooks, and confetti-covered champions cheering on Duck Boats as the parade kicked off from the Hynes Convention Center at 11 a.m., rolling down Boylston Street to Tremont Street and ended near City Hall Plaza.
Plus, a bunch of Pat’s fans helped push an ambulance out of the mud in the Common.
A record-breaking blitz of boisterous Patriots fans overran the MBTA system, singing ‘Sweet Caroline’ and leaving empty beer cans all over cars. The commuter rail ran at a higher capacity than ever before. The MBTA deployed seven additional coach cars on certain lines and deployed 16 additional trains for an additional 26,000 people.
“We are seeing extraordinary ridership levels across the entire network, notably higher than seen for previous parades and almost certainly the highest ridership ever seen on the network,” Commuter Rail operating agency Keolis wrote. “Early estimates suggest ridership is much more than double a typical weekday.”
Parking lots at Alewife, Beverly, Braintree, Quincy Adams, Wonderland stations, Riverside, North Quincy, Oak Grove, Wellington, Salem and Woodland filled to capacity at about 9:30 a.m., according to the MBTA’s Twitter feed. The Franklin commuter rail line suffered significant delays during rush hour after a pedestrian was struck and killed by a train in Norwood around 8:15 a.m., officials said. Trains were running inbound again by 9 a.m., but with delays of up to 55 minutes, according to the MBTA.
In town, the subway operated at rush hour service with the exception of the D Line of the Green Line due to a derailment at about 11 a.m.. Replacement buses drove between Kenmore and Reservoir for the remainder of the day. Commuters headed to Reservoir were advised to take the C Line to Cleveland Circle. Shuttle buses also ran express to Riverside from Copley Square, leaving from Saint James Avenue and Dartmouth Street.
Passengers taking the Commuter Rail for their return trip after the parade were advised to expect long lines at major stations. MBTA officials suggested parade attendees take trains after 4 p.m.. Lines at North Station extended outside the building as many trains held past their scheduled departure times until they reached capacity. According to the Back Bay Patch, at least 34 people were hospitalized for “event-related” issues.
The Boston Police have not tallied the amount of people arrested at the parade yet.