T addresses costly shutdown process
Moves up departure of last E-Line train
THE MBTA’S CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER said on Monday the agency is moving up by 10 minutes the departure time for the last Green Line train from Heath Street so that the agency’s shutdown process can proceed with fewer delays. Jeffrey Gonneville said the final train from Heath Street through Park Street and on to Lechmere typically carries only one passenger on weekdays.
The scheduling change appears to be a response to a CommonWealth article by former state transportation secretary Jim Aloisi that suggested the Heath Street train was holding up the departure of two Red Line and Orange Line trains, one Blue Line train, four Green Line trains, and 56 buses at a cost of as much as $3.8 million a year.
Gonneville at the time strongly disputed the article, saying the Heath Street train was not the sole cause of the problem and the total cost of the shutdown process was $500,000, not $3.8 million.
“The assumption that the MBTA end-of-day service shutdown is delayed solely because of one Green Line E branch train is incorrect,” Gonneville said. “The shutdown is a deliberate, impressive, and well-synchronized process, which is managed by dispatchers each evening.”
“A rider taking the final E-Line train in the wee small hours of the morning is guaranteed a connection under today’s schedule,” Aloisi wrote. “The cost to keep such a guarantee does not match the benefits.”