MBTA: South Station Signal Repairs Complete

The malfunctioning signal outside the city's busiest commuter hub triggered massive delays on Thursday

With the commuter rail back to full service just in time for Friday morning's commute, MBTA riders were relieved but not confident in a system that's been plagued by problems in recent years.

"I guess the expectation around here is you think you might get to work on time but there's always the chance that something's going to come up," said Braintree commuter Shawn O'Leary.

"I guess after so many years you become numb, you get frustrated only for so long and it can't be worse than last year," said Wellesley commuter Katherine Chan.

Amtrak officials say the 24 hour long switch failure was the result of a system failure in the computer board that controls the complex interlocking in Boston that the MBTA commuter rail relies on.

"We're still investigating what actually caused the failure, but right now the good thing is we're up and running," said Paul O'Mara, Amtrak's superintendent of operations.

Amtrak says this is the first time it has ever had a failure like this, so it wasn't one of the first components they suspected of causing the problem.

Now Keolis, the company that runs the commuter rail, is demanding answers.

"I think the question is what made it go down and why the redundant systems," said Keolis spokesperson Leslie Aun. "The backup systems did not work as they were supposed to do, so I know MassDOT and the MBTA will be taking a very close look at that."

And coincidentally, the MBTA is suing Amtrak in federal court for allegedly asking the T to pay millions of dollars annually for things like maintenance of systems including the one that failed - instead of providing that free of charge as it has up until now.

MBTA riders say the two companies just need to figure it out, without making commuters foot the bill for unreliable service.

A commuter from Attleboro named Matt said, "Everyday I expect a delay, it's horrible, I'm kind of curious what the rate increase is for. Are you going to fix the problems? I hope."

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