Snow Affecting MBTA Service

By Kathy Curran, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – “Fix the MBTA.” It’s not just the hope of frustrated riders, it’s the way one commuter rail customer is airing his concerns online.

Brian Cavoli is pro-public transportation but the recent break downs, delays and lack of communication pushed him over the brink and gave him the idea to use social media for help.

Cavoli, who takes the commuter rail from Mansfield to Boston, set up a Twitter account called @FIXTHEMBTA. He says “it’s been an awful week, you’re left stranded out in the cold and you don’t know if a train’s a minute away or an hour away.”

Cavoli checks the MBTA website and the general manager’s Twitter updates but says the information on delays is lacking.

Cavoli understands the T can’t fix the mechanical issues and weather-related issues overnight but says they can fix communication problems.

WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports.

Scott Farmelant, the spokesperson for the Mass Bay Commuter Rail, says the MBCR apologizes to riders and knows service was not nearly good enough.

One major problem is salt on the tracks from road crews which causes false signals and delays.

The MBTA says its website struggled Thursday morning because of a record number of hits during the 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. hour. Communication was lacking and winter weather has put trolleys and rails to the test.

Read: MBTA Delays
View: Pictures From You

Brian Cavoli asks one thing, “Let us know what’s going on if there are delays. That would help so much.”

MBTA general manager Richard Davey is also frustrated. He’s looking at ways to improve communication and has demanded an action plan from the T’s director of information technology next month.

MBTA GM Richard Davey talks to WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben and David Wade:

MBTA Spokesman Joe Pesaturo pointed out that other transit systems in the region, including Amtrak, also had difficulties on Thursday. He said several customers emailed the MBTA to thank them for good service during Thursday’s storm.

  • Cynic

    How can one tell when the Green Line is late? They usually come when they come.

  • jake

    Lay off the mbta… it would be impossible for them to remotely run on time with snow that much.. there is only so much that you can do.. oh we’ll the were late all morning.. the news has nothing else to talk about every five minutes besides they we’re late. Better late than never

  • Jess

    It wouldn’t have been so terrible if the commuter rail I was on this morning had heat and lights. It made for a long ride to Boston.

  • Tweets that mention Snow Affecting MBTA Service « CBS Boston --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brian Cavoli, fixthembta. fixthembta said: #MBTA riders, your tweets about T service this week made the news on #WBZ tonight. Watch it here: […]

  • Gene

    Someone breaking wind affects MBTA service! Jake do you work for the MBTA, it’s not only when it snows that they have problems its 24/7/365.

  • taxedout

    Give them a break, the system has only been around a 100 years or so, they will come up with a New idea to fix the problem soon!!! I know the guy who sits in the 2nd car being pulled who opens and closes the doors could get out and shovel….Nah…Time for another Raise!!!!

  • brianhackett

    Bad service in cold/snowy weather is no big deal for the T. They have service problems in June on a cloudless 75 degree day or as someone else said, when someone breaks wind. The Blue Line basically runs 5 days a week then they do bus service from Maverick to Govt Center on the weekends for “track improvements”..LOL. Then no matter what line you take every 2 or 3 stops they sit for 5 minutes for a “schedule adjustment”, which means they have someone buying coffee and they need to wait for them to get it to the train. The T’s favorite phrases are “Significant Delays” “Standing By”. And if you’re lucky enough to wait for a bus you know the phrase “Out of Service” all too well.

    • Ron

      I like ‘Minor Delay’ – that’s usually at least 20 minutes, on top of the 30-40 minutes it takes them to update passengers. Especially on the Orange Line during rush hour when trains are scheduled for every 5 min. and realistically need to be run every 2-3 min. to meet the normal demand (which, oddly enough, they seem all too able to do w/ southbound service at that same time – hmmm). I loved being at Downtown Crossing when that happens. “Really, a minor delay? You already have more than 3 trains worth of people standing on this platform alone and the number keeps going up. That’s pretty significant. In fact, that’s a massively crippling delay.”

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