BOSTON (AP) - The head of the French company that operates Massachusetts' commuter rail system apologized for the breakdowns and delays that have plagued the system after a series of storms dumped more than 7 feet of snow on the region and vowed that full service would be restored by the end of March.
BOSTON (AP) — The head of the French company that operates Massachusetts' commuter rail system apologized for the breakdowns and delays that have plagued the system after a series of storms dumped more than 7 feet of snow on the region and vowed that full service would be restored by the end of March.
Keolis International CEO Bernard Tabary says a plan that has been approved by Gov. Charlie Baker will have the commuter rail system operating at 78 percent capacity by Friday, with the goal of full service by March 30.
"We will do everything we can to accelerate that process, and have brought experts in from around the world to support this effort," Tabary said in a statement.
Baker called for Thursday's meeting with Keolis officials after expressing frustration with the performance of the commuter rail service during the snowstorms. Tabary called the meeting constructive.
Keolis Commuter Services, a subsidiary of the international company, won an eight-year, $2.68 billion contract from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to run the state's 394 miles of commuter rail track.
Tabary acknowledged the frayed nerves of commuters who have grappled with canceled or delayed trains during some of the worst winter weather the region has seen in years, including the snowiest 30-day period in Boston history.
"We know you've waited on cold platforms and been late to work or had a difficult time getting home at night," Tabary said in the statement. "We know we haven't performed up to the high standards you have a right to demand and that we demand of ourselves."
"On behalf of the entire Keolis team, I want to express our sincere apologies," he added.
Also Thursday, state lawmakers grilled MBTA and state transportation officials about the transit woes that have angered and frustrated commuters during the severe winter weather.
The informational hearing called by a Senate committee came a day after the board that oversees the MBTA named state highway director Frank DePaola interim general manager of the Boston-area transit system.
DePaola will take over from Beverly Scott, who announced earlier this month that she was stepping down on April 11.
DePaola served as MBTA assistant general manager for design and construction until April 2011, when he was named the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's highway administrator, responsible for operations, maintenance and capital investments in the state highway system.
In November, he was named acting secretary of MassDOT until Jan. 13, when Gov. Charlie Baker named Stephanie Pollack the secretary and chief executive officer.
Associated Press writer Steve LeBlanc contributed to this report.