FTA ordered T in the state of up to improve communication with front-line soldiers and helpers safety checks, among dozens of required actions.
“We hope that today is a turning point for in safety culture,” said Paul Kincaid, associate administrator of the FTA. “And they begin make the right one decisions that provide a safe and reliable ride for their riders all over Boston.”
An almost unprecedented federal review of underground system came after the bloody procession of safety incidents, including April death of red line passenger who the police said he fled next to moving train at Broadway station with his right hand got stuck between the closed doors of the subway before he lost his balance and was dragged in between train and station wall.
T safety problems remained largely uncontrollable, FTA found, in partly because the government agency charged with T safety oversight, Department of Massachusetts of Utilities do not provide proper control.
result transit system that staggers from crisis to crisis, federal inspectors pointed out.
“Combination of staff fatigue and aging assets led in in organization fatigue, chronic fatigue for key positions in agency, no of Resources for training and supervision, and leadership priorities that emphasize the achievement of capital project requirements above passenger operations, preventive maintenance and even safety”, the message says.
In response to the findings Governor Charlie Baker will submit a request to the Legislature for $200 million for T to review FTA findings, he said in statement and $10 million for training academy for help with hiring As well as MBTA plans open new office under the name of the Quality, Compliance and Supervision Department, with Katy Chow, current main of Capital delivery, at the helm.
Baker said he appreciated “careful review” of T.
“This report will system safer and more reliable for riders and workforce T,” he said. in statement. “We are looking forward work with labor, MBTA leaders, legislators and riders to achieve what MBTA riders deserve. DPU has also took the number of steps to review the FTA’s findings, and our administration will ensure they have all the resources they need to increase oversight of MBTA”.
But Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey pointed the finger at Baker and his team, who Was in office since 2015 they say in joint statement: “It is unacceptable for the MBTA to make riders bear the burden of of the failures of the Baker administration.”
Others, including transit advocates, have called for Immediate course correction in T. Somerville Mayor Katiana Ballantyne urged next Governor prioritizes investment in T. (Baker does not run for re-election in November this year.)
The MBTA has long been warned of the consequences of investment slowdown in his operations. The conclusions of the FTA on Wednesday are similar to the conclusions group of outside experts in 2019 who spent safety audit of MBTA after several derailments, and it seems show a little progress T has made since then.
Since January 2019, the MBTA has experienced higher general rate of reporting safety events and higher rate of derailed than its peers, the FTA report says.
In mid-June, the FTA ordered T to address four issues immediately: safety personnel appraisals, broken banners of subway tracks, a dangerous shortage of personnel at the operations control center, and repeated incidents with runaway trains.
In response, the MBTA cut back service on Red, orange and blue lines on June 20 to more than 20 percent afterwards shut down orange line for 30 days for track updates.
While the FTA was conducting the inspection and finalizing its report, a process that stretched from April to August, riders and workers of T continued to endure safety trouble. These include derailments, runaway trains, collisions and July fire on orange line train on bridge over river.
His 90-page report included 20 findings on the MBTA and dozens of of required actions in four categories: impact management of operations, maintenance and capital project requirements on existing workforce; prioritization of safety control information; efficiency of safety communication; as well as operating conditions and policies, procedures and training.
Similar to FTA took DPU to the task.
“The DPU did not use its powers to ensure identification and resolution of safety questions in the MBTA,” the message says.
The FTA instructed the DPU complete legal assessment of its independence from the MBTA, given the agency’s “general relationship with accountability to the governor.” Report also said the DPU “didn’t demonstrate ability to address safety questions and concerns identified by the FTA.
In a statement, DPU spokesman Troy Wall said the agency would add more staff, including new director of railway transport safety position and promotion safety audits.
Under Baker MBTA made investments in long-term projects such as the extension of the green line and new Cars of the Red and Orange branches are a priority. T spent more more than 2 billion dollars on such projects in fiscal year 2022, up from about 875 million dollars in fiscal year 2018,” the statement said.
“In the center” of a lot of of MBTA safety problems too little attention on the agency’s day-to-day activities and maintenance, the report says, while T’s still recovering from long-term exposure of funding cuts made in 2015-2019 . . . resulting in reduction in hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of positions.”
result the FTA said there are too few workers to work on the subway or to manage and certify safety of It’s long-term projects.
In 2019 safety review panel recommended that the MBTA determine the resources necessary for the safe operation of the service, maintenance, and support long-term projects. T told the FTA inspectors that the agency did not complete the analysis because of due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile T moved forward with long-term projects and transferred $500 million from its operating budget to your capital budget before that year- the message says.
“Key elements of this approach has a significant impact on prevention maintenance inspections and repairs for aging system, aggravating deterioration of aging infrastructure and assets”, the message says.
Interviews with inspectors with The report states that T employees indicated that the agency may be short of up to 2,000 employees.
“T absolutely exactly need staff up”, Kincaid, FTA official, told reporters. “They are doing in essential hiring program and this one what will we be work with them on . . . to get as much as possible people as possible which good quality transit workers who want come work and serve people of Massachusetts”.
In a separate event On Wednesday, T’s general manager, Steve Poftak, said the agency expects the FTA to be actively involved. in this is safety efforts”for years.” T will be required to submit a workforce analysis to the FTA, describing how a lot of more the employees he needs.
“I think that then there should be an important conversation about what is the appropriate level of financing for T down road?” he said. “We can’t just ask the existing workforce to do more as well as more. I think we definitely embrace it here at T.”
In his FTA report also zeroed in on obvious disadvantage of understanding about safety risks among MBTA leadership. FTA found that the T management is looking at “raw, unanalyzed safety data” instead of useful information about safety anxiety in order know what to prioritize and where to direct resources.
“Under this framework everything becomes safety priority, overwhelming leadership, managers, senior managers and executive management, and resources are dedicated to addressing symptoms rather than causes of safety concerns,” the statement said.
The FTA said the MBTA is too heavily reliant on this is safety hotline, anonymous tip line for employees and probably does not hear enough safety feedback from ordinary employees. FTA found workers violating the MBTA safety rules absence of effective safety checklists and unsatisfactory quality of radio communication at the level of “several key locations,” contributing safety incidents.
The agency emphasized need for more safety oversight of MBTA work sites with reference to recent safety events, including “derailments of work vehicles, fire and smoking events burns and falls.”
“T didn’t get here in one night, and won’t get there back into a state of good repairs overnight,” Kincaid said at a briefing on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, we will have to be patient. on part of riders of T.”
Travis Andersen of Globe staff contributed to this report.