Spotty reviews for MBTA’s cold-weather service

The MBTA’s commuter rail service was “not acceptable” the day after last week’s snowstorm, the MBTA’s general manager said Monday, while noting that extreme cold can create unpredictable failures.

“Some of the things that occurred on Friday could have been avoided,” MBTA General Manager Luis Ramírez told reporters after a control board meeting.

The core T service seems to have improved this winter, according to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, although he and Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler both cast a critical eye towards the railway that services suburbs and outlying cities.

“It seemed like that unlike two years ago we had a really different situation in terms of the operation and it seemed to — although with some snags — operate fairly well. Relative to the commuter rail, I don’t think I can give them as good a grade, shall we say, in terms of their operation,” DeLeo told reporters after meeting with Chandler and Gov. Charlie Baker. The Winthrop Democrat said, “I think the commuter rail still has some homework to do.”

“For my people, that’s very important,” Chandler chimed in. She said, “They weren’t happy.”

Asked whether she would do anything about that now that she presides over the Senate, the Worcester Democrat said, “We’ll see.”

In contrast to subway service that was on time 73 percent and buses that showed up on time 64 percent, commuter rail trains were only on time 37 percent of the time Friday, the day after the so-called bombogenesis storm.

 Asked if that was acceptable, Ramírez said, “Absolutely not.” However the former business executive hired to take over the T in September opined that the nasty winter weather can have unpredictable effects on all kinds of infrastructure.
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