Extreme Weather Travel Guide
Flooding, excessive winds, soaring temperatures—we have to be ready for the worst when extreme weather hits New England. Regardless of the season, it’s our top priority to ensure your safety when you ride the T.
We’re working to minimize service disruptions due to rising sea levels and stronger, more frequent major storms by identifying vulnerabilities and updating at-risk infrastructure.
When extreme weather does hit, here are some things to keep in mind.
Planning Your Commute
Plan ahead for your commute by checking alerts on our website and on Twitter.
Winter Travel Guide
Worried about a winter storm? Find out how you can get ready for a snowy commute.
Get up-to-the-minute service changes delivered via email or text with T-Alerts.
Nor’easters, Hurricanes, and Storms
Flooding, heavy winds, and lightning are the main causes for delays and disruptions to MBTA service during major storms.
On rare occasions, the Governor may issue a state of emergency or travel ban, which can impact the level of MBTA service available. If this happens, we will update our website and Twitter with related service changes.
Flooding and downed tree limbs or wires can impact train service during storms.
We may need to run trains at reduced schedules or slower speeds. This is safer for everyone and prevents damage to trains and equipment.
On rare occasions, tunnels or stations may flood, and service may be suspended or replaced with shuttle buses.
When storms approach, we take proactive measures at flood-prone areas like Aquarium and Fenway stations.
All delays and schedule changes are detailed in system alerts, available on our website, on Twitter, and via text or email.
Ferry service may be suspended or delayed in the event of an extreme storm.
If you usually take the ferry to downtown Boston, try one of these alternate routes:
Extreme storms may impact road conditions, and drivers may not be able to access some locations due to flooding or debris.
Before and during storms, you can call The RIDE Access Center (TRAC) for information about delays or cancellations for any trips you have scheduled.
On summer’s hottest days, we may operate trains at reduced speeds in some areas to compensate for heat-related stress on the tracks, which could result in slightly longer travel times.
We’ll also have crews stationed around the system to provide assistance.
What to Expect if You Take the T
In addition to operating trains and reduced speeds if necessary, crews perform track inspections and make emergency repairs should they occur.
Air conditioning is checked and repaired wherever needed. Just like home, buses stay cooler when the windows are closed. Riders can help keep things cool by closing open bus windows.
Overhead wires that power some of our vehicles can expand and sag during extremely hot weather, so we make adjustments to prevent low-hanging wires.
Report a Hot Vehicle
Please let us know if you experience a hot bus or train by telling your operator.
Every autumn, leaf peepers take in the beauty of New England’s fall foliage. It's not exactly extreme weather, but when leaves fall on Commuter Rail tracks, collect with debris, and pick up moisture, it can cause a dangerous condition called slippery rail. When train wheels crush the leaves, it transforms them into a slick film on the track.
When this happens, trains are required to begin braking for stops sooner and take more time to pick up speed when departing a station, which can cause delays.
To stay ahead of the problem, we:
- Deploy specially designed MBTA train cars with rail pressure washers to clean tracks along wooded routes
- Apply gel and a sand solution to the rails for improved train traction
- Use drones to find areas where leaves and debris build up to stay ahead of problem areas
All schedule changes are detailed in system alerts, available on our website, on Twitter, and via text or email.