Keeping its passengers and employees safe while riding the trains is one of the main responsibilities of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Association (“MBTA”), and when it fails to take proper safety measures, the public’s risk of injury increases.
Back in April, we reported on a man dragged to his death when a Red Line train’ door closed on his arm and resumed moving. In the beginning of June, a Green Line train ran a red light and crashed into another train sending 4 operators to the hospital. Recently, there are issues regarding trains being pulled out of service and escalators failing at stations.
So why do these repeated problems occur?
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) just performed an inspection of the MBTA agency and is “extremely concerned with safety at the MBTA”. The FTA has flagged four safety problems that the T must address immediately. These problems are:
- Adequately staff its operations control center, the logistical hub of its sprawling transit system
- Put protections in place to prevent safety incidents at rail yards
- Get its tracks to a state of good repair
- Ensure no employees’ certifications have lapsed
T spokesman, Joe Pesaturo, said that the T is working on fixing these issued raised by the FTA. He went on to say “The MBTA is developing immediate and long-term mitigation measures to address these matters, and the T will share its plans with the FTA shortly.”
However, this report is not the first time that the MBTA has been told about these safety issues. In 2019, an audit was performed on the T by a group of experts. The audit reported many deficiencies in premises safety and procedures and provided 61 safety recommendations for the MBTA. As of February 2022, only two-thirds of the safety recommendations had been completed.
Additionally, 13 years ago the federal government recommended that technology be installed that would help maintain the safety of the trains. That technology has still not been fully installed, and if it had been, the recent Green Line collision crash in June could have been prevented.
If the MBTA had fully committed to fixing all safety hazards that were recommended years back, these predictable events and injuries could have been avoided.
The MBTA is responsible for keeping safe its workers, its passengers and the general public. When the agency operates with negligence, fails to provide safe transportation services, neglects safety recommendations or operates in unreasonably dangerous conditions, it must be held responsible for any injury that results.
We hope the MBTA fixes these systemic problems. The MBTA must take immediate steps to keep our community safe.
If you or your family suffered injury as a result of unsafe conditions at the MBTA, contact a lawyer. Please contact our team at Diller Law, LLP for a free initial consultation.