BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said MBTA riders can expect more disruptions as the transit agency works to make improvements in the wake of two derailments this month.

The governor and MBTA leaders gathered at the Wellington T station Tuesday to roll out a plan to speed up work on the system. Baker announced an immediate infusion of $50 million to create a new team that will focus on getting construction and repair work done faster.

“We know that riders are frustrated with the pace of repairs, we all are,” Baker said. “The T will explore scheduling more aggressive and extensive evening and weekend closures to expedite infrastructure improvements.”

A train derailment at the JFK/UMass station on June 11 severely damaged the line’s signal system. The MBTA has said repairs to “gradually restore” full service on the Red Line will take all summer.

Gov. Baker decided to ramp up MBTA repairs once he saw the damage. “This is an unbelievably complicated piece of really old technology,” he said.

The derailment damaged hardware that controls the MBTA signal system (Photo credit: MBTA)

MBTA General Manager Steven Poftak said closures are already happening on an almost nightly basis, and they will be expanded. A list of upcoming shutdowns can be found here.

“We’ll be announcing a full summer calendar of summer shutdowns shortly,” he said. “It will allow us to accelerate maintenance work and infrastructure improvement.”

In addition to the closures, Baker’s administration said the T will also be making more frequent inspections, talking with industry partners to try and move projects along faster and pushing to change laws that slow down the process of awarding construction contracts.

The MBTA is planning to spend $8 billion over five years on new vehicles, track, signals, power systems, and maintenance facilities.

“The biggest problem the T has is finding the time to do the work,” Baker said.

Comments (2)
  1. Mike Mu says:

    The biggest problem the T has is their bloated pension & people retiring at 55.