Transportation Secretary Expresses Frustration with Keolis

Commonwealth Magazine reports that during an October 2nd meeting of the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board, Stephanie Pollack, Transportation Secretary, expressed frustration with Keolis regarding their failure to improve on-time service on commuter lines. The private contractor, which is responsible for managing the T’s commuter rail services, has had varying performance levels since July, with on-time performance for passengers at 80 to 90 percent and levels dipping as low as 74 percent for riders in the last week of September.

At the October 2nd meeting, Keolis General Manager, David Scorey, told the FMCB that delays were mainly on three lines including Worcester, Fitchburg, and Haverhill. Scorey cited issues such as electrical interference with the Worcester line’s signal system and a small number of trains on the Haverhill lines as contributing factors.

However, Pollack responded that her analysis indicates the issue with delays is not specific to individual lines, but rather to the overall system. She also voiced frustration over their 88.6 percent on-time performance during September, which is typically a strong month for performance due to ideal weather conditions.

When asked about her harsh comments following the meeting, Pollack stated, “I think it is frustrating that it has been so difficult to obtain consistent service. There have been problems that have been identified – the locomotive shortage, problems on specific lines – and the company has done a good job of changing things up,” going on to say, “But once we solve one problem there seems to be another. As several board members pointed out, we’re consistently getting the required number of coaches out on the system in the morning, which we assumed would lead to better on-time performance. But the on-time performance isn’t showing improvement. It’s fair to say there’s some frustration there.”

You can read the full story here.

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