MBTA was silent on how the slow zone crisis unfolded as speed limits persist throughout the subway system

Gonneville has not provided an update on how the agency is misplaced or has not produced any documentation to verify the safety of its tracks. The outage prompted the 25-mph speed limit last week — lower than the 40-mph top speed — out of an abundance of caution, the T said at the time.

Since then, Gonneville said, in-house and private engineering crews have been inspecting the tracks for defects and hoist speed restrictions whenever possible.

“As we continue to verify and validate track conditions, I will report back on our findings and will take the necessary steps to ensure that this never happens again,” Gonneville said. “A full and complete investigation is underway and I will take all necessary action at the conclusion of the investigation.”

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said the MBTA is still finalizing an agreement with an outside company to conduct the investigation.

A Globe review found that the MBTA’s Director of Maintenance of Way position – responsible for rail safety – appears to be vacant since late last year. The previous director, Ray Martin, retired from the MBTA last year, when state salary records showed the T paid him a $51,094.39 buyout.

The MBTA’s job posting for the position shows that Way’s Director of Maintenance is “responsible for the inspection, maintenance, repair, upgrade, design, construction and all other activities associated with the safety-critical rail and road infrastructure of the Authority.” Last week, a job posting appeared on LinkedIn, while the job posting on the MBTA site says it was “posted more than 30 days ago.”

Martin’s LinkedIn profile shows that he held the job for less than a year. Way’s previous director of maintenance, Joseph Gushue, received a $57,615.92 buyout from the T in 2021, payroll records show, and his LinkedIn profile shows he left the agency in December 2021 , three months before Martin’s says he started. Gushue now works as a consultant for the T doing job evaluation on the Orange Line, Pesauro said.

Since Martin’s departure, the role’s responsibilities have been managed by the head of engineering and maintenance, Joe Cheever, and the deputy director, according to Pesauro.

pesaturo said the job was first posted in November, but the applicants did not meet the requirements, and the job has been posted continuously since then. There is no interim Director of Maintenance from Way, he said.

“The MBTA’s senior management team has been aggressively addressing corridor maintenance issues and in the absence of an individual in the position of director of road maintenance, other managers have shared the director’s responsibilities,” Pesauro said. in an email.

Governor Maura Healey announced Friday that she is asking the legislature for $20 million in funding for the MBTA to “better recruit and retain employees to meet its needs and deliver safe, reliable service system-wide.” .

Karissa Hand, a Healey spokesperson, said information from the investigation into the cause of the system-wide slowdown will be shared with the public.

“While the initial assessment indicates that staff vacancies contributed to the documentation issue, the governor has directed the MBTA to thoroughly assess this situation and take immediate corrective action to provide accountability,” Hand said in a statement Friday evening.

Meanwhile, MBTA commuter traffic continues unreliable.

MBTA travel time data, analyzed by public transportation advocacy group TransitMatters, shows that a round trip on the Red Line is nearly 66 minutes slower than if trains could run at full speed, compared to about 40 minutes slower last week. The Orange Line and Blue Line are now more than 16 minutes slower, the dashboard shows, instead of less than four minutes.

Before last week’s restrictions, 7.5 percent of the entire subway system had slow zones, according to T data.

Gonneville cautioned that riders “should continue to plan for longer headways and additional travel time throughout the system.”

The MBTA has so far said little about how the documentation error occurred. The T’s state safety oversight agency, the Department of Public Utilities, said it conducted an inspection of the red line between Ashmont and Savin Hill stations on March 6 and “determined with respect to conditions and violations of rail standards that required immediate corrective action” said a spokesperson. said.

MBTA slow zone data shows that the T had only one slow zone in that area as of Feb. 28: a 10-mph speed limit on an 800-foot stretch of southbound tracks at Fields Corner Station due to track issues.

On March 7, the DPU ordered the T to submit a daily report of the most serious rail defects on the Red Line requiring immediate repair, a report of all new serious defects and a corrective action plan identifying the immediate repairs, a That says a spokesman for the DPU.

Gonneville said that in discussions with the DPU after this Red Line inspection, it became clear that the T did not have the documentation to confirm where all track defects are located throughout the system.

Samantha J. Gross of the Globe and Globe correspondent Ashley Soebroto contributed to this report.

Taylor Dolven can be reached at taylor.dolven@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @taydolven. Amanda Kaufman can be reached at amanda.kaufman@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandakauf1.

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