BOSTON (CBS) – The operator of the MBTA commuter rail apologized to riders Thursday and said it plans to fully restore service by March 30.
Keolis International CEO Bernard Tabary said the system is expected to operate at 78 percent passenger capacity on Friday.
Here is a look at the remaining capacity schedule:
- By March 6, the service will be at 80 percent
- By March 9, the service will be at 85 percent
- By March 23, the service will be at 92 percent
“We will do everything we can to accelerate that process, and have brought experts in from around the world to support this effort,” Tabary said in a statement. “We’ll be working hard to keep passengers informed during this recovery period as we work to rebuild their trust.”
Keolis officials met with Gov. Charlie Baker and his administration Thursday morning to discuss a plan to bring rail service back to normal operations. The governor has demanded better from Keolis as the commuter rail struggled to operate during a historically harsh period of snow and cold in the region.
Keolis said they were sorry for the poor rail service this winter.
“To our passengers, we know this has been an incredibly frustrating time. You have endured cancelled or delayed trains, information snafus, and mechanical issues like doors that don’t open,” Tabary said. “We know you’ve waited on cold platforms and been late to work or had a difficult time getting home at night. We know we haven’t performed up to the high standards you have a right to demand—and that we demand of ourselves.
“On behalf of the entire Keolis team, I want to express our sincere apologies. We are dedicated to providing our passengers on the MBTA Commuter Rail System with outstanding service each and every day.”
Capacity Recovery Schedule
Locomotive Recovery Schedule
Some aspects of the recovery plan include:
- Communicating the plan and alerting passengers about new routes and schedule changes across all channels in timely manner to assist them at all phases of their journey: from planning the trip, to waiting on the platform, to riding on the train.
- Launch consumer-friendly informational campaign: “Where’s My Train?”
- Real-time messaging: Use T-Alerts (which reach nearly half of Commuter Rail passengers) and Twitter (10,000 followers) to communicate useful messages about cancellations or delays as quickly as possible so passengers can plan accordingly.
- In-person assistance: Deploy teams of Keolis staff in key stations and onboard to act as our ambassadors, including conductors, providing information and assisting passengers in ways that restore trust.
- Call assistance: Double the number of specialists to answer customer calls.
- Other: Use of MassDOT highway LED signs under consideration.
Management Changes At Keolis
In a separate statement, Keolis announced that Gerald Francis has been named the general manager of the Commuter Services unit in Boston. He replaces Tom Mulligan, who resigned earlier this week for personal reasons.
Francis joined Keolis in 2014 as a deputy general manager.
Keolis also announced that Franck Dubourdieu, who previously served as director of Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement for the Commuter Services unit has been named deputy general manager.
“This has been a very challenging time for the commuter rail system, our passengers, and for the Keolis team because we have not been able to provide the quality of service the people of this region have a right to demand,” said Eric Asselin, executive vice president and general manager of Keolis North America. “With Gerald and Franck in these new roles, I am confident that we will soon have the commuter rail system operating as it should.”