Riders said they are not happy as the MBTA began cutting subway service across lines Monday in response to a federal report blasting the agency’s lack of dispatchers.
As part of their response to special directives from the Federal Transit Administration, the T is slashing service through the rest of the summer because they don’t have enough dispatchers for regular operations. T riders said the cuts are already hurting their commute.
“If we’re waiting 14 to 17 minutes for the train, that thing is gonna be packed,” said Paul Price, who commutes on the T and said he was already late to an appointment due to the reduced T schedule. “It’s gonna be insane!”
“It’s a bummer,” another commuter added.
The new timetables are:
Red Line: Ashmont and Braintree branches will run every 14 to 15 minutes instead of 9 to 10, and trains between Alewife and JFK/UMass will run every 7 to 8 minutes
Orange Line: Will run every 10 minutes in the morning, every 8 to 9 minutes throughout the day, and every 11 minutes at night
Blue Line: Wil run every 7 minutes until 9 a.m. and then every 8 to 9 minutes the rest of the day.
Also starting Monday, the B branch of the Green Line will close between Boston College and Kenmore for 12 days, with shuttle buses carrying riders.
The FTA is investigating the T following the March dragging death of Robinson Lalin and numerous other safety issues, and issued four special directives Wednesday calling for immediate action before they release their final report. One of the directives specifically criticizes operations control center employees working 20-hour shifts and returning to work after only 4 hours off, which Gov. Charlie Baker said the T was addressing.
“One of the things they said was you need to find or train up some people who have particular skills around dispatch, because you need more dispatchers,” Baker said Saturday. “I think that’s going to be a big focus of the T from this point forward.”
MBTA officials are working to bring new dispatchers aboard through a recruiting process, potentially offering bonuses and bringing back dispatchers who used to work at the T.