(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Boston) - Commuters who depend on the MBTA’s Red Line to get to work and school had a rude awakening Wednesday morning as a problem with the third rail near the JFK/UMass station delayed trains off and on for four hours.
"It was a little rowdy, it was a lot of people on the platform because we obviously had to wait for the train, so the more time we had to wait, the more people had to come, so the platform was pretty full," Boston resident Justin Brown said.
Sarah Guernelli, a Suffolk University student from Marlboro, said, "I think it was more the fact that it was so crowded and there were so many people that waiting upstairs there was just like a crowd of us and then coming down everyone was pushing and bumping to get on and I’m small I get knocked over really easily."
As crews worked to repair what the MBTA is calling a third rail "defect" on the northbound tracks on the Ashmont side of JFK station, riders were urged take the bus or commuter rail instead.
"It’s kind of inconvenient when you have to get off the train and get on the bus sometimes to get to another train station," Alisha Murrell, who just moved to Boston, said.
T rider Hank Henderson said, "It was hectic for commuters, period, because you had to get stuck on the rail line and then you had to get left behind on your other bus and all the connections were bad."
The MBTA said in a statement that "below freezing temperatures are believed to be a contributing factor" in the third rail problems – an excuse commuters weren’t thrilled to hear.
"This is not extreme yet to me," said Henderson.
Murrell said so far bosses were understanding but "they can only take so many excuses saying that it was because of the public transportation, they don’t want to hear that."