In the last two weeks Red Line MBTA has been dreadful during evening hours between 5 and 6 pm home bound from work. Since October 10th 2016 the Red Line has made long haul stops breaks between Park and Harvard stating that there is a problem with signals at Alewife station. This is an on-going problem. Commuting distance from Park to Harvard takes around 12-15 Mts. In the last more than two weeks I leave at 5 pm from South Station and get to Harvard on the Red Line around 5.45 to 6.00 pm. This is due to unexplained signal issues at alewife according to MBTA. Fixing signals should not be an on going issue. We need to get home to our families and get going with kids activities.
MBTA Response (10/29) forwarded by Senator Brownsberger
We are focused on two issues that have been impacting the Red line over the last ten to fourteen days.
The first issue is a signal communication interruption at Alewife station. Our signal system communicates between our field equipment and our operation Control Center utilizing a Verizon line. There was a manhole that flooded last Friday after the heavy rain we received and a connector for the Verizon line was under water and damaged. This caused us to lose remote functionality of the switches at Alewife. When this occurs we have to manually throw the switches and route trains in and out of the terminus location at Alewife. This movement is done at a restricted speed and cannot be safely accomplished as efficiently as the system is designed to. Verizon has been making repairs to this equipment since last Saturday and each day the line has been getting more reliable. Today is the first day we have not been impacted with this communication issue. We are hopeful that Verizon has made all the necessary repairs to allow us to run the system reliably again. Not to get to far into the weeds but there is an ongoing project to build out our own fiber to all of the signal locations so we do not have to depend on outdated Verizon lines. This will improve our resiliency to these types of issues in the future.
The second impact is from an increase in vehicle issues, we have seen about eight more failures in service this month then we typically see on average. I have asked the vehicle maintenance staff to look for trends or similarities with the failures but there doesn’t seem to be any common trend. We are committed to improving everyday as we move forward and are confident that these last two weeks are an anomaly and service should improve.