Thursday, February 5, 2009

Late Trains May Cost Boston's 'T' Riders

MBTA commuter trains are getting later and, if the trend continues, they may become less crowded, as well. Over the past six months, one in five commuter trains in the Boston area reached its destination five minutes or more behind schedule, the Boston Globe reports.
"The commuter rail system set a modern-day ridership record in November, with more than 76,000 round-trip passengers per day boarding the trains. But transit managers concede those gains are tenuous.

"If we don't deliver on-time performance, then our customers are not going to stick with us," said Daniel A. Grabauskas, general manager of the MBTA.

Grabauskas attributes recent delays to unusually inclement winter, construction on the tracks, and the private consortium that operates the commuter service under contract with the T, the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. The private operator, in turn, says the MBTA's old equipment has hampered its efforts to improve service and it is considering efforts to buy its own used locomotives because the T has not bought new ones."

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