By GAIL LOWE
WAKEFIELD — It’s 8:36 a.m. Do you know where your train is?
Albion Street resident Jon Zivan certainly doesn’t and at 11 degrees this morning, Zivan not only worried about being punctual for his IT job at a major hospital in Boston, he was concerned about frostbite, too.
He said that when he arrived at the Albion Street and North Avenue depot an hour earlier, at 7:36 a.m., he expected to get on the train but, when it arrived, the conductor opened the door and gave a shout-out that he was filled to capacity and would not be stopping in Wakefield.
“There were about 100 people on the platform, all waiting for the train,” said Zivan. “None of us could get on. And it’s freezing out.”
But Zivan had his bases covered. His wife Oy and their two children, ages 7 and 8, were parked on Tuttle Street in a gray Honda Odyssey mini-van — just in case Zivan had to go home to wait for the next train, scheduled for 9:50 a.m.
The MBTA said yesterday that service would not return to normal for at least another month. MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott said Monday that the storms that have dropped more than seven feet of snow in the region have “crippled our infrastructure.”
The snow and ice has frozen switches, covered tracks and damaged equipment.
The problems have led to limited service and longer-than-normal commutes.
The T announced that it would offer limited bus and rail schedule on Tuesday.
Trolley and subway trains will run less frequently than on a normal weekday. Some stretches of track remain closed.
Commuter rail lines will also operate on a reduced schedule. Buses are expected to face delays.
Zivan said that throughout this entire ordeal — a winter so severe that it has plagued the northeast with non-stop blizzards and nor’easters — communications from the MBTA have been extremely poor. Complicating matters even further is the recent shake-up in management at the agency.
He pointed to the digital sign above the platform. “There have been no updates,” he said.
The IT specialist arrived late to work today and will have to make up his lost work hours by working long into the night. And when he finishes his shift, he has no idea how long it will take him to get home.
West Water Street resident Nadine Smoske also was at the MBTA station this morning, all bundled up and hoping to arrive on time at her job in the MWRA’s Planning Department.
But she, too, turned around and went home, disappointed that she could not get on the 8:36 a.m. train.
“It’s all messed up,” said Smoske. “There’s the regular train schedule and extra trains, but the times posted on the MBTA website are inaccurate.”
Like Zivan, Smoske must make up the hours lost at work, which means a late arrival at home at night — if she can get home at all.
The Daily Item tried to contact a customer service representative at the MBTA but no one answered after a 10-minute wait.
According to the MBTA’s website, the agency claims to “make it a priority to provide you with timely information on service conditions and delays. If we anticipate delays of more than 15 minutes on any service, we will post that information to MBTA.com, send alerts to T-Alerts subscribers and post information to station message boards.
“Want to know where your bus or train is? More than two dozen apps are available to track your bus, subway or commuter rail train at mbta.com/apps,” the site says.
Smoske showed a Daily Item staff writer her iPhone, but none of the departure times the MBTA listed were accurate.
Smoske said she pays $198 a month — over $2,000 a year — for train service to and from Boston.
“In March, I hope they offer a discount to all of us who’ve been inconvenienced,” she said, “but I doubt it.”
— Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.