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MBTA Rail Service Shut Down Tuesday For Snow Cleanup

BOSTON (CBS/AP) -- Boston-area subways, trolleys and commuter rail trains ground to a halt at 7 p.m. Monday and remained idle on Tuesday, with only limited bus service continuing.

The MBTA said it needed the break to clear snow and ice from tracks and to assess equipment damaged by the spate of storms. MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott said Tuesday morning that it wasn't clear when service would be available again.

Gov. Charlie Baker said he was frustrated by the problems on the MBTA, the nation's oldest transit system, and promised a "long conversation" with T officials on how to improve matters once the weather subsides.

"We need to get the Commonwealth back to work," Baker said.

According to MassDOT, the accumulating snow is making it virtually impossible to keep rail lines operational.

MBTA crews work to clear snow on the Green Line Tuesday (Photo credit Beth Germano/WBZ)

"From a safety perspective, the MBTA is concerned about the risk of multiple disabled trains that would require evacuations on the tracks, potentially in the dark," a MassDOT spokesperson said in a statement.

Reaction from WBZ-TV's Jon Keller

The MBTA also said all Hingham, Hull and Charlestown Ferry service will be suspended on Tuesday.

"If they don't think they can run the service tomorrow, I'm glad they said that today," Baker said at a Monday evening press conference. "That at least gives people the ability to act accordingly."

In response to the T's decision, Baker declared a partial snow day and asked all non-emergency state employees who live or work in Suffolk, Middlesex, Essex and Norfolk counties to stay home on Tuesday.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is also asking non-essential city employees to stay off the roads Tuesday. Hospital workers are asked to call their local district non-emergency line for help commuting.

MBTA Bus Stuck
MBTA buses stuck in the snow at the Braintree T stop. (Image credit: Bill Shields-WBZ-TV)

Amtrak canceled portions of its passenger train service linking upstate New York to New York City because of the storm Monday and hundreds of flights were canceled at New England airports. Officials at Boston's Logan International Airport said they hoped normal passenger service would resume by midday Tuesday.

Baker also signed an emergency declaration on Monday to help hard hit areas in Massachusetts. He says equipment will be arriving from surrounding states to help assist with snow removal.

Many commuters told WBZ-TV's Beth Germano they are frustrated by the MBTA's inability to operate on Tuesday.

"Although we've had a lot of snow, this is New England and they should be able to take care of these things," said Tim Ferris, who took a bus to South Station from Portland, Maine, only to find there was no connection to Alewife in Cambridge.

The MBTA offered limited bus service on Tuesday morning, which helped only part of the way for some commuters who then had to walk to their destination.

"We rushed to take the bus and now we have to walk the rest of the way. It's exhausting walking in the snow," said Kristen Gardella who was forced to walk from Kenmore Square to Mass General Hospital.

MassDOT said nearly 1,500 crews were plowing and treating roadways, many of which were still snow-covered, on Tuesday morning.


WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports: 

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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