The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is warning travelers to allow for extra time in their commutes early this week as the Boston area anticipates icy conditions and extra cold temperatures starting Monday evening.
Since Friday’s storm dumped more than a foot of snow in some areas, the MBTA has been working to clear the transit system of any ice and keep its buses and trains in working condition. Now, with temperatures as cold as eight degrees predicted for Tuesday, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak warned travelers to take precautions.
“Because of the extremely cold temperatures anticipated this week, we want to encourage our customers to dress warmly, allow for extra travel time, and be mindful of icy conditions,” Poftak said in a statement. “The safety of its customers and employees continues to be the first priority for the MBTA.”
The warning comes as the MBTA is already struggling to keep its buses running on time. The agency cut its bus service starting on Dec. 19 because of a shortage of drivers, which has been made worse as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Massachusetts and more bus drivers are absent.
“The MBTA will make every effort to operate subway trains and buses at or near regular weekday schedules, but some delays may occur,” the agency said in a statement.
To keep trains and buses operational in the cold weather, the MBTA is storing most indoors overnight, the agency said, and checking on ones that remain outdoors regularly. Crews will be testing brakes and propulsion systems for moisture buildup and freezing and opening and closing doors on trains that are not running, the agency said, as well as ensuring that heaters for track switches and third rail are working.