James O'Leary, the head of the MBCR, is leaving his post. The new head of the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail Co. will be the Richard A. Davey, the 35-year deputy who has been with the MBCR for five years, The Boston Globe reports.
The air conditioning problems have generally been fixed, but tardiness continues to be an issue for many of the 72,000 commuters. In August, 17.5 percent of trains were at least five minutes late, which managers attribute to heavy track construction. Despite significant problems with delays, O'Leary's company won a three-year extension of its contract last December, worth $227 million per year, the largest private commuter rail contract in the country.Davey, according to The Globe, "Davey promises to focus on customer service, safety, and identifying areas where investment can improve reliability."
Obviously, for Worcester line riders, the big news was yesterday's announcement that the state is working out a deal with the CSX. Five new trips have been added. Starting October 27th, the first train will leave Worcester at 4:45 a.m. instead of 5:43 a.m. Two other inbound trains have been added: 6:05 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
For outbound trips, the first train will arrive in Worcester at 5:19 a.m. and an earlier afternoon train will leave Boston at 2:40 p.m., arriving to Union Station at 4:13 p.m.
One of yesterday's comments is something Train Stopping is in agreement with - not just more trains, but faster and more reliable trains. Obviously, this situation is unfolding and we'll have to see how it all pans out.
Here are links to some coverage about yesterday's announcements:
- Telegram & Gazette 10/3/2008 article
- Telegram & Gazette 10/3/2008 editorial
- MetroWest Daily News 10/3/2008 article
- Boston Metro 10/3/2008 article
- SouthCoastToday.com 10/3/2008 article
Finally, in the better late than never, WCVB-TV's Chronicle program ran a piece on commuting on September 17, 2008. Unfortunately, Chronicle's website does not include the ability for video to be shared. The MBTA is running a clip of the segment, but it is in a Windows Media Player (so if you use a Mac, you maybe not be able to see it). The below graphic is on the MBTA's website. You need to click the graphic to see the clip.