Taking aim at an issue that has plagued service for eight months, MBTA General Manager Phil Eng on Thursday rolled out a comprehensive plan to repair tracks across the system and lift all speed restrictions by the end of 2024.
The proposal would deploy nearly two dozen multi-day closures of segments on each of the four subway lines over the next 13 months, ranging in duration from four days to 21 days.
Implementing that many closures would represent an unprecedented level of disruption, but it also reflects far more advance notice than MBTA officials have provided to riders in recent years and puts an estimated endpoint on the stretches of slow travel that have hamstrung travel.
Altogether, the plan involves 19 days of proposed diversions in November and December, then 188 days of proposed diversions in 2024 to lift all speed restrictions that currently blanket about 23 percent of the system. MBTA modeling estimates that work would eliminate a total of 86 minutes of current delays across all four lines.
Paraphrasing Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll, Eng said the plan trades "short-term pain for long-term wins."
"This is about us tackling work in a new way of doing business, doing it most efficiently, getting it done," Eng told the MBTA Board of Directors' Safety, Health and Environment Subcommittee.