MBTA Commuter Rail reports the 12:20 p.m. train to Providence is just sitting at South Station with its doors closed because of a "crew availability issue," i.e., they can't find anybody to work that train.
Did they board passengers first?
This was a huge issue a couple of years ago (pre-pandemic) with the commuter rail system in New Jersey. A large percentage of trips had to be cancelled due to not having enough staff available, for several months at least.
It was at least partly an attrition issue - particularly engineers. Metro-North and possibly one or two other railroads were paying more for the same job grade. NJT had had some undersized or canceled training classes for a couple of years.
I forget if this was a causal-related problem, or just overlapping/aggravated by... A couple of years ago they also had the "summer of hell" and a sequel - construction & crash repairs at NYPenn impacted NJT platforms, and they had equipment & sometimes lines out of service as they staggered to the finish line on Positive Train Control. There were a LOT of schedule disruptions, and possibly some pushback from the union(s) on sick time and replacement shifts.
Pay them more.
One is necessary, the other will probably occur.
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