‘Do better’: Morning commuters voice frustration after power surge shuts down all MBTA lines

Disgruntled commuters took to social media to voice their frustration after a power surge at an MBTA facility led to signal system problems, prompting a temporary shutdown of all train lines during the height of the Tuesday morning commute.

In a tweet shortly before 7:45 a.m., the MBTA said, “Our Power and Signal Departments are working on a power issue that is impacting the signal system on multiple lines and is impacting some stations as well. Trains may be asked to stand by at stations.”

The MBTA didn’t specify which train lines were impacted by the problem in the announcement, but the tweet quickly generated a slew of replies from commuters reporting problems on the Blue Line, Red Line, and Orange Line.

“I was supposed to get off at Arlington and they are closed so I had to get off at Copley and walk to Arlington and walk back to Copley,” a rider said.

Power was restored shortly after 8 a.m. but residual delays on the lines remained. Hours later, the MBTA said that a power surge was to blame for signal issues on all transit lines. At some stations, the power was knocked out to elevators.

“Out of an abundance of caution, all trains were directed to stand by and await clearance to move again,” the MBTA said.

Governor Maura Healey has been working for months to hire a new MBTA General Manager.  Her office only saying they expect to have an announcement in the near future.  Riders are hoping a new GM comes with better results. The MassDOT Secretary also explained because they had the emergency operations center open for this storm – they were able to react to the power outage within minutes.

One upset commuter took to Twitter during the service interruption and said, “Blue Line is packed. Any chance if shuttle buses will be arriving soon?”

“Stuck on the Red Line at North Quincy for about 15 minutes now. Not moving,” another Twitter user said.

Another person reported more than 100 commuters standing around in Malden with “no updates on when any trains will arrive.”

One disgruntled commuter tweeted, “Can you be more specific? Which lines are affected? Which stations?” Another said, “More details needed. Do better.”

At the JFK / UMass station, commuters said they were left freezing when train doors stopped working and got stuck in the open position.

“Expect residual delays as service resumes. Trains may continue to be asked to hold at stations,” the MBTA said.

Transit officials noted that the power surge occurred when a transformer failed and tripped a circuit breaker at the MBTA power facility in South Boston.

An investigation into the failure remains ongoing.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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