MBTA cancels commuter-boat service for Thursday

The MBTA this afternoon posted its anticipated service schedule in advance of a significant storm that's expected to arrive tonight. Unlike during the "great" Blizzard of 1978, Hull's commuter-boat service will not run tomorrow. 

Longtime veterans of Hull's water transport system are fond of bragging how they survived the boat run from Boston to Hull during the February 1978 snowstorm by which all successor blizzards have been measured.

Back then, the service was run by a private company. Now it's operated by the MBTA and, for better or worse, those  who make the decision whether the boat ought to run are far more circumspect.

Here's the MBTA's press release released this afternoon:

 In advance of tomorrow’s severe winter weather event, the MBTA has announced its service schedule for Thursday, January 4.

According to the National Weather Service, approximately 8 to 12 inches of snow are expected across the MBTA system tomorrow with sustained winds of 35 mph and more and gusts as high as 65 mph in some areas.

The MBTA will operate regular weekday service on the Red, Orange, Blue, and Green Lines. The Mattapan Trolley Line will be replaced with dedicated shuttle buses, servicing all stations. As delays and other service changes may occur, customers are urged to connect with the MBTA by visiting the MBTA websitesigning up for and checking T-Alerts, downloading the Transit app, and following the T on Twitter @MBTA as well as the commuter rail at @MBTA_CR.

Regular bus service will operate, though delays may occur and buses that have “Snow Routes” will operate on their designated Snow Route. To find a list of buses with Snow Routes, customers are urged to visit www.mbta.com/winter.

The MBTA Commuter Rail will operate a reduced schedule in which some trains will not operate. Online schedules and schedules available within the commuter rail app will be updated to only show trains that operate during a reduced schedule. Trains shaded in yellow on printed schedules will not operate. Express trains may make local stops as necessary.

Ferry services will not operate on Thursday, January 4.

Since 2015, the MBTA has invested over $100 million to harden vehicles and core infrastructure including track, switches, power systems, and signals; developed a multidisciplinary approach when responding to disruptions in service using teams with the skillsets, materials, and equipment to address a wide variety of potential issues and scenarios; and contracted with vendors for snow clearing along key bus routes and T facility/employee parking, freeing up T personnel to concentrate on core system functions.

Emergency crews comprised of multiple disciplines are on standby to respond to instances of broken rail, issues affecting the power systems, and potential switch problems. These teams are staffed and equipped to respond to a range of issues in order to expedite repairs. Power crews will continue to inspect overhead wires on the Blue and Green Lines, looking for ice buildup. Ice cutters have been installed on vehicles to remove ice buildup on catenary wires on the Blue and Green Lines. Overnight, trains will be stored in tunnels to protect against sustained sub-freezing temperatures; trains that cannot be stored overnight will be exercised to prevent or detect icing up of doors, brakes, and propulsion systems.