Dr. Matthew Russell, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, arrived at the Savin Hill station on the Red Line’s Ashmont branch at 7:22 a.m. Tuesday. He was still there 35 minutes later.
“I’m supposed to be in at 8” to take care of hospital patients and “need to be at work in a timely fashion,” the 50-year-old Savin Hill resident told the Globe Tuesday. “This has to be reliable. You get on the subway and you see all these people in scrubs — they’re not going out for a joyride.”
He added: “It’s really upsetting when you are late because of something that really should be consistent.”
According to MBTA spokeswoman Lisa Battiston, the delay that impacted Russell and others using the Ashmont Branch during the Tuesday morning commute was caused by mechanical problems on two separate trains.
“Around 7:10 AM, an Ashmont-bound train at Andrew was offloaded of its riders and removed from service due to an issue with the air conditioning,” she wrote in an e-mail in response to a Globe inquiry.
A short time later, a train leaving Ashmont en route to Alewife became disabled while still in the train yard, she wrote. “This train was turning around at Ashmont to go back toward Alewife when it became disabled and hadn’t re-entered the platform to pick up riders yet,” she wrote.
The T first tweeted about the delays around 7:26 a.m. and reported the issues resolved around 8:13 a.m.
Russell said while he stood in the blistering heat at the station waiting for a train to arrive, the message boards that are supposed to provide updated information about train operations were blank. Not a single word was posted, he said.
They were “totally blank except for the time,’' he said.
And when the train did finally arrive, Russell said there was no relief from the heat inside what is supposed to be an air-conditioned cabin. He said he got on a “sweltering hot train, which the air conditioning is like a little baby puff on the best of circumstances.”
Also impacted by the delays was Jodi Baptiste, who commutes on the MBTA from her home in Everett to the pharmacy she manages in Fields Corner in Dorchester. It usually takes about “an hour and 35 minutes solid.”
But because of the Ashmont Branch delays, her commute took 30 minutes longer.
Baptiste was late opening the pharmacy.
Between her commute Tuesday morning being riddled with notifications about “cars being taken out of service” and questions left unanswered by MBTA employees when asked for the reasons behind the service disruptions, the 54-year-old said she was left feeling frustrated and even more concerned about the upcoming Orange Line shutdown.
”I’m really concerned on how they plan this thing out for us,” Baptiste said. “Otherwise, it’s a $40 a day for me to Uber if I had to — and that’s just not feasible.”
According to the T, passengers on the Ashmont branch experienced the same problem during the rush hour Monday night, making it the second Red Line commute in a row to be delayed.
Battiston wrote that the trains that malfunctioned Tuesday morning were not the same vehicles with problems Monday night.
Red Line: Ashmont trains are delayed about 15 minutes after we removed a train with a mechanical issue from service at Andrew southbound.— MBTA (@MBTA) August 8, 2022
The delays come as the T prepares to shut down the Orange Line and parts of the Green Line for extensive repair and upgrades later this month.