MBTA, Baker Call in Peter Pan Buses to Help With Red Line Logjam

Peter Pan busses picked up passengers at JFK Station on the Red Line Thursday.
Peter Pan busses picked up passengers at JFK Station on the Red Line Thursday. –Dialynn Dwyer/Boston.com

Buses from the travel company Peter Pan will shuttle commuters between JFK/UMass and Braintree stations Thursday afternoon and evening in an attempt to speed up the MBTA’s delay-filled Red Line.

Governor Charlie Baker and Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack personally reached out to Peter Pan chairman Peter Picknelly this morning to get more help for the Braintree branch’s shuttle buses, Picknelly said. The MBTA and Peter Pan then coordinated to provide service.

A total of 23 Peter Pan buses will run express between JFK/UMass and Braintree, MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo said in an email. There were 49 MBTA buses moving customers along the route Thursday morning. Picknelly said Peter Pan would have more than 30 buses lined up to help on Friday as well.

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Massachusetts has contracts set up with Peter Pan for occasional transport help, which is generally used during MBTA track repairs.

“We’ve done it periodically,’’ Picknelly said, “[but] nothing on quite this short notice.’’

“They’re concern is moving the passengers because of the line being down,’’ Peter Pan Vice President of Safety and Security Chris Crean said. “We’re there to assist them and help in any way we can.’’

The busing business slows down this time of year, Crean said, opening up some extra equipment to help the MBTA.

Because of the snow and ice shutting down the Braintree track of the Red Line, shuttle buses replaced the train all day Wednesday and on Thursday morning. Commuters waited in lengthy lines that stretched around the corner at the six stops between JFK/UMass and Braintree stations.

The shuttle buses are just one of the many adjustments the MBTA has had to make amid a barrage of snow storms that have scuttled the transit system. The Red Line’s shuttle buses are expected to be in use through Sunday, February 15.

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