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MBTA Ready for Winter: More Than $101 Million in Resiliency Investments Made Since 2015

Posted on November 1, 2017

Customers are encouraged to sign up for service alerts.

BOSTON – The MBTA has announced that more than $101 million dollars has been invested in capital improvement projects in an effort to continue steps taken to make the transit system more resilient in severe weather. The T is also encouraging customers now to prepare for their winter commutes by staying connected: sign up for T-Alerts, follow @MBTA and @MBTA_CR on Twitter, use the Transit app or the MBTA Commuter Rail app, and visit the MBTA website to learn about service information.

"In advance of this winter, we’re doubling down on our efforts to highlight the key resources that allow us to get the most accurate information about service out to our customers so they can make informed decisions," said MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramírez. "While we've proactively made investments in equipment and infrastructure to make the MBTA more resilient, we also want to strengthen the channels of communication we have so our riders know what to expect and can plan ahead."

"Building on the experience and investments over the past three years, the MBTA has made major progress in our infrastructure," said Deputy General Manager Jeff Gonneville. "In the weeks to come, we'll continue our multi-faceted approach to snow preparations, from trimming trees along the Green Line corridors, to installing new rail, expanding snow clearing and snow removal contracts, performing upgrades to vehicles, and adding additional backup power equipment."

Since the winter of 2015, the MBTA has upgraded track and signal infrastructure, invested in snow-fighting equipment, and stocked up on replacement parts for vehicles, making more than $101 million in investments in winter resiliency. Last winter, the Boston area saw forty-two inches of snow with the MBTA’s Storm Desk activated seven times and the MBTA’s Emergency Operations Center activated five times. There were no shutdowns or closures in MBTA service with snow-fighting equipment deployed and staffing levels of the Storm Desk increased as needed. Working closely with the MBTA, the Keolis Incident Command Center and Situation Room were activated during these storms as well.

Specifically, on commuter rail, Keolis and the MBTA have focused over the past two years on improving switch function by adding propane heaters and covers to existing infrastructure on the network. This improvement helps to reduce the risk of switch failure due to ice and snow build up.

Throughout the winter months, the MBTA and Keolis, the MBTA’s commuter rail operating partner, closely monitor weather forecasts to assess expected and real-time conditions related to scheduled service and operations. Passengers should stay up-to-date when winter weather is expected through all available means. The MBTA recommends the following:

Passengers on the commuter rail should utilize the same communications channels as subway, bus, and ferry riders. In addition to these, the severe weather indicators tested on the commuter rail last year have been further enhanced and will be used again this season to alert on service levels.


If changes in commuter rail service are needed, these severe weather service indicators will be deployed in commuter rail stations, on the MBTA website, within commuter rail T-Alerts, and on Twitter by 3 PM, for the following day. These symbols are also included on commuter rail fall/winter schedules effective November 20, 2017, with more detailed information.

The MBTA is committed to keeping its customers better informed by providing the most updated service information quickly, accurately, and when they need it.

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