MBTA commuters in Boston experienced a distressing Tuesday morning as both the Red and Orange Lines faced significant disruptions due to an electrical problem that led to smoke at Downtown Crossing station.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu expressed her sincere apologies to those affected on Boston Public Radio shortly after the delays, “I’m so sorry to the many, many, many people who are affected on a daily basis, trying to get where they need to go.”
The incident unfolded around 8:30 a.m. and shuttle buses replaced the Red and Orange Line. The MBTA also extended Green Line shuttle bus services to accommodate the many commuters stranded during the peak morning hours.
Mayor Wu was aware of the electrical issues and said the city is “working very closely with the MBTA” to swiftly resolve the problems.
She said the problems riders are experiencing and the problem the city is trying to fix are “a compounded effect of many decades.”
“The transportation system is a barrier rather than a mechanism to help connect all the pieces of your lives.”
But the Mayor said she believes the MBTA has “turned a corner” thanks to the leadership of general manager Phillip Eng. She praised Eng, stating that the MBTA has "done more in 8 months" under his guidance than in previous years.
She pointed to the improvements on the Red Line following a shutdown several months ago, which led to significantly faster travel times.
While addressing the current issues, Mayor Wu emphasized her broader goals for the MBTA, including improving overall frequency with shorter wait times between trains.
“We’re getting there. I’m very confident in our general manager. We’re making progress.”