Local News

Here’s where — and why — your train is running painfully slow

MBTA releases new train slow zone report.

The MBTA is making it easier for riders to be aware of the transit system’s slow zones with a new online report that shares where train speeds are restricted. 

The T recently released a January report detailing train speed restrictions across the system’s lines. About 8.7 miles of MBTA track experienced slowdowns, which accounts for about 6.5 percent of the entire system.

About three miles of Orange Line track — or about 13 percent — had speed restrictions, while 3.8 miles of Red Line track — or about 9 percent — saw slowdowns. 

Data on the Green Line showed about 14 percent of the track had reduced speeds. Power problems on line D caused a 3-mile-per-hour speed restriction on about 100 feet of track between Kenmore and Fenway stations. Most of the Green Line’s slowdowns are due to track issues.


The Blue Line was the only line that didn’t experience slowdowns.

The transit agency said in a press release that it would start providing daily updates on the system’s speed restrictions via an online dashboard to launch in March. It will provide up-to-date information on location, speed limits, and distance for each speed restriction along each subway line.

Most instances of reduced speeds are due to track work, according to the T’s report, but other reasons include power or signal defects, structural issues, construction work, vehicle problems, and extreme weather conditions.

The MBTA is now the second big transit agency in the nation to release its slow zone data, according to a Boston Globe report. The Chicago Transit Authority has been sharing its reduced speed information since 2005.

The speed restriction dashboard is part of the T’s new online safety dashboard, released Friday, which keeps the public updated on the status of the T’s progress in responding to the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Safety Management Inspection (SMI) Special Directives. 

“MBTA management recognizes the important role the T plays in the daily lives of the communities served, that service is critical, and with this dashboard, the MBTA will be transparent about efforts underway to address the FTA findings,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Gina Fiandaca.


The safety dashboard shows that the T is about 36 percent finished with its required FTA work.


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