Officials ‘extremely concerned’ want these four safety issues at the T fixed now

The FTA told the T to get his tracks back in good shape. Pesaturo declined to comment on the state of track maintenance.

And the FTA told the T to make sure no employee certifications are outdated. Pesaturo declined to say how many operators, if any, have expired certifications.

In a statement, an FTA spokesperson said the agency will ensure safety is the MBTA’s top priority.

“Our safety management inspection is nearing completion and we call on the T to take timely corrective action to ensure the safety of employees and passengers on MBTA trains,” the statement said.

Pesaturo said the T was working on resolving the issues raised by the FTA.

“The MBTA is developing immediate and long-term mitigation measures to address these issues, and the T will share its plans with the FTA shortly,” he said via email.

This isn’t the first time the MBTA has heard some of the same safety tips.

In 2019, the MBTA’s former oversight board, the Tax and Management Review Board, brought together a group of outside experts to audit the T after a series of derailments. They found that the agency lacked a safety culture and made 61 recommendations.

The panel found that the T prioritized its long-term capital investments “at the expense of properly maintaining legacy system assets and keeping them in good condition.” The report called the training programs “private data” and said “it is not known whether all required initial and recertification training is in progress or can be validated.”

As of February, two-thirds of the panel’s recommendations had been implemented, MBTA staff reported to the board, and one-third were in progress or pending.

But the FTA’s final findings and recommendations due later this summer could show whether or not the T has adopted the 2019 safety recommendations in any meaningful way.

Stacy Thompson, executive director of LivableStreets Alliance, said that contrary to the 2019 recommendations, FTAs ​​will be binding.

“It really is a defining moment for the T,” she said. “If we don’t do it right, that’s how you end up with service cuts and real problems.”

The federal agency initially told the T that it would “immediately assume an increased safety oversight role for the MBTA system,” in an April 14 letter to the MBTA, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Department of of Public Utilities, which is responsible for ensuring that the MBTA is in compliance with federal safety laws and the MBTA’s Board of Directors, but authorities hid the news from the public.

The FTA inspection, first reported by the Globe last month, is only the second time the FTA has intervened locally in this way. In 2015, the agency conducted an inspection of the security management of DC’s Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority that led to the federal government taking over security oversight for nearly three and a half years. .

In its letter, the FTA cited a “sequence of security incidents” at the T, including the dragging death on April 10 of Robinson Lalin, whose arm was caught in a red line car at the train station in Broadway.

That trend has continued since the FTA began its inspection in April with more serious safety incidents including a collision on the Green Line on June 1 that sent four operators to hospital.

At Monday’s safety subcommittee meeting of the board, MBTA safety assurance and investigations manager Steven Culp said a Green Line train carrying passengers near the government center “failed to stop at a red signal” and hit an oncoming train.

The passenger train was traveling about nine miles per hour, Culp said, slightly above the six-mile-per-hour speed limit in that area. Both trains derailed.

This month’s Green Line collision was the second time in a year that two Green Line trains have crashed – safety incidents that could have been avoided with technology the federal government has recommended for the first time at MBTA 13 years ago. In March, the council approved a plan to accelerate the implementation of collision avoidance technology on the Green Line by one year, through 2023.

As the investigation continues into why the train ran a red light, the MBTA is reminding train operators of red signals, Culp said.

“What Green Line operations will do,” he said, “is send out a rule reminder reinforcing that people should be careful while driving the train.”

Taylor Dolven can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @taydolven.

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