Special Report: Standing room only on packed commuter cars in Boston

December 9, 2015

By Erin Smith, the Boston Herald

Bay State rail commuters, fearful of another winter transit collapse, have been left standing during rush-hour because Keolis, the MBTA’s contractor, has failed to provide the required number of seats under its agreement with the T, a Herald review found.Website Insert Cars and Financing copy

Keolis is required to run a minimum number of trains and passenger cars each day, according to its contract with the MBTA. But commuters have complained they’re left standing in crowded aisles on long train rides to and from the city. They also note that the congestion makes it nearly impossible for conductors to collect fares for the cash-starved transit system.

All of those trains operated during rush hour, the review found.

The commuter rail saw a surge in its seat shortage in October, to 8,784 missing seats on 179 trains — a more than 23 percent spike over the 7,121 missing seats on 145 trains in September, records show.

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