Orange Line’s troubles continue now on Healey’s Plate – Boston News Weather Sports
As MBTA grapples with service delays and prepares to suspend downtown Orange Line service for two weekends next month to work on tracks that were part of last year’s month-long end-to-end shutdown said Gov. Maura Healey, the new general manager she plans to name at the T, is being blamed for “making these things stop happening.”
Hiring a new general manager to run the ailing public transit company was on the new governor’s to-do list even before Healey won the November election.
Three weeks into her tenure, Healey has kept the Baker administration team in place at MBTA and at MassDOT in general, including interim Secretary of Transportation Jamey Tesler and interim MBTA GM Jeff Gonneville.
The T announced this week that the Orange Line will be closed in both directions across a nine-station span between Ruggles and North Station for the weekends of February 4-5 and February 18-19.[b]because of the continued demolition of the Government Center Garage by private developer HYM Construction.” But it also gives the T an opportunity to “perform additional track work, including replacing rail fasteners between Back Bay and Ruggles stations,” the T said.
The T also announced forthcoming service changes for the Green Line, Red Line and Haverhill Line on the commuter rail.
“Well, see, that’s why I’ve prioritized a new GM. We’ll go through this search very quickly. I want to use the best possible person and team to make sure these things don’t happen again,” Healey said Thursday morning in Newton when asked about the recent shutdown. “Of course we get into a situation where there is a lot to do. Operationally there are real issues, particularly in terms of workforce, but that is precisely why we have prioritized the establishment of GM.”
The MBTA on Thursday informed Orange Line drivers of delays of up to 15 minutes, “while there will be longer wait times while we operate with a reduced fleet.”
Healey said hiring a new GM for the MBTA is a “weeks, not months” scenario. In December, her transition team commissioned Krauthamer & Associates, which it described as “the first transit search firm in the field,” to conduct a comprehensive search for the next head of T.
Healey has also pledged to hire a new chief of security at the T in her first 60 days as governor. On Thursday, she didn’t say what her safety team would do differently than the current team under Chief Safety Officer Ron Ester.
“I’m not aware of all the efforts so far,” she said. “I can tell you what my team will do. We’re going to make sure we inspect every bus, track and train – the people of the state need to know their transportation system is safe and reliable, and that starts with us putting this team together.”
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