BOSTON (CBS) — If you think you have been a harder time finding a seat on the commuter rail lately, you’re not alone.
For the last six weeks, there has been a shortage of commuter rail coaches.
In a contract the MBTA has with Keoloiscs Commuter Services, 362 coaches are to be used in March. Keoloiscs was, on average, 30 coaches short for the last few weeks, according to officials and statistics from the monthly commuter rail update.
“It is packed, a lot of people standing. It’s a long way to stand all the way from Providence or Attleboro all the way into Boston,” said Latalia Graham, who rides the commuter rail.
Graham also said that operators are honest about the crowding.
“They’ll say ‘we’re sorry for the over-crowdedness, we’re down a car or down two cars.’ They do make an announcement and let us know,” she explained.
Keoloiscs released a statement saying:
“We appreciate the patience of our customers as we work to increase our coach count. The coach shortage is due to a problem with one of the MBTA’s wheel maintenance machines that has since been resolved. Our mechanical teams continue to put in additional hours to work through the backlog of coaches requiring maintenance as a result of this issue, and we hope to further improve this service soon.”
Full service is two to three weeks away, according to the company.
“It’s disappointing,” said Pat Gardner from Littleton. “If they are going to work on it then we can be patient and hopefully it gets back to the way it used to be.”
The company could now be facing a financial penalty from the MBTA for violating their contract.