As Massachusetts legislators prepare for a rare inspection hearing to learn more about the MBTA’s myriad problems, the agency said Tuesday that it has pulled all of its new Orange Line trains from service. Earlier this week, the move was taken after a battery malfunctioned in a car, Greeley Tribune Globe informed of,
MBTA spokeswoman Lisa Battiston said globe The train was not in service at the time due to battery issues.
The MBTA has been plagued mostly by security-related problems in recent years. These issues prompted a review of T’s Metro system by federal officials, who found widespread issues including dispatchers working 20-hour shifts and other employees working with expired safety certificates. Because of these findings, T started running fewer trains on weekdays, citing a lack of dispatchers.
On Tuesday, the legislators decided to take more direct action. Senate President Karen E. Spilka and House Speaker Ronald Mariano announced that the Transportation Committee would hold hearings with the goal of better understanding the agency’s shortcomings and “helping to restore public confidence.”
Spilka and Mariano pointed to Governor Charlie Baker, whom they said has been in control of T since 2015. He added that Baker’s administration has a responsibility to manage the agency and arrange for adequate maintenance work as Baker requested control.
Also on Tuesday, lawmakers moved to allot hundreds of millions to address safety concerns with the T raised by the Federal Transit Administration’s oversight, globe informed of.
The FTA is expected to release a full Safety Management Inspection Report in August, but in the meantime, it issued some “special instructions” for the MBTA to complete immediately. This includes increasing the workforce in its Operations Control Center, improving normal safety operating procedures, and addressing delayed critical track maintenance and safety recertification for employees. globe informed of.
The FTA has previously only conducted a local safety inspection like this once.
Paul Kincaid, FTA’s associate administrator, said these instructions to the MBTA were issued “as a result of continued security breaches and a failure to take immediate corrective action”.
While the MBTA investigates the battery issues seen in the new Orange Line trains, the authorities have also decided to put the new Red Line cars out of service. The agency is still expecting hundreds of new Red and Orange Line trains from a Chinese company first contracted in 2014. globe informed of.
This is not the first time that the new Orange Line trains have been taken out of service. Last month, T employees discovered that eight cars had incorrectly installed brake bolts. This problem was first detected in an Orange Line car when it was disabled at Wellington station. T pulled all the new Orange Line trains for inspection, and found problems with seven additional cars.
Last March, New Orange Line trains were pulled after one derailed at Wellington station. He was returned to service last August.
Other MBTA lines also have security issues. Earlier this month, two Green Line trains collided near the Government Centre. MBTA officials said a train was traveling at 9 mph at the time of the accident, which was just over the 7 mph speed limit. Several train operators were hospitalized as a result of the accident.
But the saddest MBTA-related incident this year happened in April, when 39-year-old Robinson Lalin was stabbed to death after his hand was stuck in the door of the Red Line. globe reported that Lallin got off the train at Broadway station before getting back in the car. His hand got stuck between the closed doors, and while on stage, Lallin was dragged 100 feet. He ran with the train for a while, but was found dead about 75 feet into the tunnel.
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