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Rail News: Passenger Rail

MBTA commuter-rail operator unveils severe weather advisory system

The advisory system uses color-coded signage to inform passengers about any service disruptions.
Photo – Keolis Commuter Services

Keolis Commuter Services, operator of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) commuter-rail network, earlier this week rolled out a new severe weather advisory system to keep passengers updated on weather-related schedule changes.

The news comes as the Boston area prepares for a deluge of snowfall over the weekend. Another major snowstorm hit the area this week.

Keolis' new color-coded signs alert passengers about the commuter-rail system's status. The company has deployed the special signage at the North, South and Back Bay stations.

Purple signs mean the system is running regularly, while blue and orange signs each indicate a level of reduced service. Gray signs mean that all service will be canceled.

Schedule changes also will be reflected on Keolis' app and other transit-related apps. The system was deployed a day ahead of yesterday's storm, which blanketed the Boston area and New England with at least a foot of snow.

"Our intention is to operate the commuter-rail system according to the published schedule every day of the year, regardless of weather conditions," said Keolis Commuter Services General Manager David Scorey. "But should a weather event be so severe that schedule adjustments are necessary, we want our passengers to know what to expect so they can plan their travel accordingly."

In February 2015, a series of winter storms crippled the MBTA's commuter-rail service and left passengers stranded. To learn more about the agency's reform efforts since then, read this feature from Progressive Railroading's February issue.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/10/2017