The MBTA’s trolley, subway, and commuter rail systems experienced more major mechanical breakdowns per train mile traveled than most other transit systems in the country in 2014, according to newly-released federal data.
The T’s light rail lines — the Green Line and Mattapan-Ashmont trolley — ranked third worst in terms of major mechanical system failures per train mile traveled among 23 light rail systems nationally, according to the 2014 National Transit Database, which is maintained by the Federal Transit Administration.
The T’s heavy rail lines — the Red, Orange, and Blue — ranked as the sixth worst among 15 heavy rail systems nationally, the figures show.
The commuter rail system ranked sixth worst among 24 commuter rail systems nationally in 2014, the latest year for which data was available.
Mechanical failures can cause frustrating delays for passengers.
MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo questioned the national figures, saying that “there is no uniform practice for reporting mechanical failures” to the National Transit Database. “What one rail service provider considers a failure, another one may not,” he said.
He also said the agency would continue efforts to keep old trains and equipment from failing by either repairing or replacing them.
The commuter rail fleet has added 75 new bi-level coaches in the last three years, he said in an e-mail. Over the past 14 months, the T “retired the oldest and most unreliable locomotives in the commuter rail fleet,” and put 40 new locomotives in service.
Last month, “the commuter rail system had its highest on-time performance rate in all of 2015,” Pesaturo said. “The T and Keolis are completely focused on continuing to improve service reliability.”
As for the heavy and light rail systems, the “ages and conditions” of those fleets “are well documented,” he said, pointing out how the Red Line features “the oldest heavy rail cars in the nation.”
“MBTA machinists and repairers will continue to work very hard to keep the aging fleets operating,” he said.
Pesaturo said that hundreds of new Orange and Red Line cars as well as dozens of new Green Line trolleys are “on their way,” and the agency is rehabilitating a hundred existing trolleys.
The data did not include 2015, which began terribly for the MBTA as the aging system was hammered by recordbreaking snow and cold.
The T’s light rail fleet recorded 983 failures in 2014, which translated into one breakdown for every 6,050 miles traveled.
The T’s heavy rail fleet experienced 472 failures, which translated into one breakdown for every 50,328 miles traveled.
The commuter rail system had 219 such failures, or about one failure for every 109,193 miles traveled.
|System name/owner||Miles traveled per major mechanical system failure||Major mechanical system failures||miles|
|San Francisco Municipal Railway||3,061||1,539||4,710,732|
|Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads||5,484||68||372,914|
|Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority||6,050||983||5,947,628|
|Charlotte Area Transit System||8,525||111||946,240|
|New Jersey Transit Corporation||8,783||59||518,174|
|Port Authority of Allegheny County||13,270||156||2,070,100|
|Maryland Transit Administration||13,914||223||3,102,717|
|Sacramento Regional Transit District||18,310||215||3,936,754|
|Bi-State Development Agency of the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District, d.b.a.(St. Louis) Metro||20,951||298||6,243,285|
|Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority dba: Metro||24,152||574||13,863,381|
|Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon||35,593||217||7,723,744|
|Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority||35,967||75||2,697,552|
|Valley Metro Rail, Inc.||36,830||67||2,467,628|
|New Jersey Transit Corporation||38,561||51||1,966,622|
|Denver Regional Transportation District||40,139||278||11,158,766|
|The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority||41,501||20||830,016|
|Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas||56,343||28||1,577,592|
|Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority||57,478||59||3,391,181|
|Dallas Area Rapid Transit||87,683||105||9,206,750|
|Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority||303,138||3||909,413|
|San Diego Metropolitan Transit System||473,123||18||8,516,212|
|Utah Transit Authority||803,667||8||6,429,332|
|System name/owner||Miles traveled per major mechanical system failure||Major mechanical system failures||Miles|
|Port Authority Transit Corporation||20,762||209||4,339,204|
|Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority||22,814||822||18,752,983|
|Maryland Transit Administration||24,330||217||5,279,621|
|Alternativa de Transporte Integrado -ATI||48,349||41||1,982,316|
|Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority||50,328||472||23,754,603|
|Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority||54,209||1,406||76,217,650|
|Staten Island Rapid Transit Operating Authority, dba: MTA Staten Island Railway||78,206||35||2,737,221|
|Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation||84,536||164||13,863,846|
|Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority dba: Metro||97,446||75||7,308,484|
|MTA New York City Transit||145,681||2,443||355,897,509|
|Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority||153,419||112||17,182,928|
|The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority||188,344||13||2,448,468|
|Chicago Transit Authority||214,176||334||71,534,943|
|San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District||365,222||182||66,470,479|
|System name/owner||Miles traveled per major mechanical system failure||Major mechanical system failures||Miles traveled|
|Regional Transportation Authority||66,623||3||199,870|
|Connecticut Department of Transportation||69,267||27||1,870,204|
|Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority||89,100||18||1,603,802|
|Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board dba: Caltrain||94,105||72||6,775,525|
|South Florida Regional Transportation Authority||106,964||32||3,422,858|
|Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority||109,193||219||23,913,160|
|Maryland Transit Administration||136,361||43||5,863,504|
|Southern California Regional Rail Authority dba: Metrolink||151,889||87||13,214,358|
|Rio Metro Regional Transit District||153,741||9||1,383,665|
|Pennsylvania Department of Transportation||160,299||23||3,686,878|
|North County Transit District||174,369||8||1,394,955|
|Dallas Area Rapid Transit||192,005||6||1,152,028|
|Utah Transit Authority||242,400||22||5,332,805|
|New Jersey Transit Corporation||295,186||213||62,874,564|
|Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District||335,872||11||3,694,590|
|Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation dba: Metra Rail||382,182||113||43,186,609|
|Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company, dba: MTA Metro-North Railroad||402,713||169||68,058,540|
|Altamont Corridor Express||475,192||2||950,383|
|MTA Long Island Rail Road||748,495||89||66,616,031|
|Virginia Railway Express||1,045,042||2||2,090,084|
|Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority||1,269,859||15||19,047,891|
|Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority||2,139,537||1||2,139,537|
|Central Florida Commuter Rail||at least 99,456||0||99,456|