Some MBTA Orange Line Slow Zones Will Remain Until December

Photo: Staff/WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Several slow zones on the Orange Line are sticking around until late fall or early winter. That's the word from MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak, who made the assessment in a letter to US Senator Ed Markey on Wednesday after a rare Senate hearing in Boston earlier this month.

The T had originally said that the slow zones would only be around for about a week after this summer's Orange Line shutdown ended, but that plan has been scrapped.

"The MBTA has made significant progress in lifting speed restrictions, with most other restrictions scheduled to be lifted in November and December," Poftak said in the letter. He detailed a list of the slow zones that still need work, including Dana Bridge over the Mystic River, where an Orange Line train caught fire in July.

Poftak also said the T is in the process of a "Travel Time dashboard," which he hopes is up and running this winter. "Our service levels aren’t where we want them, in part due to staffing challenges," he said.

Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren issued a response to the letter on Wednesday, praising Poftak for releasing detailed data on what had to be fixed, but saying it was ultimately a "small step forward" for the MBTA.

"It is frustrating that some Orange Line speed restrictions will remain in place more than two months after the conclusion of the month-long shutdown," they said.

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