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MBTA GM: It Will Take 30 Days To Restore Normal Service12:45

An infographic by a Radio Boston listener details "the crisis of the MBTA." (Courtesy Kelvy Bird) closemore
An infographic by a Radio Boston listener details "the crisis of the MBTA." (Courtesy Kelvy Bird)

In Copley Square Tuesday, MBTA passengers were very frustrated.

"It takes too long, it's moving very slow," Nancy Bunson said as she waited for a bus to South Station. "We've waited over 40 minutes for the bus a couple times throughout this weather. We're very frustrated and very cold."

Roads are snow-jammed and above-ground tracks are still locked in ice, forcing MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott to admit Monday that it could take a full month to restore the T to complete service, as long as there aren't any more big storms that add to the misery.

"The fare hike's been going up," rider Loubens Bruno said in Kenmore Square. "All that money we're putting in to pay for the subway to run smoothly, we don't see that happening."

On Monday, we talked about why that isn't happening and we focused on the MBTA's profound financial woes. But after the show, we received an email from a listener that began: "Today's show was frustrating in the extreme for me, a daily MBTA rider."

John Pezaris suggested we take a closer look at how the T is managed. He wrote, "As a rider, it is the small things that are so glaring [they] typify a management that is entirely out of touch with reality."

Pezaris pointed to how the Green Line is often overflowing after rush hour, because the T reduces service, how train arrival time signs on the Red Line are 20th, not 21st century technology, and how when the MBTA shut down due to the biggest recent storms, the entire system was shut down, even the underground portions, which he thinks wasn't necessary.

"The T does not need more money," Pezaris writes. "It needs a wholesale replacement of the entire management."

And it's unlikely John is the only rider with that frustration.


John Sterman, professor of management and director of the System Dynamics Group at the MIT Sloan School.


Radio Boston: A History Of The MBTA’s Woes

  • "The T’s problems this winter came as no surprise to many people, who say the system has been underfunded and inadequately maintained for years."
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